Romeo and Swift

I might be picking a really bad, insignificant fight, but just hear me out. Most of you might find this entirely irrelevant to your lives, but it might be interesting none the less. Bottom line, if you think you've wasted your precious time as a result of reading my ranting, then by all means bug me and waste a little of mine.

Taylor Swift is bad news to young girls. She seems sweet and innocent. She talks about love stories that parallel Shakesphere's Romeo and Juliet; thus providing an educational element to her lyrics. She did call herself a slut ("You were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter") BUT she didn't paint her middle finger "F-U" like Lindsay Lohan before she was convicted to a 90 day jail sentence.

Let me explain:

I recently worked at a one week camp that my childhood church sponsors every year. At the end of the week there is a talent show. My eleven year old girls wanted to sing, "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me". The directors of the camp were concerned with the line "Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone." Duh. The obvious choice. This may imply sex, so we want to avoid this entirely. What brought me to tears one night wasn't this line, or the idea of sex, or romance, or whatever, but the underlying message of her songs. Pine after boys and they will swiftly sweep away your problems.

Then there was a boy who I will call Romeo.
Romeo had one ear pierced. A fake diamond. He went up in front of everyone and said, "I love God because he gave me strength. (He lifts up his arms) Thunder (kisses his left arm) and Lightning (kisses his right arm)."
He bounced around like a little gansta, scoffing at his leaders, and after a few minutes of firm encouragement, he slouched in his seat. He later promised the four girls in my cabin (and a few others) that on Thursday he would pick his girlfriend.

The girls in my cabin swooned.

The guy counselor who was with Romeo told me, "Man, it is so great when we aren't around you girls, because when he's not next to them, he doesn't even think about the love drama."

Wasn't he lucky. All week it was about Romeo.
Taylor Swift was playing in the background of our cabin time discussion.

Will he pick me?
Hey Stephen, I know looks can be deceiving But I know I saw a light in you
Can I go sit by Romeo?
I'll be the one waiting there even when it's cold
When I sing songs, can I try to lock eyes with Romeo?
Come feel this magic I've been feeling since I met you
I named my stuffed animal Romeo.
Cause I can't help it if you look like an angel
He gave Emma a necklace, he will pick her.
All those other girls, well, they're beautiful, But would they write a song for you?
He is so nice, so caring.
I think I know where you belong. I think I know it's with me.
I am in love with him.
If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Romeo is my best friend.
Whatcha doing with a girl like that? You belong with me.

By the end of camp I spent hours with these girls playing games, laughing, diverting all conversations from Romeo to their own interests and talents. Romeo came up to me. Apparently he got wind of a conversation I had with the girls about finding their self worth from who they are in Christ alone. Not in boys or anyone/anything else.

"Hey Annie, guess who's my girlfriend?"
[He lifts up two girls hands. The joyful girls are twins. The girls live with their grandmother and 12 other cousins. As they put it, they "don't have parents."]
Romeo triumphantly gloats, "Yeah, and there is nothin' you can do bout it, woman. ha!"
I ignore the kid, and look at one of the twins who was in my cabin, "Want to go sit by me for the final ceremony?"
Her love-glazed eyes look at Romeo and she walks away behind him without responding.

You are probably thinking, "Oh Annie, they are just kids. We did the same thing. They will grow out of it. blah blah blah."


Sarah has nothing else in life indicating she has any self worth whatsoever. Catchy tunes like T-Swift make cheerful promises of love and how to achieve love that are unrealistic and demeaning. Girls should be loyal to her boy, seek to change her boy, be inspirational and musical.

Girls should be kids.

Obviously there are worse songs on the radio than T-Swift. But she carries a sense of innocence and beauty with her words. The hopeful songs of love combined with a lonely, difficult childhood equal a distortion of reality. At least Taio Cruz is honest about breaking hearts.

I'm dreaming about the day when Sarah wakes up and finds that what she's looking for has been there the whole time.

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