Taylor Swift, remediating the self, and nostalgic girlhood in tween music fandom

Margaret Rossman

Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, United States

[0.1] Abstract—As traditional album sales decline, music artists have turned to deluxe editions and store exclusives to entice their fan bases into buying not just physical copies but multiple copies of the same record. In attempting to engage with a young and increasingly digital audience—many of whom do not even own devices on which to play physical copies of music—Taylor Swift has chosen to use emotional rhetoric to transpose her aura into a desire for the tangible. Swift brings fans along with her on a journey into her own past, reigniting interest in earlier forms of media and capitalizing on a tween ideal of bedroom culture. In creating deluxe versions of her album Lover (2019) with scanned copies of her teen diary entries alongside blank journal pages for fans, Swift encourages a melding of fan and star in a moment of adolescent expression. With this production, Swift attempts to create physical objects of emotion, to reinforce girl culture as brand, and to bring value back to the nondigital album. Swift creates purposeful space in her own narrative for fans to insert themselves and plug in their understanding of her star text, further aligning herself and the fan in a sort of metafandom.

[0.2] Keywords—Bedroom culture; Emotion; Metafandom; Performance

Rossman, Margaret. 2022. "Taylor Swift, Remediating the Self, and Nostalgic Girlhood in Tween Music Fandom." Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 38.

1. Introduction

[1.1] Taylor Swift opens the foreword for her 2019 album Lover with the following lines: "When I found my old diaries from my childhood and teen years, they were covered in dust. I'm not just saying that for poetic effect, they were truly dusty, with pictures drawn of first day of school outfits and inspirational quotes I used to retrace over and over through my doubtful moments."

[1.2] These diaries become the framing device for her meditation on memory and, of course, love, but it is the dust that she chooses to highlight. While Swift has a deftly maneuvered online presence, she always situates herself in the tangible. She does this to play with the imagery of nostalgia that anchors all her work but also to always renew value in the physical and, most importantly, the physical album, the primary marker by which Swift maintains her success. This physicality also creates a union with Swift's so-called girly identity. That is, Swift defines herself by markers of girlhood and femininity that her audience embraces, even when not always falling strictly into the demographic of "girl." Swift unites her fandom within this girlish social space, playing off tropes that can best be defined by Angela McRobbie and Jenny Garber's concept of bedroom culture (McRobbie and Garber 1991). In studying the ways in which girls were left out of traditional subcultural discussions, McRobbie and Garber highlight the young feminine culture of the teenybopper and how fandom for these girls manifests in the bedroom—a culture of interior, personalized spaces as opposed to more externalized, public ones. Swift often highlights her own teen experiences to articulate a strategy that uses emotional currency to better tie her fans to her work and her celebrity narrative, and nowhere is this embrace of bedroom culture more significant than in the marketing of Lover.

[1.3] Beginning as a country-music artist, Swift was able to successfully cross over to pop music and maintain tremendous album sales across the past decade. Her recent re-record, Red (Taylor's Version) (2021), of her 2012 album Red marked her tenth number-one ranking on the Billboard 200 albums chart (Caulfield 2021). Like many other artists, Swift has used deluxe versions of her albums with special packaging to increase her physical album sales. This was a strategy that Swift employed for her 2017 album Reputation, which included a seventy-two-page magazine with each copy, sold exclusively at Target stores, and again with Lover, where she returned to Target to release four separate deluxe versions. These kinds of deluxe and limited-edition albums have become an increasingly common strategy to compete with streaming. As reported by Mark Levine, "deluxe editions in the first few weeks after an album's release can sell more than their standard counterparts, and even account for more than two-thirds of first-week sales, according to several executives" (2018). To encourage fans to buy each of the four versions of Lover, Swift curates a series that will leave fans lacking in information if they do not have them all.

[1.4] The Target deluxe editions of Lover come in four rectangular volumes, with an 8-inch by 5.5-inch cover that replicates the cover of the standard album. Each deluxe edition contains the same special version of the CD including two additional voice memos by Swift. Prefaced by the standard introduction for all versions of the album, the rest of the deluxe volume package is devoted to thirty pages of photocopies of Swift's own journal entries from different years of her life. The journal then switches to thirty lined blank pages intended for the buyer to fill in. Beyond just a strategy to get fans to consume more, Swift uses the additional information in the deluxe editions to shape fan connection and further establish her brand. For this paper, I have conducted a textual analysis of the Lover deluxe editions, as well as other promotional material for the album. Beyond Swift's own tweets and appearances, much of the discussion around these texts is shaped by Taylor Nation, Swift's promotional team. This group is used both to spearhead fan initiatives and to keep Swift herself from too much connection to the marketing aspects of the industry, as Taylor Nation implores fans to buy additional albums and other merchandise through social media posts. Taylor Nation creates social media listening parties to boost streams and send out the ads encouraging Swifties—the self-named fan group identity of Swift fans—to buy more and more copies of the album, often using language that distracts from the commercial quality of the endeavor.

[1.5] To see how fans have put the ideas and narratives from the journal into practice, I have examined fan response to the journals on Twitter in the week surrounding the August 23, 2019, release date (from August 22–29, 2019). While there are clearly fans who use the journal and do not post online—and thus are missing from this analysis—my focus on those who do share digitally is to show the way in which they mediate the journal and use it to form community with other fans in this virtual space. My knowledge of the fan community is also informed by a larger ethnographic project, where I acted as a participant-observer, following Swift fan accounts, attending Swift concerts, and conducting direct interviews with Swift fans from 2015 to 2019. Though the tweets in this paper are public and often directed at other fans and Swift herself through tagging, I have kept the handles anonymous for their owners' privacy.

[1.6] Lover was released at a significant turning point for Swift. Each of her four previous albums opened to more than a million sales (Sisario 2019), but she has never done as well on streaming as have other artists, and so the push to reaffirm traditional album sales was even stronger. To maintain her committed fan base, she has relied on a great deal of emotional labor, structuring her engagement with microcelebrity tactics. As Alice Marwick and danah boyd note, microcelebrity strategies work as a form of audience management, particularly online (2011). These approaches are not just used by social media influencers, but also by famous people trying "to maintain popularity and image" (140). Swift uses microcelebrity to create bonds of normalcy and unite her fandom in a common cause of support for her and her work. I argue that this intimacy also extends to Swift's creation of the deluxe Lover editions. By combining her journals with a journal for fans, Swift melds her star text with fan emotion in a moment of adolescent expression. Through this connection, Swift encourages fans to reread her narrative, as well as reexperience the moments captured in the journals. This remediation is both technological, as it works across on- and offline boundaries, and emotional, as it turns the distanced text into an immediate experience. These narratives also involve a sort of poaching. Where Henry Jenkins's (1992) discussion of textual poaching refers to the way in which fans pick and choose what they want out of the narrative, here Swift becomes the poacher herself, as she picks and chooses her branded narrative for her fans. At the same time, fans ultimately create their own fan fictions, reinterpreting their memories and life experiences through the lens of Swift in a fandom of the self.

