Taylor Swift has a major milestone birthday this year — she’s turning 30. As her big birthday approaches, the 10-time Grammy award-winning pop singer is reflecting on 30 important lessons she has learned over the years about life, fears, accepting your failures and loving yourself in a deeply personal letter to fans.
In “30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30,” appearing in her cover story for Elle’s April issue, Swift writes, “According to my birth certificate, I turn 30 this year. It’s weird because part of me still feels 18 and part of me feels 283, but the actual age I currently am is 29.”
Ahead of her 30th birthday, Taylor Swift is sharing 30 things she learned before turning 30. “I’ve come to a realization that I need to be able to forgive myself for making the wrong choice, trusting the wrong person, or figuratively falling on my face in front of everyone,” she writes. “Step into the daylight and let it go.” Link in bio for the full essay penned by ELLE’s April cover star. ELLE April 2019: Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia Creative director: #stephengan Cover star: @taylorswift Photographer: @benhassett Stylist: @paulcavaco Wearing: @burberry Hair: @sergenormant Makeup: @francelledaly, @lovecraftbeauty Nails: @DeniseBourne37, @deborahlippmann Producer: Kristen Terry, @roscoproduction
“I've heard people say that your thirties are “the most fun!” So I’ll definitely keep you posted on my findings on that when I know. But until then, I thought I’d share some lessons I’ve learned before reaching 30, because it’s 2019 and sharing is caring,” Swift added.
Here’s are some of the biggest revelations Swift shared in her letter to fans.
Swift on Handling Bullies Because Haters Gonna Hate
In her letter, Swift opens up about how turning off the comments on her social media posts has helped her to “block some of the noise.”
“Yes, I keep comments off on my posts,” Swift writes. “That way, I’m showing my friends and fans updates on my life, but I’m training my brain to not need the validation of someone telling me that I look [fire emojis]. I’m also blocking out anyone who might feel the need to tell me to “go die in a hole ho” while I’m having my coffee at nine in the morning.”
Swift also tells fans to “be like a snake—only bite if someone steps on you,” adding that “being sweet to everyone all the time can get you into a lot of trouble.” The pop star says to not let people take advantage of your niceness.
Swift also tells fans to “banish the drama,” particularly if it is draining you and hurting you.
According to E! News, one of her most important lessons in regards to bullies is that she has learned to disarm them by learning to laugh.
“A few years ago, someone started an online hate campaign by calling me a snake on the internet,” she wrote.
“The fact that so many people jumped on board with it led me to feeling lower than I’ve ever felt in my life, but I can’t tell you how hard I had to keep from laughing every time my 63-foot inflatable cobra named Karyn appeared onstage in front of 60,000 screaming fans,” she added.
“It’s the Stadium Tour equivalent of responding to a troll’s hateful Instagram comment with ‘lol.’ It would be nice if we could get an apology from people who bully us, but maybe all I’ll ever get is the satisfaction of knowing I could survive it, and thrive in spite of it,” Swift said.
But Swift noted that she has learned that she has “friends and fans in my life who don't care if I'm #canceled,” adding that she’ll never forget the ones who stuck by her through the worst of times.
Swift on Love and Relationships
Swift cautioned fans to not be so easily swayed by first impressions because “all that glitters isn’t gold.”
“It’s impressive when someone can charm people instantly and own the room, but what I know now to be more valuable about a person is not their charming routine upon meeting them (I call it a ‘solid first 15’), but the layers of a person you discover in time,” she wrote.
Swift has also learned to not care about how others view her relationships.
“For too long, the projected opinions of strangers affected how I viewed my relationships,” she wrote. “Whether it was the general internet consensus of who would be right for me, or what they thought was ‘couples goals’ based on a picture I posted on Instagram. That stuff isn’t real.”
“For an approval seeker like me, it was an important lesson for me to learn to have my OWN value system of what I actually want,” she added.
According to ABC News, the pop star also notes that it’s important to apologize to those we love that we may have hurt, even if it was unintentional, so you don’t break the trust in your relationship.
But she acknowledged that relationships do sometimes fade, saying there is a “difference between lifelong friendships and situationships.” Sometimes we outgrow our relationships, “but you’ll always keep the memories.”
