A Memo to The Tortured Moms Department: Taylor Isn’t Making Songs for Your Kids

Taylor Swift isn’t just for young girls anymore, and moms are pissed about it.

Uh-oh. I said a naughty word… please don’t come for me. You’re only allowed to go after Taylor for that kind of inappropriate language. No one else. That’s how it seems, at least. I’m not sure if you’ve heard the news yet, but Taylor Swift released a new album. The Tortured Poets Department — have you heard of it? Now that we’ve had some time to listen and digest all 31 new tracks (and everyone has come out of the woodwork to critique it), I thought it was time for a little mama-to-mama chat.

Why are moms so up in arms about Taylor’s new album, anyway? If you haven’t seen the articles floating all over social media, it’s because she, according to some, says too many swear words, talks about sex and adult behavior, mentions drugs and alcohol, and worships Satan. If you’re one of those moms, I’m sorry, because I most certainly am not. I’m a full-blown, 17-years-long Swiftie, and I’m not afraid to admit it. And I’m here for grownup, healing, raw, and honest Taylor.

READ: The Taylor Swift Obsession Explained: Why Moms Are Swifties, Too

Celebrating TTPD launch day in matching Taylor Swift sets I got for my daughter and myself.

We have to remember that Taylor isn’t a teenager (or even young girl in her 20s) anymore. She’s 34 years old and has experienced a fair share of heartbreak, loss, judgment, success, happiness, chaos, and grief, all while in the public eye. So she’s singing about mature things in her newer songs? Uhhhhh, yeah. I’d be more worried if she was still singing about the things she did when she first debuted. And a naughty word thrown in here and there? I’m okay with that, because I, too, use some of these words regularly as a form of expression. (Life is hard, okay?)

Who decided “bad words” are bad words, anyway? Unless they’re used in a derogatory manner or toward someone directly, they’re really just great, expressive words that make opinions and conversations way more fun if you ask me.

Maybe her new music is “not suitable for kids,” but it’s not a kids’ album. It’s an album made by an adult… about adult things. She’s never once marketed her music as ”children’s music.” In fact, the tracks on her albums with suggestive words or lyrics are marked with an “E” to identify that they are for mature audiences and contain explicit language. (Just like the Limp Bizkit, Ludacris, and Alanis Morissette albums we grew up listening to, and the rated “R” movies we weren’t supposed to watch until we were older.)

That big “E” right there? That doesn’t mean children’s music.

Words are a form of expression.

First of all, she’s a songwriter at her core. She learned to sing and play the guitar just so she could share the music she wrote. Writing is a form of expression. So are “suggestive” words. Why aren’t we allowed to use them? And if we are, why shouldn’t artists be?

Also, as grown women who have all had relationships end (and likely on bad terms at one time or another), have you not used less-than-perfect words when talking to a friend about it? I don’t think I could have gotten through a breakup without a few choice words.

These words can be therapeutic. Healing. But triggering? Unless she’s directing them to you (which honestly, I’d totally let Taylor cuss me out), I don’t see why it’s so offensive.

If you don’t want your kids listening to her new album because she says too many “bad” words, that’s your prerogative, but you can’t get upset with Taylor about it. It is our job as mothers and parents to teach our children what is wrong and what’s right, what words they shouldn’t use, how and when to use certain words, and to be good kids. That is not Taylor’s (or any other celebrity’s) responsibility.

Do I let my kids listen to Taylor Swift? I sure do! My 7-year-old daughter loves her and was counting down the days with me until the release of her new album. My husband and I have taught her what adult words are and that she should not say them. The less of a big deal we make it, the less of a big deal it is for her to try to say and do things she shouldn’t. She just skips over those words when singing her songs.

taylor swift
taylor swift

Think about the lyrics we all were singing in middle and high school. I vividly remember dancing with my crush to Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You” in the middle school gymnasium, watching the music video on VH1 to Spice Girls’ “When Two Become One” after school, choreographing dances to BSB’s “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” at sleepovers, and pressing play/pause on the cassette player hundreds of times trying to learn every line to Ludacris’ “What’s Your Fantasy” in 9th grade. Thank goodness for no social media back then, or our moms might have ruined the fun for us through rants and open letters, too!