2. Nostalgia, tweens, and bedroom culture

[2.1] Nostalgia is central to Swift's brand, but it manifests in different ways in the marketing of Lover. The first use of nostalgia comes in the direct form of collection—to gather items to save and remember the past. Using tweets and retweets, Taylor Nation and Swift herself suggest the need to own each version of the album. The Taylor Nation account tweeted on August 27, 2019: "Collect all 4 deluxe versions of #Lover. Each version has a unique set of @taylorswift13 journal entries." That this tweet was finished with a heart emoji does little to distract from the more commercial elements of the message. The video accompanying the tweet highlights all the benefits of the deluxe editions, including a separate poster. The call to collect encourages a common fan practice; collection is central to fan status. As Lincoln Geraghty suggests in his work on collectors of cult film and television show merchandise, collections become icons of "economic investment in a text" and the digital age takes this further, as fans can display their digital archives (2014, 8). The deluxe editions instantly become collector's items, as the Twitter call by Taylor Nation turns into an immediate response of fans showing photos of their wares online. Geraghty also notes the role nostalgia plays in these collections, becoming transformative as objects are remediated and recycled from their original use. From the examples that Swifties present online, we can see fans engage with Swift's journals as intended but also reimagine their purpose as a diary—as a specific way of showing their fandom to the rest of the fan community.

[2.2] For Swift fans, the promotion of posters you can hang and diaries you can hide suggest that Swift's marketing focus on the past is one strongly centered on memories of girlhood, and here it is important to note the ways in which tween identity is central to Swift fandom. Tween as a term designates the time between childhood and teen years. Like many developmental categories, its definitions shift, particularly as defined by the market, so there is little consensus on the exact age it starts and ends. But generally, marketers have focused on a period starting from ages eight, nine, or ten (or sometimes even younger) and extending to ages twelve, thirteen, or fourteen. While tween can be used to describe these ages for children of all genders, marketers have centered their focus on the female tween market, thus codifying the word's dominant meaning as "young girl." As Natalie Coulter discusses, tween is "a social construction of a girl consumer that has been discursively situated by the forces of the mediated marketplace as a way to define, explain, and sell the market to stakeholders" (2014, 4). The category is not stable but a reflection of what industry stakeholders assume a tween to be, and the very notion of girl is also set by these strategies (Coulter 2014, 4). In this way, we can see how tween comes to define the population and the media aimed at it, even though these consumers would not necessarily self-identify with the term. Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh also note how the tween is constructed as part of a "distinct commodity culture" (2005, 6). Mitchell and Reid-Walsh suggest that this culture, like the teen culture of the postwar period, is defined by how it "addresses a particular audience" (2005, 6). In this way, an increased audience of consumers beyond the age group has culminated in what I term tween culture. Products marketed to this segment of the population particularly skyrocketed during the early 2000s, following the success of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (2005–2008) and soon gained a large following beyond tweens. While the adult audience for young adult books predated this tween moment, the older market for young adult adaptations jumped significantly as part of this success. Most media reports recognize that adult audiences who consume tween media are not tweens, but they are nonetheless implicated in the ideas of tween-ness—particularly its girly attributes. Many Swift fans have grown up alongside her and her music, meaning that while no longer tween-aged, their long-term fandom is embedded with nostalgia of their own girlhoods. In addition, Swift constantly evokes these feelings to court adult fans eager to return to their younger years.

[2.3] Swift's navigation of the public/private divide has been a centerpiece of her star persona. As she mentions in the Instagram Live stream that announced the Lover deluxe editions, "I felt like I've really been sharing my life with you. I've always used kind of the metaphor of, I open up my diary and share it with [the fans]. And the fact that they accept me for that…is why we have such a strong bond, but this is taking it a step further." Swift composes her work and life in private but then makes a point to share it publicly as a special secret with fans. McRobbie and Garber (1991) recognize the bedroom as central to girls' media consumption as a private space of exploration, and Swift invokes this notion as she discusses the importance of diaries in her life. Mary Celeste Kearney (2007) updates the McRobbie and Garber definition of bedroom culture to include the bedroom as a productive space—focusing on the ways girls create and promote their own media from inside their homes. Swift positions her own diaries within these ideas, as the content showcases both her creative process—early song lyrics, sketches of stage shows—and her production of self—how she creates and maintains her celebrity identity. Swift invokes this bedroom space through the discovery of her journals and asks fans to return to the space as they produce their own journal entries in the blank pages at the end of the deluxe editions. Other aspects of these editions also work with ideas of bedroom space. The posters included could be hung in the same way fans display other idols of their current or former youth. Further, a specific type of girly nostalgia is created through the color scheme and design of the Lover album. Using pastel pinks and blues, glitter, hearts, and horses, Swift recalls the girly motifs of her own nineties-era childhood. She seems particularly inspired by the aesthetic of Lisa Frank, whose popular school supplies of the period were adorned with bright colors and animals. In this embrace of girliness, we might also call to mind Kearney's (2015) recouping of sparkle in girl culture. She argues that what might be deemed a postfeminist aesthetic could also have some power in femininity as resistance. There is an inherent both/and that must be reckoned with in girls' media, as so often the retreat to girlhood is such a dominant part of the postfeminist text (Projansky 2007). At the same time, to reject girliness altogether is to allow patriarchal standards to determine proper pop culture. Maryn Wilkinson (2019) discusses Swift's straddling of this divide between appearing authentic and appearing zany as part of her move from the labor framework of country music to the embrace of the pop performance. Wilkinson shows how Swift's country celebrity relied on intimacy and access to herself and how she had to negotiate her presentation to maintain this understanding within her pop framework. Wilkinson writes, "By exposing the artificial manufacture of pop performances, and showing how hard she needs to work at them, Swift utilises the figure of the zany to remind the audience of her 'true' natural state underneath her pop abilities, while preserving her image of hard work, through her (comic) incessant doings" (443). In this way, we can understand the seemingly less authentic aspects of Swift as part of a narrative that fans willingly play along with, one that allows them to maintain access to what's seen as real. This sense of play ties to notions of girlhood, when people try on different personas. This performance is also part of a larger discussion of fannish play and its role in remediation.

