Why the Glorification of Taylor Swift Harms People Like Me
I am neither a fan nor a hater of Taylor Swift. That said, I find her glorification problematic. What exactly am I talking about? I'm talking about her pandemic productivity, of course.
The Pandemic Has Wrecked Our Collective Mental Health
Apart from affecting physical health, the pandemic has also taken a toll on our mental health. I know a considerable number of people who have consulted therapists for the first time in their lives. When people without mental illnesses are struggling to the extent that they need professional help, imagine the impact of the pandemic on people with mental illnesses.
My depression and anxiety have become more severe, and I know I am not the only one. Online and offline friends who struggled with their mental health in pre-pandemic times are generally worse nowadays. And one area of life that has suffered as a result is productivity.
Productivity Has Taken a Hit
A task that previously took an hour now takes three-four hours. Inboxes are full of unanswered and unread emails. Starting each workday feels like a chore more now than ever. People who haven't answered the call of "the great resignation" are considering it even if they can't afford to resign. More and more of us are ending up burned out, disillusioned, and pro #AntiWork.
I have observed the above traits in myself, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift is releasing new versions of her old songs. Of course, this itself is not a problem. The problem is that the media is celebrating her pandemic productivity -- again. They did this last year when she released two albums in 2020. Thanks to the media, I have seen tweets and posts of people beating themselves up for being "useless and not even half as productive as Taylor Swift."
This Is What a Failed Society Looks Like
When survival is our most crucial challenge, why are we fixating on work? Why is productivity still a measure of our value in the world? Much of this obsession is due to our capitalistic society and influencers promoting overwork. Despite knowing these facts, I still judge myself occasionally for working fewer hours or taking a mental health day. Even though I know Taylor Swift is privileged because she is wealthy and white (two things I am not), I have compared myself to her. For folks unaware of privilege and the toxicity of hustle culture, their self-judgment is more frequent and intense.
If you are one of them, know this: it's normal if you are less productive than usual. Your mental health is much more important than your to-do lists. If you cannot work due to depression, you can use your paid leaves and rest your mind. If you are more anxious than you used to be, maybe reduce your workload. Whether you have long had mental health issues or are having them due to the pandemic, learn how to cope with them. At the end of the day, your holistic health is paramount.
Shaikh, M. (2021, December 22). Why the Glorification of Taylor Swift Harms People Like Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/workandbipolarordepression/2021/12/why-the-glorification-of-taylor-swift-harms-people-like-me