The Taylor Swift/Barbie Phenomena

It has been the summer of women.

Please don’t freak — this is not the coy beginning to some left-wing feminist rant.

It’s actually not a commentary on feminism at all…shockingly. Although, it’s only my second “real” week back blogging, so just give me another couple days, and I’m sure I will have something to say on that front….just give it time 😉

But it seems like this summer has been the summer of Swifties and Barbies. Taylor Swift recently sold out two nights at the Bengals Stadium in Cincinnati last month.

It was an absolute teenybop madhouse. Downtown Cincinnati was completely overtaken with groups of young ladies and girls, all dressed in Taylor Swift costumes. That’s the thing about this tour: the attendees all dress like one of Taylor’s multiple albums. So it’s one big costume party. And for as chaotic as the city became, it was great to see all the fun being had.

That being said…don’t get me started about the satanic imagery in her concert…that will be another post…

And then of course, Barbie has been making waves with a staggering $781 million in global box office sales.

Everyone and their brother has been posting America Ferrera’s monologue in the movie about womanhood…

“You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood...But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged…And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.” (Insert eye roll emoji here)

And again…this post is not about that either…though, again. Give it time. I need to see the movie, and then I will have some blog-worthy commentary.

All that to say, everyone is either donning hot pink, or wearing a Swifties friendship bracelet this summer.

And as I’ve been sitting here, watching all of this girl-power madness unfold in front of me, it has never been more clear to me how desperately the culture is longing to belong. They’re longing for something good to rally around. They’re yearning for a champion. A cause. Something to stand for. This is indicative of the goodness of society, truthfully.

But this yearning to belong — to identify with something so much that they’ll go as far as dressing like their idol — it is misplaced adoration. And frankly, it’s idolatry, disguised in bubble gum pink or catchy pop beats.

But what their hearts are actually yearning for, is the peace that comes that knowing you belong to Jesus.

Swifties do this beautiful thing where they make friendship bracelets, and then at the concerts, they exchange them with other fans they meet. It’s a beautiful act of community and one-ness.

The first time I witnessed these bracelet exchanges when the Swifties were in Cincinnati, the first thing I thought of was how, during the days of the early church when Christians were being persecuted, Christ-followers would draw half of a fish in the sand in front of someone, and if that person also followed Christ, they would draw the other half, not only completing the fish, but also signifying that they were on the same team, and safe. It was their secret language, or code word if you will.

What would happen if all that energy and enthusiasm and feeling of belonging went into the brother-and-sisterhood of Christ?

People are yearing for something bigger than themselves — even if it is a fandom, or a Barbie propaganda movement. People are lost and searching for something to stand for. Something to unite them with others.

Frankly, it shows that there is a huge “gap in the market” for Christ.

But just imagine a world where people got that excited for church. Where, instead of worshipping Taylor or Barbie, we sold out the Bengals stadium to collectively come together to worship Christ? Just imagine.

And given the response to these two female powerhouses this summer, the world is ready for it.

But are they ready for what else comes with following Christ: picking up your cross, abandoning worldly desires, changing the way you live to adopt His commands.

I’ll leave that one in the Holy Spirit’s court.

But anyways…that’s just my thoughts for tonight.

What do you think? Have you seen the Barbie movie? Did you see Taylor Swift this summer? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until Wednesday…

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37 responses to “The Taylor Swift/Barbie Phenomena”

  1. Wow, Caralyn, your post is spot on! I’ve also thought about this whole Taylor Swift concerts and Barbie movie as idolatry. How very sad, and this backs up what the Bible has to say about the end of days that is coming. You are a wonderful woman, Caralyn, God bless you both and your marriage! ❤️✝️🙏🏻

    • Thank you John!! I agree — we have certainly made idols of them. What starts out harmless can transform into something dangerous for sure. Agreed! thanks for sharing this great insight! hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs and love xox

    • I did wonder if some of the songs were really a warning because she looks totally normal for the singing of some of the songs from what I have seen. I choose to think she is letting us know all is not well!

    • Yeah. Healthy enjoyment is one thing, but when it turns into adoration, that’s quite another. Thanks Paula for stopping by and sharing your insight! have a great night! Hugs and love xox

  2. I’ve been pondering this for several decades now, and I’m hoping someone smarter than me will see the answer. Traditional churches have been closing branches across America, and yet entertainment churches and weird cults are thriving. People are definitely searching and I have not been able to crack the code of drawing them back to a traditional church of their choice.

    • You are SO SPOT ON about that — we are looking for faith entertainment where we can bring starbucks and have a rock concert. There is a beauty in sacred reverence. Sure, there’s a time and place to intrigue people to learn more about the faith, and upbeat praise and worship music sessions are great for that, but that can’t be the be-all-end-all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    • I read a book several years ago, Already Gone. Which delved into the problem of so many people leaving the church, especially our youth. I recommend you get it to answer your question.

  3. 6 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

    2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

    3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;

    4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

    5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

    6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

    7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

    8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.

    9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?

