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Taylor Swift’s “Mean”: Does it Strengthen Christian Teens Who are Bullied?

Have you heard Taylor Swift’s song “Mean”? It’s nominated for three Country Music Awards this year: Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Music Video of the Year. Swift’s album “Speak Now” is also nominated, plus she’s up for Entertainer of the Year.

Some have said that the song is directed at a specific person Swift knows, while others say it’s directed at bullies. Swift hasn’t revealed the truth, to my knowledge, but the music video indicates the latter. I think the song’s very inspiring for Christian teens who have experienced bullying or who currently are being bullied. Here are some of the lyrics.

You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me
You have knocked me off my feet again got me feeling like I’m nothing
You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard, calling me out when I’m wounded
You, pickin’ on the weaker man
Well, you can take me down with just one single blow
But you don’t know what you don’t know
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?
You, with your switching sides and your walk-by lies and your humiliation
You, have pointed out my flaws again as if I don’t already see them
I’ll walk with my head down trying to block you out ’cause I’ll never impress you
I just wanna feel okay again
I’ll bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold
But the cycle ends right now ’cause you can’t lead me down that road…

I think Swift’s song calls out to all victims of bullying. It’s as if she’s standing beside each one in solidarity. I believe her words are intended to offer hope in moments of pain and humiliation. I think they are meant to instill strength and to motivate each victim to recognize their self worth. Do they?

Sometimes in moments of adversity, a song can bring strength to those who feel that there is no hope. Sometimes God’s love is revealed through a song or His words are spoken throughout the lyrics.

The truth about bullies is that they are very insecure about themselves, so they pick on people who they believe are weaker or inferior. The irony is that they are the weaker party. Swift’s song relays how victims can rise above the adversity, leaving the bully behind.

Take a look at the music video and let me know what you think.

I pray for all victims of bullying and ask God to strengthen and comfort them, and keep them safe.

If you are interested in Taylor Swift’s song “Mean,” check out the Country Music Awards live on November 9. The show will be airing on ABC, and Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will be hosting.

Do you think that Taylor Swift’s song “Mean” is an inspiring song? If you’re currently being bullied, does it help strengthen you?

Poll

Are you a fan of Taylor Swift?

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65 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by COUNTRYGAL on January 1, 2012 at 09:34

    I love Taylow Swift she is very inspirational, she always looks great and is very modest and her songs are very relatable.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by 101magster on December 11, 2011 at 11:36

    i looove taylor swift! the weird thing is, the “popular” jerks at my school are obsessed with her. One of the really mean girls who hates me only because i have the guts to stand up to her, said her favorite taylor swift song is mean. I found that ironic because it seems like something i might say to her (because in the song Taylor seems to be talking directly to a bully) not that my fav song is mean but that i will have a better life one day becaause she thinks school work is pointless and that she is too cool for everything and that she is perfect, when in reality, she is not

  3. Splendisa

    Posted by Splendisa on November 29, 2011 at 19:23

    I love this song, and I am so proud of her! The whole thing about a picture of her topless, on that same website there were supposed pictures of other celebs, and she was the first one to do anything about it! Before they shut the website down, people went to look at the picture, and they said it didn’t even look like her! She may not be perfect, no one is, but I think she is a pure, sweet, wonderful girl, and a great role model! GO TAYLOR!!! 🙂 <3

  4. Posted by on November 29, 2011 at 18:28

    I absolutely LOVE Taylor! I went to her concert in may and she was awesome! It was a very clean show(even my dad said so) and absolutely amazing! I really like this song(well I like all her songs…) and i think it is definately an encouragement!