3. Remediation and fan constructions of self

[3.1] Another form of nostalgia appears in Swift's work and her marketing through the ways in which she uses remediation. Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin's theory of remediation suggests that media shifts between immediacy—"ignoring or denying the presence of the medium and the act of mediation"—and hypermediacy—which "asks us to take pleasure in the act of mediation" (1999, 11 and 14). They argue that the appeal to authenticity is what brings these two aspects together and that the determination of whether a text is hypermediate or immediate depends on the "social construction of the media" (71). Swift's diaries provide a staging that allows fans to switch between these modes as they read. That is, they can tie into the emotion of the entries at one turn, in a sense of immediacy, and show they understand the construction of the entries at another, as they serve to recreate Swift's own constructions of self in their journal entries. Evidence of this type of framing appears several times in the tweets I have examined. In a photo posted to Twitter of her own journal, we can see how one fan makes sure to specify her age at the top of the journal entry, as Swift does—though in Swift's journal, this is only used to catalog the entries and was clearly added once the journals were compiled. In doing so, this fan plays at being Swift, while also trying to give an authentic version of her own written experience. In discussion of the journals on Twitter, fans switch from quotations accompanied by crying emojis (because nothing else needs to be said) to tracking down and posting photos of Swift on the dates included in the journal—to visualize the moments she wrote down the ideas. Even in choosing to tweet their thoughts and their own journal entries, they show recognition of the performance and the production of fandom.

[3.2] Remediation also connects us back to nostalgia—a nostalgia for an earlier medium reimagined through new technology. As Katharina Niemeyer writes, "Retro design has become digitized. Indeed, part of the web could be seen as a huge attic or bric-a-brac market where individual and collective nostalgias converge and spread" (2014, 1). Paul Grainge considers how this digital shift helps activate nostalgia as commodity, writing "One must account for the strategic deployment of 'nostalgia' within specific consumer industries, but one must also bear in mind the significance of new technological innovations and their ability to rescue, recycle, and reconfigure the past in the cultural and media terrain. The digital and video revolutions have, in particular, transformed our ability to access, circulate, and consume the cultural past" (2000, 32). Even as Swift elevates the tangible as part of marketing for her physical albums, she also remediates it in a way accessible to a modern audience, both in the mass-market reprinting of what were once unique journals as well as the encouragement to share these physical objects in the digital space. In this way, many fans I have observed also instantly remediate their written work, sharing with other fans and, most importantly, Swift herself online. Niemeyer encourages the use of nostalgias over the singular term nostalgia to think about how different nostalgias intersect, and this seems apt for our discussion of Swift (2014, 6). Swift is using her own nostalgia to conduct a new nostalgic narrative, one that intertwines with common nostalgias, and one that fans use to create nostalgia of their own fandom.

[3.3] The playful ways fans create their journal entries also tie into these notions of the past. Paul Booth (2015) discusses the role of play in media fandom and how the industry and the fan push back and forth on each other. He suggests that play is involved in the use of nostalgia, writing, "There must be certain respect for the past (a historical structure) before imaginative ideas can flourish (through free movement and play)" (17). Booth's work builds on Louisa Stein and Kristina Busse's idea of "limit play," a concept related to how "fan textual creativity offers us a specific example of the way contemporary cultural engagement not only depends on but is shaped by the stimulating limits of context and interface" (2009, 193). These structures are central to the fictions created by Swift and by the fans. Swift herself is playing within the confines of celebrity narrative, using the authentic diary structure to shape her own brand image, masking her commercial desires by underpinning them all with emotional stories. The fans are given the open journal to use however they want, but those who share their journal pages online usually model these pages on Swift's own entries. In addition, they choose to narrate their fandom through the journal format. Then these writers work within the structures of social media to play with their fan goals. In observing fan behavior online, one of the most common practices I have noticed is users tweeting a daily mantra to manifest meeting Swift. Evidence fans have posted of their own journals shows how they continue this practice by writing "I will meet Taylor Swift" in their diaries. While these fans want to participate in journaling, there also seems to be a need to mediate this process in the online space—there is a value in the bedroom culture, but one that must be seen. In reposting these images online, fans prove their commitment to Swift and create community with other fans. The fans also translate their own identity through the lens of Swift and Swift's media. One fan's Twitter post used a photo of the diary to remark on how the lyrics were written when her daughter was only two years old, sharing photos then and now of her daughter. In this, the fan marks her own passage of time using "Swift years" as a measurement. Swift encourages her audience to recreate and remediate their identities through the points of Swift's own self narrative and emotions. While these feelings are valuable to the fan experience, they are also valuable to fan status, as Swift often rewards fans who display their digital emotions with Twitter likes and replies and invitations to special gatherings. Emotion is translated to currency, something that can be performed for a return on investment.

4. Economics of intimacy

[4.1] The display of fan emotion is often used to show gratitude to idols, and this type of exchange is especially noticeable in fandom of musical artists. The image of the screaming, crying fan and the notion of hysteria has been dominant in media coverage of the female audience, particularly the young female audience. Several interventions have looked to understand this screaming beyond these stereotypes and give agency back to this group by reframing the purpose of these displays. Barbara Ehrenreich, Elizabeth Hess, and Gloria Jacobs (1992) argue against the simplification of hysteria amongst female fans—as they see in the screams of Beatlemania a potentially defiant subculture, Mark Duffett (2017) sees screaming in fandom as an affective citizenship, promoting the politic of the artist through their cries. Yet beyond a particular artist, and beyond the push against cultural norms, we should consider how screaming and crying builds community and operates as cultural capital. These emotions are one part of a performance directed toward group identity. Swift herself encourages this narrative as she quotes romantic lyrics and the ideas of romance as particularly significant to her relationship with her fan base. For instance, in an interlude during her 1989 tour, she told the crowd that it was "a really romantic concept that this many people would be in a room together dancing and singing." Specifically, she noted, "you deciding to be here tonight is romantic." In these lines, Swift repurposes romance so that it encompasses all collective emotions in the fandom.

