Swift is proving, once again, just how much her fans mean to her by taking time to respond to the ones who need her most.
An incoming high school freshman named Hannah Webster wrote to Swift on Instagram a few weeks ago, expressing her fears of being bullied in the new school year.
“Taylor, why are people at school so mean?” Hannah says in her message. “Why do they always try to bring me down? I’m sitting here crying while I write this. I don’t know what to do anymore. No matter what I do, it’s never good enough. There’s always something that I do wrong. I get made fun of for having big dreams or what I wear or things that I like. I just want to know why they do it, Taylor. Why do they do this to me? Why do they torture me and hate me so much? I’m starting high school Wednesday and I was actually pretty excited, but now, whenever I think about it I feel sick. I just want to feel wanted for once. I wanna feel like I belong. I just want to feel better than I do right now. Taylor, please help me. I need it desperately. I need a hug. I love you lots. Love, Hannah.”
The singer didn’t just respond to Hannah; she confided in her, too, about her own experiences dealing with bullies. Sure, we can tell you how moving and beautifully written the response is, but it’s better if you just read it for yourself.
Taylor Swift’s response
“Reading this made me so sad, because I love seeing you in your videos and photos being so happy and wide eyed, like the world isn’t as harsh and unfair as it actually is. I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, but I know why you’re crying, because I’ve been in your place. This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all.
“It’s just what they do, and you’re a target because you live your life loudly and boldly. You’re bright and joyful and so many people are cynical. They won’t understand you and they won’t understand me. But the only way they win is if your tears turn to stone and make you bitter like them. It’s OK to ask why. It’s OK to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over. Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song.
“You’re going into high school this week and this is your chance to push the reset button on how much value you give the opinion of these kids, most of whom have NO idea who they are. I’m so proud of you and protective of you because you DO. If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more. Every time someone picks on me, I’ll think of you in the hopes that every time someone picks on you, you’ll think of me… and how we have this thread that connects us. Let them keep living in the darkness and we’ll keep walking in the sunlight. Forever on your side, Taylor.”
Webster, as you can imagine, said she was “super excited” to receive Swift’s wise and compassionate response, according to ABC News.
I think we can all relate to the apprehension and uncertainty the 14-year-old feels. We hope Webster takes a page from Swift on this one and just shakes it off.
Whether you’re a Taylor Swift fan or not, I think we can all agree that we need more celebrities like her in the world.