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by AbbyLovesToDance on November 26, 2011 at 12:30

    one of my favorite songs! My brothers are always really mean to me, and they tell me Im never gonna get married, and that Im ugly and fat, But all their ever gonna be is mean:)

  6. jones.dana46

    Posted by jones.dana46 on November 24, 2011 at 22:32

    I kinda liked Taylor but my respect for her went down at the AMAs. When she won the award for Entertainer of the year. The first thing that came out of her mouth was “Oh my god.” She went on to repeat it about 4 or 5 more times. I’m not trying to be her judge but I was really disappointed in her.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by 101magster on December 11, 2011 at 11:48

      a lot of people will say that just because they are so shocked that it just comes out of their mouths. she shouldnt have said that but still. and also, she had a bit of a troubled childhood so it could be that she used to say oh my god instead of oh my gosh so when she got the award she was so shocked and excited that it just came out of her mouth

      • jones.dana46

        Posted by jones.dana46 on December 31, 2011 at 19:10

        I understand what you said about her being shocked, but she should have chosen better words or better yet thanked God.

      • jones.dana46

        Posted by jones.dana46 on December 31, 2011 at 19:08

        I understand what you said about her being shocked but she should hv

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by ilovegodgirl on November 21, 2011 at 23:00

    when my mother hear the song she told me its cursing your enemies so i don’t listen to it because i think we should pray that god gives us the will power to forgive them

  8. Posted by on November 20, 2011 at 14:07

    wait, so it’s bad when Taylor gets bullied, but it’s OK that she wrote an extremely nasty, catty song called “Better Than Revenge” about Camilla Belle, the actress her ex, Joe jonas, supposedly “left” poor, pitiful little Taylor for? She said mean things about her and even called Camilla a slut (“she’s better known for what she does on the mattresss”… which just shows how jealous Taylor is, because Camilla is actually KNOWN for being pretty classy).

    I like Taylor’s modest style generally clean song contents, and just that she’s pretty classy for th emost part, but she is NOT the most mature person for kids to look up to. She’s obsessed with high school, high school crushes, she can’t let old relationships or problems go, and she’s known to be catty to other girls too.

  9. Posted by on November 19, 2011 at 22:20

    I am not a very big Taylor Swift fan, but I LOVE this new song by her! And she is so beautiful too!

  10. Posted by on November 15, 2011 at 12:51

    Wow! I am not that much of a country music fan, but I have respected Taylor Swift for her modesty but I have never really heard any of her songs. This song is amazing! I will have to check some more of her other songs out. 🙂

  11. Posted by on November 14, 2011 at 16:29

    I used to be indifferent, but now I think Taylor Swift is swell! =]

  12. Posted by on November 13, 2011 at 14:45

    I don’t like Taylor Swift and (I used to be a big fan) the songs okay but… for part of the song goes… And all you’re ever gonna be is mean. We shouldn’t say that we should give them the benefit of the doubt and show Gods never ending love to them even if they treat us like garbage.

  13. Posted by on November 13, 2011 at 07:43

    I love taylr swift!! did u know that she was bullied really horribly growing up?? she writes these songs to get them to feel better!!

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on November 16, 2011 at 21:29

      Yes she was. That’s what makes this song so inspiring. Just look at who she is. She is the epitome of how someone can rise above bullying and allow the experience to make her stronger, not break her down. Love it!

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by onedirection4ever on November 13, 2011 at 07:04

    YES, YES, YES! This song helped me through some rough and horrible days. I’ve been bullied ALL my life. It’s such a great song and Taylor is a MUCH better influence then Miley and Katy Perry.

  15. Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 18:31

    Taylor’s song, Mean, has helped boost my self-esteem because I was bullied in the sixth grade by my best friend. I still listen to the song and it makes me smile. It really persuaded me to understand that I am better than how someone treats me. 🙂

  16. Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 09:37

    haha, I love this song…it’s true, sometimes people are just being plain mean.

  17. Posted by on November 11, 2011 at 19:29

    I have a person in my life that fits this song so amazingly! (Not a boyfriend or he’d be dumped) When I am mad at this person I listen to this song, and feel better at screaming ‘some day I’LL be living in a BIG ‘OL CITY, and ALLLL you ARE ever going to be is MEAN!

    • Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 09:38

      Kayla, I relate! 🙂

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by megbethers on November 11, 2011 at 16:17

    I love Taylor Swift.
    She says things like they are—truthfully.
    She has nothing to prove about herself by her outward apperance…I was sooo excited at the cmas when she wore jeans and a sweater while perfoming! She is truly confident and comfortable with who she is and she doesnt care about what other people think about her. She is my biggest role model:)

    • Posted by on November 20, 2011 at 14:10

      and also, speaking of appearances… she’s fairly modest, but just look at the cover above or almost any of her dresses. I understand it’s hard for tall girls to NOT show leg but she does it too much when she doesn’t have to, she’s rich and can pay people to make her long dresses.

    • Posted by on November 20, 2011 at 14:09

      actually, she only gives HER side of the story. You think she was being “truthful” when she basically called Camilla Belle a slut in one song and acted very, very bitter because Joe dated her? She whines so much it’s easy to forget the girl is in her 20s and not 14.

  19. Project Inspired

    Posted by JennaBel on November 11, 2011 at 14:04

    I love Taylor Swift!!!! She’s so inspiring!! I hope teen stars who are on the wrong path, like Miley Cyrus, look up to her. 🙂

  20. Posted by on November 11, 2011 at 06:31

    i don’t like taylor swift but those are good messages.

  21. Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 20:10

    I have been bullied a lot in my life for being the “goodie-two-shoes” and the one of the rare few who stood up for Christian conduct at a Christian school. As we know, there are even bullies at Christian schools. When this song came out is was like the angels were singing. Literally, this song describes everything I have ever felt and wanted to express to those people who put me down. I have always known who I was and my worth in Christ. This was my saving grace- to know someone else has been there and came out on top. As a songwriter also, I appreciate it musically as well as lyrically. It’s definitely a song I wish I wrote. Although not every song Taylor writes in biblically in line, this is definitely one that brings out some hard truths.

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by Countrygirl212 on November 10, 2011 at 19:15

    I love taylor swift! She is really an inspiration for me!

  23. Project Inspired

    Posted by 88do on November 10, 2011 at 18:30

    I think people should stop blaming bullies and help them instead. 😛

  24. pinkpenguin318

    Posted by pinkpenguin318 on November 10, 2011 at 16:46

    I loved the message of the song. I hope she stays faithful to what she’s done with her carrier and doesn’t end up like every other Hollywood music star.

  25. Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 13:47

    I LOVE her song “Mean”. It’s my favorite song of hers. 🙂

  26. Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 07:53

    I can’t believe I found this article, because it’s such a coincidence! Last week, I was having dinner with some friends and this girl I don’t like sat across from me and was being mean! She couldn’t decide what to eat, so we recommended a burger, ice cream, etc., and all she said was ‘Ew, that’s so gross!’, and then she ordered the ice cream and complained about everything! I tried starting a conversation, and she flat out told me I was wrong about what I was talking about! It’s nice to know that Taylor Swift has been bullied by people like that and has succeeded. She is such an inspiration!

  27. Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 05:25

    Yes yes yea yes and yes!!!!!!!!!!! It helps me so much in my bullying scenero and not only that,when bullies hear this song some might stop because they realizethe effect they have on people that is so negative.

  28. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 20:36

    I like this song, and I agree it can be powerful, but the end where it says “you’re pathetic, and a liar and alone in life”, I think is a bad mindset to have. Talking about how they wont ever amount to anything but a drunk (again, later in the song) I don’t think is good either. I’m not saying it isn’t true about a lot of people, and I’m not saying to not be hurt either. I know that being a bully CAN lead to those things, but we ought to pray for our enemies, not tear them down. If we begin to tear them down we have become the bully. But tearing them down and standing up for yourself are two different things. It’s ALWAYS OK to stand up for yourself and get help! Don’t let people bully you, you are a precious gift from God! Get help, talk to a trusted parent/adult, until you find one that believes you and can help you. And pray for help and protection from God :). Bullying is a serious issue- not something to take lightly.

