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Her cool-kid anxiety is palpable
It's clear that Swift is at least a little tentative about taking huge stylistic leaps, though she seems to want to. It seems like she feels like going too far out into esoteric choices would be seen as phony be some imagined class of judgmental elitists that she repeatedly takes preemptive strikes against. Some of the clunkiest moments in otherwise enjoyably frothy songs are the references to people Taylor Swift is paranoid are too cool to be Taylor Swift fans. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" has it's "indie records that are much cooler than mine" eye-roll, "22" has some clunky "hipster" references, and inserts imagined naysayers "ew"-ing over Swift in ear shot of a crowded club. But what might have seemed like a defiant, damn the haters posture, actually comes across as sort of nakedly insecure, a front that fails to convince. But Swift's appeal form the start has been becoming something of a direct, relatable conduit to the messy feelings of young women. So, really her authenticity is only increased by entering her 20s worrying about what other people think, attempting boldly, and totally futilely to show us all that she couldn't care less.