The XX Factor

Taylor Swift Takes on the Bullies

My 11-year-old son tells me that Taylor Swift is the singer the girls in his 5th grade class love best, even more than Justin Bieber. I hope they watch the new video for her song “Mean.” It’s a catchy tune made into a really well done bullying-prevention PSA. Instead of only being shown as lonely, miserable victims, the kids who are bullied come through just fine. One girl grows up and goes to work in a snazzy office. Another smiles rapturously as she watches Swift perform. The chorus reinforces the message of eventual triumph:

Someday I’ll be living in a big old city
and all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
and all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

My quibble is that the bullies are forever bad, with no room for redemption. But hey, that’s an excellent question Swift asks.