[4.2] Screaming emotion in modern concert culture has also been reshaped in relation to the increased intimacy between fan and celebrity created online. As Marwick and boyd write, "Micro-celebrity can be understood as a mindset and set of practices in which audience is viewed as a fan base; popularity is maintained through ongoing fan management; and self-presentation is carefully constructed to be consumed by others" (2011, 140). This shift in behavior affects both sides of the tween fan/star relationship. Since fans of tween culture are often quite engaged on social media, musicians attempting to attract this audience invest in these practices. At the same time, the ability to create celebrity on social media gives increased desire and pressure for fans to also participate in this way to gain status. Celebrity is always engaged with notions of authenticity (Dyer 1991), but self-representation in new media becomes differently performed. As Elizabeth Ellcessor notes in her research on actor Felicia Day, "These affordances include the illusions of 'liveness' and interactivity presented online, the quotidian rhythms of interaction, the (possible) lack of media gatekeepers such as publicists, editors, and paparazzi in creating online self-presentations, and the availability of media tools" (2012, 61). Similarly, Melissa A. Click, Hyunji Lee, and Holly Wilson Holladay (2013) discuss how pop star Lady Gaga has created a particularly strong relationship with her fans, giving direct feedback to her Little Monsters fan base online. Through these microcelebrity practices, Click, Lee, and Wilson Holladay argue that Lady Gaga creates a sense of intimacy that draws fans closer.

[4.3] These stars participate in these rituals as a way of creating a bond with fans. However, Swift goes a step further. By not just responding to fans in a personal way, but closely following, liking, commenting, and lurking online—observing fans without interacting with them—Swift puts herself on the same level as fans who also perform these actions. Despite being a massive celebrity, Swift structures much of her behavior through the lens of microcelebrity. Recent work on Swift recognizes the many ways her celebrity persona is complicated between a desire for authenticity and a recognition of her labor, factors that are central to a microcelebrity practice. Nate Sloan (2021) notes how Swift develops the dimensions of her songwriting work as a form of agency, while Paul Théberge (2021) considers how Swift marshals the power of her fandom to help negotiate in the music industry. Mary Fogarty and Gina Arnold (2021) consider how this labor extends to her fans, as fans put in the effort to sleuth out Swift's real feelings. This space of digital work on both sides furthers the microcelebrity tactics. As tween and young adult fans are often already participating in microcelebrity practices themselves, the moments of branding that become a part of this relationship are seen as less disruptive to the authenticity of the Swift/fan connection.

5. Taylor Swift's duality of discourse

[5.1] While there are certainly many voices that play a part in the promotion of Swift's work, Swift herself, both on- and offline, works to establish all official channel communication as coming directly from her, something the fans have been willing to take at face value. By separating out tasks to Taylor Nation, tweets from @taylorswift13 are deemed authentic messages from Swift herself, just as the production of the diaries is presumed to be an exact replica. In my observations, if a fan suggests that a moment in the diaries is perhaps too perfectly synced up to what Swift would want (or written in such a way as to almost predict the future), they are usually brought back into line by condemnations from other fans. Beyond just gaining fan interest, though, Swift also wants to use the journals to further fan loyalty. These journals act as paratexts, as they manage the central text and how we understand it (Gray 2010). Jonathan Gray suggests that balancing paratexts is a "key task for media producers," who hope to avoid disrupting the primary text while also leaving enough room for fans to create within the paratexts (2010, 207). Swift's journals serve as a paratext that could shape the listening of the Lover album but are even more important for shaping who Swift is at the moment of release. Fans see each album as an era and the journals seek to create narrative continuity in Swift's star persona. It would also seem the journals serve two audiences: a rhetoric of girliness and easter eggs for the fans and a rhetoric of success and achievement for the critics (or as Swift might say, "the haters"). But Swift's ultimate intent seems to be to merge the two agendas together, encouraging fans to promote her agenda as well as further tying them to her, as her nostalgia becomes theirs.

[5.2] Swift has used paratexts throughout her career to balance multiple discourses in her brand identity. Voice memos are another part of the Lover deluxe packaging that Swift has frequently used in the past, setting the stage for how she uses the journals as narratives. Myles McNutt (2020) examines the use of voice memo extra tracks on Swift's 1989 (2014) as a way for Swift to show her artistic labor. He writes, "the performative intimacy of these paratexts is part of a longer reclamation of authorship, a feminist act in industrial contexts due to the gendered hierarchy of pop music production Swift entered when shifting toward pop as a genre" (75). At the same time, he argues that these memos are limited in their ability to function as a critique—mostly working as promotional rather than activist texts. Swift is the epitome of both/and. Her marketing heightens interest in girlhood and girl culture and the expression of emotion, but it is also entirely produced in a neoliberal context. The promotional material mostly highlights consumption as progressive and rarely grapples with anything outside of a white, privileged identity. The journals continue this balancing act, as Swift encourages a celebration of female writing and controlling her own celebrity narrative, but this narrative is also used to defuse critique and increase her commercial success.

[5.3] Swift has been careful to present herself as a friend and fellow fan (especially in her fangirling of the fans themselves), but she also wants to maintain her authority as auteur of her own work. In doing so, she navigates pleasing the fans while instructing them how to read her texts, similar to the strategies of other media producers. Many scholars have explored the way fan paratexts are used to put the audience in a particular reading position and promote proper fan behavior. As Booth (2015) discusses in his research on the Doctor Who Experience, the producers can shift and shape what position they want a fan to occupy. Matt Hills (2012) explores another tween text in showing how the extra materials on the Twilight: New Moon DVD (2010) present depictions of fans that discipline the ways fans should perform. This "fandom as pedagogy" (Hills 2012, 115) is often used by Swift, as fans who best perform their fandom on- and offline are often chosen by Swift for backstage meetups or secret sessions where fans get to listen to one of Swift's albums early with her at one of her homes. By using the journal structure, Swift also activates nostalgia as a reading strategy. That is, she knows her primary audience will understand how to read a diary in a specific way and be prepped to experience an emotional journey. Upon buying a deluxe version of the album, one fan tweeted at Swift to note her thanks, mentioning, "The writer in me was THRILLED." Swift retweeted this, remarking, "Thank you!!! It's the nicest feeling when someone sees your intentions, so glad you like the journals." In this, Swift suggests her intentions are to promote fan writing, which structures a paratextual pedagogy of engagement. Fans are to write, not necessarily to create new narratives but to further identify with Swift in the nostalgic journaling of emotion. Further, in highlighting fans who thank her, she rewards those who follow her instructions to purchase and engage with the deluxe album. Swift uses the diaries to guide fans along a particular narrative and ask them to fill the gaps in her story. In doing so, she creates a common bond and reignites their passion for and allegiance to her.

