The things Taylor Swift will never do...

Taylor Swift

The first time I heard of Taylor Swift, someone described her as “America’s Delta Goodrem.”

Without getting into a Delta v Taylor debate, I can kind of see where they were coming from. It’s the wholesome quality. The honest songs. Oh, and the fact that neither of them have ever taken their gear off to sell a record.

Know what I mean?

The 22 year old is in Australia and a few weeks ago  she spoke to radio hosts Fifi and Jules. She blew me away with her honesty and her very down-to-earth approach to life.

When Fifi asked Taylor about if she’ll ever ‘write dark songs, dance in her underwear and get her gear off like other performers in her era’, Taylor’s answer was (mind the cliche) wise beyond her years. She answered:

“I’ve just always noticed that there are just certain trends that kind of happen especially with young stars and young performers who reach this age of  22. There’s always this kind of declaration of ‘I’m a woman now’ and they change themselves so much sometimes that their fans no longer recognise them. And I don’t want to ever have that happen where I decide that I’m a different person an everybody’s supposed to scramble and like this new person instead of who they’ve liked for the past six years that I’ve been putting out records.”

And on the question of whether anyone has ever asked her to “raunch it up?” she said:

“No because everyone around me knows that’s not what I’m about. Overall, I feel like your image comes from you. And what you want to do and you can make your decisions yourself and it’s not about a committee telling you what to wear I think that if they want you to put on an outfit you have every right to say ‘nah not going to wear this today.”

Her comments – and general demeanor  – come in pretty stark contrast to what other twenty-something singers and actors are doing to promote their image, which is more often than not something along the lines of ‘sex sells.’

Kind of like this:

Remember when then Gabriella Cilmi went from a cute 16 year old to ‘sexy and sophisticated’ 18 year old by posing on the cover of FHM magazine?

When Cilmi changed her image, Mamamia publisher Mia Freedman wrote about how Gabriella Cilmi 2.0 had lost everything that had made her appealing before. Here’s some of what Mia had to say:

Everything that was unique and fresh about Gabriella Cilmi’s look and sound and story has been sacrificed for a push-up bra and suspenders (does anyone actually wear suspenders in real life other than strippers or maybe the prostitutes in Underbelly? ANYONE?)I don’t know who is managing Gabriella Cilmi but I would respectfully suggest they change their approach immediately. With this current strategy – which seems to be encapsulated in GET-HER-GEAR-OFF-FAST-PHWOOOAAARRRR, she’s become just another girl in undies. Just another girl getting her bra out and lying around in a wet t-shirt.

If you’re a reality TV star, grasping at the fading moments of your 15 minutes of fame, that’s one thing.

But what a damn waste for an artist who has, inarguably, TREMENDOUS talent. My hope is that this is merely a misstep and that the record company will allow her to put her clothes back on for her next album.

Or that she finds management who understand that there are women who can be respected and rewarded for their talent without taking off their clothes.

Or that she finds management who understand that there are women who can be respected and rewarded for their talent without taking off their clothes.

Artists like Missy Higgins, Lisa Mitchell, Natalie Imbruglia, Delta Goodrem and Julia Stone have proven that you can be a successful female artist without having to get your gear off.

And to those commenters who are going to preach “Don’t judge, she’s just a girl etc”? I’m not apologising for my judgement on this one. It’s called critical thought actually. I’m not judging Gabriella Cilmi’s voice or her talent.

And I’m certainly not judging the kind of person she is. What would I know about that?

I’m judging a lousy, sexist decision taken by whoever it was who chose to market this talented chick in a demeaning, tacky way.

I agree. 100%. Which is why I think it’s so fantastic to see someone like Taylor Swift taking a it to those record execs and proving that overt sex appeal is not the only way to sell your songs on iTunes.