Taylor Swift has released ‘Only the Young’, a track taken from her new documentary Miss Americana.
The song hears Swift lament the state of politics as well as societal ills in the US, namely the country’s school shooting epidemic. “They’re not gonna help us / Too busy helping themselves / They aren’t gonna change this / We’re going to do it ourselves,” she sings on the bass-heavy track, backed by a children’s choir.
Miss Americana details Swift’s retreat from the spotlight in the years following the release of her fifth album ‘1989’ in 2014 and the build up to the release of 2017’s ‘Reputation’ and her latest record ‘Lover’ (2019). The behind-the-scenes film touches on her refusal to endorse Hillary Clinton until very late in the election cycle for the 2016 US Presidential election.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Miss Americana director Lana Wilson said she was conscious of showing the pressure Swift had been under to be a “nice girl” in the public eye since she was a teenager.
“I think girls in our society are taught that other people’s approval is of paramount importance to their self-worth,” she said.
“I really related to those questions of: ‘Was I nice enough? Do they like me? Are people mad at me?’ When I heard Taylor verbalise that, I was just like, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.’ And I thought it would be so comforting and relatable to so many women to know that, even if you’re a celebrity at the highest level, you still ask yourself those questions.”
In Miss Americana, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival January 23 and is available to stream on Netflix now, Swift speaks about the pressures of seeing “pictures of [herself] every day”, saying it “wasn’t good” for her health and eventually triggered a disorder.
She added: “[I’ve seen] a picture of me where I feel like I looked like my tummy was too big, or…someone said that I looked pregnant…and that’ll just trigger me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating.”