6. Swift's love stories: The diary narratives

[6.1] All four deluxe editions of Lover work to establish these modes of nostalgia and create room for participation, but each edition's purpose to the Swift brand is somewhat different. Though the goal of having four unique journals is for fans to collect them all, there also needs to be value in only having one copy. Thus, all four versions must work in tandem with each other and alone. The journals all cover roughly the same time span—starting with entries Swift wrote when she was thirteen (Swift's favorite number) and continuing to entries she wrote in her mid-twenties. All the editions contain specific career highlights (awards won, sales goals met) and drafts of lyrics—highlighting the authorial image that McNutt (2020) discusses. Each journal also includes normal teenage moments, connecting Swift to a more universal narrative of girlhood. Yet we can also look at the journals in the way they each highlight a different theme to establish the Swift brand and guide the fan toward proper consumption of Swift's star persona. For each version, I will discuss the primary paratextual messages that are key to Swift's crafting of identity in the volumes.

[6.2] Version 1 as a paratext reinforces bedroom culture—how girls define and work through their identity and interests within their room—and youthful ambition, setting the stage for envisioning Swift's journey. It establishes the girlhood motif and helps carry it through to the present day. As one fan tweeted at Swift, "It felt like I was getting to know you even more…a lot of the things you wrote, I was going through too (minus the being a pop star part)." We can see that Swift establishes identification even in the "pop star part" by connecting it to girlish dreams we could all have. Swift has a vested interest in making girliness not just nostalgia for the past but an endlessly circulating idea in the present. The first page of what we are to presume is her first actual journal (labeled "March 2003, 13 years") is scanned here, with "Journal #1" written on the page, as well as a label of "Property of Taylor Swift." Hearts, stars, and clouds surround her name, and doodles abound, including what looks to be a charm bracelet with a guitar and her lucky number thirteen. On one side of the opening two-page spread are lyrics from fellow country artist Kenny Chesney and on the other side are Taylor's own quotes, portraying her future ambitions in the form of girlish dreams. Alongside her signature she has written, "That could be worth money someday!! just kidding, hehe." By including this moment, Swift can add to the joy of her fans who know that her signature will indeed be worth a lot of money, but the entry also serves to reassure fans that she was once like them, only wishing for a big success. The first full entry ("August 25, 2003, 13 years") is one she chose to read aloud as part of her Lover's Lounge promotional event for the album. "Today was my first day of school," she begins before expressing relief that she is no longer the embarrassing seventh-grader of the year before. She writes, "I never knew how stupid I must have looked, carrying around that HUGE bookbag, running and bumping into everybody trying to get to class on time." She then includes her current class schedule and her locker combination. The next entry from Valentine's Day ("February 14, 2004, 14 years") notes, "I don't have a boyfriend or a crush" before remarking on the song she is currently working on. Before the discussion can transition to her career, and occasions like going to the Met Gala and meeting Bon Jovi, Swift wants to establish this journal narrative with all the signifiers of youthful sincerity.

[6.3] If this journal is about growing up, it ends definitively with a loss of innocence. She writes ("January 25, 2014, 24 years"), "It's the middle of the night and I was at the Clive Davis Party Tonight which means the Grammys are tomorrow. Never have I felt so good about our chances. Never have I wanted something as badly as I want to hear them say 'Red' is the album of the year." What is curious here is what Swift leaves out—she will not win album of the year the next day but lose it to Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (2013). Yet we have no journal entries that process her reaction to that loss. We are shut out of the emotions of the aftermath and yet like a good melodrama, it plays on the tension of what we know. One could argue that Swift wants to end on a high note, but the gap is also purposeful, as Swift chooses exactly when to leave the reader looking for more. Many reactions to this entry on Twitter are simply emojis, GIFs, or memes, all of which capture the devastation the fan is also feeling. As one fan tweeted, "That's it, that's the journal page that tore my souls [sic] in half." I should note here that these fan reactions are part of a common practice of tweeting the moments that stand out in the journal—almost acting as a live group chat about the reading experience.

[6.4] Henry Jenkins (1992) has discussed the ways in which fans focus on the aspects of the text that they want to highlight, dismiss those that are of less interest to them, and recontextualize the narrative from their preferred perspective in acts of "textual poaching." He also has shown how this can be encouraged by producers in their storytelling by leaving gaps for the reader/viewer/listener to fill in (Jenkins 2006). Swift encourages fan interest by leaving gaps but also attempts to contain it—teaching the fans to accept her dominant star identity. Swift knows how to stimulate fan interest through these openings. However, Swift also wants fans to feel satisfaction in remembering the old narrative she has created rather than a new narrative of their own design. While fans could use the gaps in a speculative way, Swift's other practices have encouraged fans to insert the knowledge that they already have. This text's primary audience is the fan who knows immediately what is missing, even if it could prompt a less educated fan to find out what happened next. For the fan who instantly has all the facts and figures, it is not much to supply the "what" of what happened. But in having to reach for that moment and write what the next entry might be, the fan finds themselves further identifying with Swift. In reading the entry, we add the pathos in the elision and become part of the affective experience.