    10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

    11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

    12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

    13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

    14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

    15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

    16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

    17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

    18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

    19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

    20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

    21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

    22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

    23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

    24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

    25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

    26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

    27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

    28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

    29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

    30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

    31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

    32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

    33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

    34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

    35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

    36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

    37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

    38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

    39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

    40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

    43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

    45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

    46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

    47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

    48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

    49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

  4. Deep down in everyone’s hearts, there is a need to belong. I’m not a T.Swift fan and I couldn’t tell you who the celebs are. I don’t have a favourite celebrity or anything. But with that being said…. I still want to see the Barbie movie. So much hype around that movie gives me massive FOMO.

    • you’re right about that, Hilary! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. i hear you there! Hugs and love xox

  5. I have no desire to see a movie where the main character is based on those plastic fashion dolls from my childhood. The toy company “Mattel” wanted us to believe in some fake perfection years ago, and I was hoping that we (as a society) had grown past that idea. Obviously not because Google says it’s the highest money-making movie this week. I just don’t get it and I don’t really want to either.

    • thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I agree – old habits die hard I guess! Funny how society has completely rejected all stereotypes of femaleness, and yet Barbie — arguably the epitome of the female stereotype – is fair game. how interesting indeed. so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  6. I noticed several normal-looking young men had purchased statuettes of the Roman household God Lares today. They are likely building shrines. I feel this is a bigger issue than Tayla Swift.

  7. Awww, Caralyn ….you’ve done it again! You’re such a smart and discerning young lady. You’re shining a light in the world and praying it’ll help dispell the darkness for many.
    So proud of you.

  8. Wow. Yes. This.

    I did not see Barbie or Taylor Swift this summer. But I did see Toad the Wet Sprocket, because I’m a middle-aged man. And that was a great show. I brought my friend, who I knew liked them back in their heyday but hadn’t followed them since they got back together in the early 2010s, and as the show started, my friend was doing the giddy jumping up and down in his seat thing, and he turned to me and said, “I feel like I’m 15 again!” And I had a few good random conversations with a couple of other middle-aged men. And their touring merch guy remembered me from when I saw them a little over a year ago and they didn’t have anything in my size. It was awesome. I bet Taylor Swift’s merch people won’t remember any of these costumed teenyboppers (or twentysomethings acting like teenyboppers) a year from now.

    (I was about to say “I bet Taylor Swift didn’t give any of them a hug after the show,” but I don’t think you know that story. It does not involve Toad the Wet Sprocket either. Message me if you want to know.)

  9. Caralyn, I believe you are so right! People are desperate for a place to belong. You and I know there is no place that will satisfy like the arms of Jesus. But, have you heard the amazing news about the mass baptism in California, of all places? People are flocking to Jesus too! And much of this is in response to the movie “Jesus Revolution” which tells the story of another time in recent history where people were desperately searching in all the wrong places and God drew them to Himself. I believe He is at it again and it will be incredibly exciting to see. Aren’t we blessed to get to be part of it? <3

  10. Very good observations, Caralyn. Belonging. Getting a sense of worth from others. I just started teaching a youth class this last Sunday with mostly inner-city kids that are driven in. I wasn’t sure if we’d connect, as I have so little in common. Well, I simply asked them what they wanted to talk about, and we’d see what the Bible might have to say. I can’t tell you how engaged they were! They hung on my every word, because I made a point of hanging on theirs.

    Not to make this about me, but rather to demonstrate your point of the power of feeling that belonging! Thanks for brining home such an important perspective. As to the movie, my daughter in Ohio saw it and loved it. Probably because she and her sister played with Barbie dolls so much. For entertainment value, I’m sure it’s a great ride. The only problem with that is if one doesn’t discern hidden agendas and is slowly drawn in.

    • Hey Jeff! Oh my gosh that is so awesome what you’re doing! Isn’t it amazing how kids respond to the truth! Amen to that – the feeling of belonging is vital for our spirits. We all want to feel connected with others at a deeper level than just hanging out or surface level things. Even with sports teams, you’re all working together towards the same goal, which is a beautiful togetherness. How much more when that depth is based in Christ. so glad you stopped by! i’ll be praying for your youth class! What a beautiful gift you’re giving those kids! sending hugs and love to you and your girls! xox

  11. Hi, Caralyn and welcome back to blog-world. Anita and I have seen neither the movie nor a Swift concert, and no plans for either. As you say, though, the world is longing for something or Someone, and if people do not find Jesus, they will be deceived by one who will come in His name, claiming power that only He really has, and promising peace that only He can give… and they will follow him to their end.
    Pray for revival of our nation and salvation for the lost.
    “There is one thing you cannot do in Heaven and that is share your faith with lost people.” (Mark Cahill)

  12. Substitute “Barbie” and Taylor” for “Trump” in this article, then we will have productive conversation.

    • Politics – on both sides of the aisle – has definitely become a religion for many people, Peter. I agree with you there.

  13. There is truth to what you say and a lot comes from the fact that the last few generation of parents I’ve seen, refused to give any spiritual guidance to their children. Children, in general are lost and floundering. They know they are missing something but they don’t know what and the few that have received some instruction have been swayed by their peers to abandon their beliefs. It’s a harsh world. Sadly, they then become captive to shallow idol worship, swayed every which way.

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