Swift on Self-Love and Body Positivity
Swift touches on her feelings about body image and how she has come to learn to love the skin she is in.
“I learned to stop hating every ounce of fat on my body,” she wrote. “I worked hard to retrain my brain that a little extra weight means curves, shinier hair, and more energy.”
“I think a lot of us push the boundaries of dieting, but taking it too far can be really dangerous,” she continued. “There is no quick fix. I work on accepting my body every day.”
Swift also touched on her concerns with the stigma surrounding aging.
“Society is constantly sending very loud messages to women that exhibiting the physical signs of aging is the worst thing that can happen to us,” she wrote. “These messages tell women that we aren’t allowed to age. It’s an impossible standard to meet.”
Swift acknowledged that The Good Place star and body positivity advocate Jameela Jamil has inspired her.
“Reading her words feels like hearing a voice of reason amongst all these loud messages out there telling women we’re supposed to defy gravity, time, and everything natural in order to achieve this bizarre goal of everlasting youth that isn’t even remotely required of men,” Swift said.
Swift on Embracing Your Failures
With her massive success in the music industry, Swift also realizes that failure is a big part of life, and that failure is normal.
“Trying and failing and trying again and failing again is normal,” Swift wrote. “It may not feel normal to me because all of my trials and failures are blown out of proportion and turned into a spectator sport by tabloid takedown culture (you had to give me one moment of bitterness, come on).”
“It’s good to mess up and learn from it and take risks,” she added. “It’s especially good to do this in your twenties because we are searching.”
Swift on Prioritizing Her and Her Fans Safety
The pop star talked about how the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing at an Ariana Grande concert and the 2017 shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival terrified her and she wanted to ensure that her fans would be safe.
“I was completely terrified to go on tour this time because I didn’t know how we were going to keep 3 million fans safe over seven months,” she shared. “There was a tremendous amount of planning, expense, and effort put into keeping my fans safe.”
Swift revealed that she carries QuikClot army grade bandage dressing, which is used for gunshot or stab wounds.
“Websites and tabloids have taken it upon themselves to post every home address I’ve ever had online,” she wrote. “You get enough stalkers trying to break into your house and you kind of start prepping for bad things.”
Swift on Establishing Her Political Voice
The singer has notably become a lot more vocal when it comes to politics, and even publicly endorsed a Democratic candidate for Tennessee Senate before the midterm elections. She took to social media to even encourage her fans to vote.
“I took a lot of time educating myself on the political system and the branches of government that are signing off on bills that affect our day-to-day life,” she wrote, reflecting on her decision to speak out about her political opinions. “I saw so many issues that put our most vulnerable citizens at risk, and felt like I had to speak up to try and help make a change.”
And it looks like Swift isn’t going to stop being outspoken about her opinions.
“Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders, and I realized that it actually is my responsibility to use my influence against that disgusting rhetoric. I'm going to do more to help,” she wrote, adding “we have a big race coming up next year.”
Swift on Believing Sexual Assault Victims
Swift, who won a sexual assault lawsuit against former radio host David Mueller in 2017, shared her thoughts on the importance of believing sexual assault victims.
“It’s my opinion that in cases of sexual assault, I believe the victim,” she wrote.
“Coming forward is an agonizing thing to go through,” she added. “I know because my sexual assault trial was a demoralizing, awful experience.”
“Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders, and I realized that it actually is my responsibility to use my influence against that disgusting rhetoric,” #TaylorSwift writes for ELLE’s April issue. “I’m going to do more to help. We have a big race coming up next year.” Link in bio to read the full essay. ELLE April 2019: Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia Cover star: @taylorswift Photographer: @benhassett Stylist: @paulcavaco Wearing: @gucci Hair: @sergenormant Makeup: @francelledaly, @lovecraftbeauty Nails: @DeniseBourne37, @deborahlippmann Producer: Kristen Terry, @roscoproduction
“I believe victims because I know firsthand about the shame and stigma that comes with raising your hand and saying ‘This happened to me.’ It’s something no one would choose for themselves. We speak up because we have to, and out of fear that it could happen to someone else if we don’t,” she concluded.
To check out the rest of the lessons that Swift has learned, head on over to Elle.
The April issue of Elle hits newsstands March 26, E! News reports.