[6.5] Version 2 of the journal creates a paratext that envisions the fans as part of Swift's battle. In addition to making fans feel her defeats, Swift has often wanted fans to join her in her various vendettas. Simone Driessen (2022) notes how Swift tries to emotionally move fans to support her political causes, while Daisy Pignetti (2022) recognizes how Swift also mobilizes these fans to participate in her feuds. Like Swift's discussions of romance at concerts, fans are called by Swift to join her in collective anger. Version 2 hails this behavior by beginning with a quote from Swift's song "Long Live": "Long live the magic we made and bring on all the pretenders cause one day we will be remembered." This song is not only a fan favorite but one that Swift explicitly dedicates to fans—the magic is the one created between her and her audience. In starting this way, Swift reminds fans of the community they share and the way they are implicated in her success and her battles. Fans need to know these battles to understand the deeper meaning of several of the entries. Most significantly, she describes her feelings about meeting with various record labels ("November 5, 2004, 14 years old"). She writes, "This last week was CRAZY. Ok, so Capitol Records doesn't think I'm ready right now, and I could get a deal right now with them, but not the deal I would want. So on the other hand, there's Scott Borchetta, who we met w/at Universal. And you know I really loved all the stuff he said in the meeting, and he stayed for the whole Bluebird show. And he's so passionate about this project. I think that's the way we're gonna go. I want to surround myself with passionate people." At first glance, it's easy to dismiss this entry as just one part of the Taylor Swift career timeline. Yet at the time of Lover's release, Scott Borchetta has gone from friend to foe, as he betrayed Swift by selling away her masters to producer Scooter Braun, her chief enemy. We can see that the fans know how to react—as exemplified in one fan tweet: "I hate reading Taylor's journal entries about SB, knowing that he betrayed her in the way that he did." The final entry ("August 29, 2016, 26 years") in this journal asks the reader to fill in similar blanks. Swift writes just one sentence, "This Summer is the apocalypse." It is up to the fan to know the rest. In the summer of 2016, she broke up with her then boyfriend, the DJ and producer Calvin Harris, but also had to deal with an important incident in the Swift/Kanye West feud. After Swift was publicly upset about West's references to her on his song "Famous," West's wife at the time, Kim Kardashian, released a video where you could hear Swift approving of the song over a phone conversation. Swift's fans had come to her defense online during this incident, and here they are asked to relive their anger. Swift also reminds fans that her memories are their memories, rewarding their commitment with these Easter eggs, while helping them continue to pledge their devotion.

[6.6] Version 3 of the journal creates a paratext of mastery, showing that Swift has moved out of the shadow of those who controlled her. It focuses on Swift's auteur narrative and the transition she had to make from her regular life to her professional one. This version starts with her potential ideas for the Speak Now tour staging and ends with her decision on an album cover for 1989. In between, there are still many entries of teenage emotion, but the moments are chosen to connect these feelings to her work. She writes ("May 19, 2003, 13 years"), "Oh I was such a b★★★★ today!" She continues to lament how awful she was to everyone in a way that would be familiar to many a tween having a bad day. The cause of the bad day, though, is the pressure she is under to succeed in the business and her worry that all her achievements will go away. Fans continue these themes in their own journals, often writing of their professional goals. As one fan writes on Twitter, "Can't wait to write in this journal when I move to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry." Another Swift entry ("October 15, 2003, 13 years") connects a foundational myth for Swift—that of not being popular—with her hope that her career will make up for it. She writes, "I really have decided that school is a big disappointment. It's only cool when you're popular. I'm not. It's cool when you have a boyfriend. It's cool when everybody likes you. I don't have that. But my extracurricular 'life' is what really matters to me. I guess I'm just not good enough for people my own age. Or maybe I'm not bad enough?" Notably, Swift also chooses this entry to read at the Lover's Lounge event before the Lover album release, laughing at herself, and highlighting the girlhood moments again in the promotional tour. In doing so, she mocks the entry at the end, a self-deprecation that serves as another connection to the audience—as if to say, weren't we all so ridiculous once?

[6.7] This journal could be the most coveted for containing a highly desired gossip entry, the discussion of Kanye West's interruption of Swift's acceptance of Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards ("September 18, 2009, 19 years"). She writes, "Ahh…the things that can change in a week…Let's just say, if you told me that Kanye West would have been the number one focus of my week, the media, and my part in the VMAs, I would've looked at you crossed-eyed. If you had told me that I would win the award I was nominated for, I wouldn't have believed you. And if you had told me that one of the biggest stars in music was going to jump onstage and announce that he thought I shouldn't have won on live television, I would've said 'that stuff doesn't really happen in real life.' Well…apparently…it does." Again, this is an elision of the actual emotion, as she is asking the reader to fill in her sadness and her anger. Most of all, it reorients the crisis toward the dreamlike nature of her life and her disbelief in inhabiting it. While she wants to tell the tale of her growing success, it is always situated as distanced from the celebrity trappings of her occupation. The rest of the entries in this journal will further address her tours, her awards, and her growing fame, but she chooses to center the journal's narrative on her creative decisions: struggling to plan the music video for "Mean" or finding the perfect polaroid for the cover of 1989. Not only does this support the auteur Swift paratext position that McNutt (2020) discusses, it also keeps the discussion focused on changing identity that marks the notion of girlhood.

[6.8] Version 4 creates the paratext of the moment—connecting the nostalgia of the journals to the emotions of the album, furthering fannish desire for Swift's current narrative. This journal presents the ultimate branded Taylor Swift and sets the stage for exactly how she wants her audience to relate to her as they prepare to listen to the album. She name-drops a lot in this journal, no longer concerned about mentioning her famous friends—from Rascal Flatts to Sugarland to Ella (Lorde). But beyond establishing her identity as Swift the pop star, this journal seems to also include all the entries that Swift has used to craft her celebrity persona more broadly. She describes getting her new kitten, her relationship with her mother, and her big move to New York, all ideas that appear frequently in her songs and in her social media presence.

[6.9] For someone who writes about her romantic relationships often in her songs, Taylor in her journals usually avoids referencing them beyond general laments. In one of the final entries in Version 4 ("January 5, 2014, 24 years"), Swift states, "Dating is awful. Love is fiction/a myth. I'm over it all." And yet, she finishes this journal by jumping the furthest ahead of any of the editions ("January 3, 2017, 27 years"). In doing so, she lays the groundwork for the themes of Lover with reference to her boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, the subject of most of Lover's lyrics. Swift writes, "We have been together and no one has found out for 3 months now. I want it to stay that way because I don't want anything about this to change or become too complicated or intruded upon. But it's senseless to worry about someday not being happy when I am happy now. Ok. Breathe." Though public in her lyrics about many of her breakups, Swift is often private while in relationships, and particularly so in her relationship with Alwyn. To end with this entry—and to cite her desire to remain hidden—is in fact to open up to the fan, further letting them in. Referential language is set up through the deluxe albums and used in Swift-fan exchanges online. For instance, Swift tweets, "Things will never be the same" (a lyric from "Daylight" on the Lover album) alongside photos of fans with their deluxe editions. In response, one fan tweets the photos of herself with the editions at Target and writes the line, "I am happy now. Ok. Breathe." Swift's words become shorthand for the fan's own emotions and their relationship with Swift.