Look at the positive.

Don’t we think we, as moms, should be focusing on all of the wonderful, positive things Taylor is doing and has done, and how our children should aspire to be like her in those ways instead? In my opinion, she’s an excellent role model for girls and women alike.

She knew what she wanted as an early teenager, and worked so hard for it that she convinced her parents to move to Nashville so she could chase her dream. She has been beaten and torn down time and again by critics and others in the industry, only to get back up and come back stronger each time. She’s taught us that it’s not okay for people to do you dirty or be bullies without consequence, which they’ve paid for by being victims of her songwriting. Which shows that it’s also okay to stand up for yourself and get back at people without physically harming them or even calling them out by name.

She’s taught us that women really can do it all. She’s a self-made billionaire. She’s selling out stadium shows around the world day after day. She has paved the way for other artists in the industry and opened doors for younger girls who want to live out their dreams, as well. She uplifts other women and artists, supports her friends, cheers on people when they do something great, lifts them up when they’re down, donates and contributes to communities and charities, appreciates her staff and the staff of venues she visits, advocates for women without apology… I could go on and on. AND, per her new song, she can do it with a broken heart.

My proud little Swiftie.

We’ve never seen suggestive photos or leaked videos of her and she’s never cursed anyone out publicly, been arrested, or done anything that I’d be embarrassed or ashamed for my own daughters to see. She takes risks, and she’s not afraid of failing. She admits when she’s wrong and takes the blame. THAT, to me, is a role model and what we should be focusing on.

It’s her music.

If you don’t like her music, don’t listen to it. If you don’t want your kids listening to her songs with bad language, don’t play it for them (or play the clean edits, because that is an option). But it’s time to stop blaming her for something she’s not at fault for and stop casting responsibilities onto someone who never asked for it. Her music is just that. Her music. We are just fortunate enough to get to enjoy it and sing along to the songs she’s written about her own life and experiences.

Maybe her music will shift when/if she becomes a mom herself, but then again, those songs may include even more venting and suggestive words. Until then, let’s not blame artists for their song choices, or judge other moms for what they decide their kids should and shouldn’t listen to. Oh, and if you need to get rid of tickets to one of her upcoming shows because of her potty mouth, I’ll gladly take them off your hands.

taylor swift
taylor swift
Blakeley Vinicky
Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Blakeley has been a Jacksonville resident for more than 14 years. She moved to Jax temporarily for an internship at The Jacksonville Landing (RIP), fell in love with the city and a boy (her now husband), and ended up sticking around. She is married to loud and crazy Chicago-native Jimmy Vinicky of nearly 10 years, and has two daughters, Daisy and Poppy. In addition to writing for Jacksonville Mom, she works full time in Public Relations, runs her own lifestyle blog This Blonde Life, and is a freelance makeup artist. She loves adventuring with her family, and you’ll rarely catch her sitting around home doing nothing. Her favorite local spots include Sipper’s and Breezy coffee houses, Wicked Barley Brewing, Cap’s on the Water, Ink Factory, happy hour at One Ocean’s Azurea, and soaking up rays at the beach.


  1. Wow. Way to take the seriousness out of a serious subject. I don’t think bad words are why people are up in arms about the new album. The satanic worship and blasphemy is why people with a conscious are saddened by her latest album. It shows who she really is and she is no role model I want my children following. But then even without social media my mom wouldn’t have allowed me to listen to the songs you mentioned from your childhood. Different standards for different households. Our job as parents is to protect their innocence for as long as possible. We have to take that seriously in this world.

  2. Yes! And I will totally be your Swiftie friend too! My daughter is only one and I’m so bummed she was too tiny to go to the tour! Such an amazing experience for moms and daughter who get to share it!!


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