7. Performing emotion

[7.1] Through the reproduction of her diaries in the deluxe album journals, Swift recontextualizes her work as a labor of love, which allows her to elide capitalism by framing all she produces as emotion. While relying on nostalgic connections may seem superficial or simply calculated, there is also value in how Swift restates this celebrity narrative through the lens of girlhood. In sharing with her audience, Swift destigmatizes those moments of embarrassment and celebrates the expression of all emotions, from crying to screaming to raging. She also celebrates the act of writing as part of this cathartic process. When previewing the deluxe editions to fans during her Instagram Live stream about the album, Swift shows the thirty pages of her own writing and photos and then flips to the middle of the book. She mentions, "And then it goes to your opportunity to turn this into your journal and, um, like process things in your life by writing about them." Writing is directly tied to the emotion and the presentation of feeling. Helena Louise Dare-Edwards (2018) discusses the way in which fangirls perform identity online through key smashing and the production of GIFs (2018). She writes, "As language connects to a gendered identity, it can also connect to a distinct and gendered fannish identity—one that mimics, through language, an embodied fangirl performance as it is most commonly understood and represented" (123). Though these journals are ostensibly private, the sharing of them through photos on social media spreads the act of journaling and performance of girlhood beyond the bedroom.

[7.2] Swift also encourages another kind of nostalgia in her creation of these editions. Gil Bartholeyns names nostalgia brought on by a specific action as self-induced nostalgia, writing, "The ways in which we do this—by writing poems, going up into the attic or taking meditative walks—could be regarded as Foucauldian 'techniques of the self,' or methods we use to bring aesthetic value to our lives" (2014, 55). Swift promotes a self-induced nostalgia and fannish reflection through the prompt to journal-write. She sets the stage for fans to embody her experience through the direct connection of both her journal and theirs—bound in the same cover and saying "This journal belongs to _____" to mimic the introduction of her own diary entries. She encourages fans to use the journals in the same way she did. Many fans who present their reactions online cite the deluxe albums as a moment for them to return to journaling as a lost girlhood behavior. Yet as their memories are entwined with fandom, these journals can also provide a space to journal about Swift, creating what I would categorize as a metafandom, where the fan is fannish about their fandom, eventually leading to a fandom of the self. Fans create their own microcelebrity performance as they enact what Swift would enact and shape their narrative the way Swift would shape her narrative, but then publicize their own entries to other fans for consumption. Francesca Coppa identifies the ways in which fan fiction has a lineage in performance and particularly "is a cultural performance that requires a live audience; fan fiction is not merely a text, it is an event" (2014, 232). It is easy to see Swift's journals through the lens of celebrity and identification, but we can also see the journals through a lens of fiction. Swift crafts the narrative she wants the fans to see and performs it for them by opening her diaries to public viewing. In turn the fans fill in her gaps with their own emotions, embodying her living text and presenting their own diary entries for public consumption online. Then they retell their own lives through the staging Swift has provided. Several fans met Swift at her pop-up merch store in promotion of the album and wrote in their diary, "Today I met Taylor" before sharing it online. Other fans began their entries by detailing how long they had been in the fandom. As one fan tweeted, she could not wait to write about all her "release week experiences." This crafting of identity is a crafting of a fannish identity as well, a documentation of fan labor and fan goals. In presenting their emotions, the fans make known the work the diary has done all along—acting as a feminine space for creation and processing of identity. In presenting their fandom, these fans also recognize the intersections of this identity with the commercial culture they are participating in.

8. Conclusion

[8.1] Swift's album releases have long centered on the endless search for clues, to the point that every post or comment made by her is examined by fans, and the Lover release is no exception. This sets the stage for reading into the ellipses in her journal narratives, to consider what she has left in and left out. In this way, fans do not quibble with the large amount of craft and curation that goes into Swift's authenticity, because it is part of the greater game for them to find the reality. To address lower sales from the proliferation of digital music, Swift has developed a marketing strategy to use the tangible and nostalgic to heighten engagement with her fans. She continues this idea to enhance streaming numbers as well. To boost digital plays, she promoted Lover for the digital music platform Spotify with a special "Love, Taylor" enhanced playlist, a mix tape for the digital age with her singles and other love songs of her choosing. This playlist included love letters recited by Swift but also showcased images of her handwritten notes. Similarly, these letters were recreated as billboards and newspaper advertisements with her signature at the bottom, suggesting the name of the playlist, "Love, Taylor." These lyrical previews are presented as love notes from Swift to the fans, reaffirming what her concert rhetoric has often said—that her romance is for the fans. Of course, the fans both take this message and interpolate it, often changing their Twitter signatures to "Love, ____." This places their own name as a reply not just to Swift but to other fans as well. Here we can see how the letters must both be physical and digital—Swift's handwriting recreated for an online space.

[8.2] Swift has turned to multiple forms of her album, from cassette to CD to vinyl, to reaffirm physical sales and create a need for this technology among fans as they search for the right equipment to actually play these physical objects. Even as Swift shifted genres from bubblegum pop to folk for Folklore (2020) and Evermore (2020), much of the iconography from these albums recalls a different 1990s girl culture. In the marketing for these albums, Swift's costuming replicates the floral baby-doll dresses and long cardigans emblematic of cottagecore—a fashion aesthetic celebrating the pastoral—and the videos showcase a wooded fairyland. This persona still relies on a triggering of girlish nostalgia. Swift fans are often being asked to return to the moment of Swift's own girlhood decade, but the notion of a girlhood diary crosses generations, allowing her nostalgia to become the fans' nostalgia, no matter their age. In this physical journal, Swift celebrates a joint girlhood space, one where emotion unites her with her fans. While Swift is often derided by critics for her inauthenticity, in crafting her own persona and showcasing it to fans she acknowledges the way in which one must write oneself. Swift's past becomes present, and her present becomes past, and this circle is central in keeping fans invested in earlier forms of media, as well as earlier experiences, increasing the desire to relive the emotions that are showcased throughout Swift's works. In doing so, Swift cultivates a girlish fandom, one that revels in the experience of emotion and togetherness as fans and Swift unite against any slights by the world.

[8.3] At the same time, fans are asked to see their own journey through the lens Swift provides, encouraging a microcelebrity self that aligns them with Swift's own narrative journey. The continuum that microcelebrity practices create between star and fan (Marwick and boyd 2011) allows an easy and constant inversion between Swift and her audience. That is, she normalizes aspects of her life and uses a rhetoric of friendship to connect the whole fandom. In return, the audience is elevating their status with Swift and other fans through presenting their own stories alongside hers. In this metafandom, the act of being fannish becomes an object unto itself. Swift remediates her personal past into her celebrity present through the remediation of tangible journals into produced text into digital presentation. Fans remediate themselves into Swift's narratives, while ultimately remediating the very notion of fandom. In translating themselves into the text, they become the object of fandom and fans of this fannishness. Centering her star text on such specific ideas of girlhood and performances of emotion, Swift encourages this new type of fan identity, allowing fans to become part of her story while ultimately telling stories about themselves.

9. References

Bartholeyns, Gil. 2014. "The Instant Past: Nostalgia and Digital Retro Photography." In Media and Nostalgia: Yearning for the Past, Present, and Future, edited by Katharina Niemeyer, 51–69. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bolter, Jay David, and Richard Grusin. 1999. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Booth, Paul. 2015. Playing Fans: Negotiating Fandom and Media in the Digital Age. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.

Caulfield, Keith. 2021. "Taylor Swift Scores 10th No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart with 'Red (Taylor's Version).'" Billboard, November 11, 2021.

Click, Melissa A., Hyunji Lee, and Holly Wilson Holladay. 2013. "Making Monsters: Lady Gaga, Fan Identification, and Social Media." Popular Music and Society 36 (3): 360–79.

Coppa, Francesca. 2014. "Writing Bodies in Space: Media Fan Fiction as Theatrical Performance." In The Fan Fiction Studies Reader, edited by Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse, 218–37. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.

Coulter, Natalie. 2014. Tweening the Girl: The Crystallization of the Tween Market. New York: Peter Lang.

Dare-Edwards, Helena Louise. 2018. "Fangirling and Mimetic Language: The Power of Feels, Reclaiming Emotion, and Fangirl Performativity on Tumblr." In Mediated Girlhoods: New Explorations of Girls' Media Culture, Vol. 2, edited by Morgan Genevieve Blue and Mary Celeste Kearney, 119–36. New York: Peter Lang.

Driessen, Simone. 2022. "Look What You Made Them Do: Understanding Fans' Affective Responses to Taylor Swift's Political Coming-Out." Celebrity Studies 13 (1): 93–96.

Duffett, Mark. 2017. "I Scream, Therefore I Fan: Music Audiences and Affective Citizenship." In Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, Second Edition, edited by Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington, 143–56. New York: New York University Press.

Dyer, Richard. 1991. "A Star is Born and the Construction of Authenticity." In Stardom: Industry of Desire, edited by Christine Gledhill, 136–44. London: Routledge.

Ehrenreich, Barbara, Elizabeth Hess, and Gloria Jacobs. 1992. "Beatlemania: Girls Just Want to Have Fun." In Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, edited by Lisa A. Lewis, 84–106. New York: Routledge.

Ellcessor, Elizabeth. 2012. "Tweeting @feliciaday: Online Social Media, Convergence, and Subcultural Stardom." Cinema Journal 51 (2): 46–66.

Fogarty, Mary, and Gina Arnold. 2021. "Are You Ready for It? Re-Evaluating Taylor Swift." Contemporary Music Review 40 (1): 1–10.

Geraghty, Lincoln. 2014. Cult Collectors: Nostalgia, Fandom and Collecting Popular Culture. London: Routledge.

Grainge, Paul. 2000. "Nostalgia and Style in Retro America: Moods, Modes, and Media Recycling." Journal of American Culture 23 (1): 27–34.

Gray, Jonathan. 2010. Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts. New York: New York University Press.

Hills, Matt. 2012. "'Twilight' Fans Represented in Commercial Paratexts and Inter-Fandoms: Resisting and Repurposing Negative Fan Stereotypes." In Genre, Reception, and Adaptation in the 'Twilight' Series, edited by Anne Morey, 113–30. Surrey: Ashgate.

Jenkins, Henry. 1992. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge.

Jenkins, Henry. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.

Kearney, Mary Celeste. 2007. "Productive Spaces: Girls' Bedrooms as Sites of Cultural Production." Journal of Children and Media 1 (2): 126–41.

Kearney, Mary Celeste. 2015. "Sparkle: Luminosity and Post-Girl Power Media." Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 29 (2): 263–73.

Levine, Mark. 2018. "Are Deluxe Editions Like Taylor Swift's 'Reputation' Saving Physical Album Sales?" Billboard, March 29, 2018.

Marwick, Alice, and danah boyd. 2011. "To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter." Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 17 (2): 139–58.

McNutt, Myles. 2020. "From 'Mine' to 'Ours': Gendered Hierarchies of Authorship and the Limits of Taylor Swift's Paratextual Feminism." Communication, Culture & Critique, 13:72–91.

McRobbie, Angela, and Jenny Garber. 1991. "Girls and Subcultures." In Feminism and Youth Culture: From "Jackie" to "Just Seventeen," edited by Angela McRobbie, 1–15. London: Macmillan.

Mitchell, Claudia, and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh. 2005. Seven Going on Seventeen: Tween Studies in the Culture of Girlhood. New York: Peter Lang.

Niemeyer, Katharina. 2014. "Introduction." In Media and Nostalgia: Yearning for the Past, Present, and Future, edited by Katharina Niemeyer, 1–26. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pignetti, Daisy. 2022. "Petty Things and Nemeses." Celebrity Studies 13 (1): 108–12.

Projansky, Sarah. 2007. "Mass Magazine Cover Girls: Some Reflections on Postfeminist Girls and Postfeminism's Daughters." In Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture, edited by Yvonne Tasker and Diane Negra, 40–72. Durham: Duke University Press.

Sisario, Ben. 2019. "Taylor Swift's 'Lover' Is No. 1, but Falls Short of a Million Sales." New York Times, September 2, 2019.

Sloan, Nate. 2021. "Taylor Swift and the Work of Songwriting." Contemporary Music Review 40 (1): 11–26.

Stein, Louisa, and Kristina Busse. 2009. "Limit Play: Fan Authorship between Source Text, Intertext, and Context." Popular Communication 7 (4): 192–207.

Théberge, Paul. 2021. "Love and Business: Taylor Swift as Celebrity, Businesswoman, and Advocate." Contemporary Music Review 40 (1): 41–59.

Wilkinson, Maryn. 2019. "Taylor Swift: The Hardest Working, Zaniest Girl in Show Business…" Celebrity Studies 10 (3): 441–4.