  29. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 18:34

    Interesting comment, Becky. Never thought of it in that way… 🙂

  30. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 18:26

    After i heard this song for the first time I felt like she was singing about my life! and because of this song it has given me hope!! <3

  31. kayla.hb13

    Posted by kayla.hb13 on November 9, 2011 at 17:47

    I really like this song! I was bullied when I was younger, but I’ve risen up from it and have become a better person. I pray for those who persecute others. Praise Jesus!

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on November 16, 2011 at 21:25

      It’s so sad how many people have been bullied. But it’s so great when people rise above it like you and use the experience to strengthen them. God bless you.

    • Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 17:23

      I was bullied when I was a little kid, too. I felt horrible. But God has used it to shape and form me, and I feel better and stronger through it. Thank you, T.M.

      • tmgaouette

        Posted by tmgaouette on November 16, 2011 at 21:23

        You’re welcome, Audrey. Remember too that Swift was bullied too and look who she is now. Allow adversity to make you stronger.
        God bless you.

  32. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 17:45

    This song is great!

  33. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 17:18

    It’s supposed to be directed toward some critics that were hating on her.

  34. Project Inspired

    Posted by IamLaura on November 9, 2011 at 15:57

    I love Taylor Swift! I think sometimes she leans a little more on the side of revenge rather than forgiveness, however, (Picture to Burn, Better than Revenge, etc) but for the most part I really really like her.

    • Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 13:34

      I totally agree with you IamLaura. I love that she’s classy, unlike practically EVERY celebrity today, but it also makes me sad that she can be more revengeful than forgiving sometimes. “Mean” is one of my favorite songs as for the catchy tune (fun fact: I sang it for an audition for my school’s musical theatre, and I got in!), but I think this song also shows some of her unforgivingness. (I doubt that’s a word, but whatevs.) I think the best way to get back at bullies and mean people is with forgiveness and kindness 🙂

    • Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 09:36

      ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ is the best way to describe some of her songs…even though some of her stuff, like “better than revenge” is a little too ‘vengeful’ for me, I like how she’s not afraid to be honest- it makes her real. I love how she dosn’t try to gloss things over and make herself seem perfect, which is why girls love her.

  35. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 15:50

    I love Taylor! I’m suprised you Project Inspired hasn’t done an article on her before!

  36. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 15:00

    I’m not a big fan of country music, but I watched the video and I liked it. It made me sad when the girl with the blue bow on her dress came up to the other girls with her tray and they rejected her. How can anyone reject a cutie like her? 🙂
    But anyway. I like the message that Taylor is giving. I also liked the point that Becky made – if God is for us, who can be against us? 🙂

  37. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 14:25

    I am NOT a Taylor Swift fan, but I agree that she is pretty and talented, and this is a good song.

  38. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 13:22

    Personally, I hate watching the music video b4 I hear the words…I believe that people (who are Christians) can perceive this song in another way. You can think of a bully…but when I heard the words I thought of the world’s ultimate bully, Satan. When she said big city, I was thinking of heaven. But I know through Jesus I am saved; therefore I don’t need to worry about the ultimate bully destroying me because God has and will help me every time. The point is if God is 4 me…who can be against me.

    • Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 20:13

      WOW. Never even thought of it like that. But that is SO TRUE. Satan can’t control us with his mind games. Just watch us rise to the challenge and continue on the right path- the path that leads to a “big city.” Heaven <3

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by AnnaB96 on November 10, 2011 at 07:53

      i agree totally!! great comment!

    • GoatyGirl

      Posted by GoatyGirl on November 9, 2011 at 18:47

      That’s cool! I never thought of it that way!

    • Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 17:34

      You can be against yourself…

      • Posted by on November 13, 2011 at 01:05

        “And if our God is for us then who could ever stop us? And if our is with us then what could stand against?” She means that God “has her back.” I don’t think she was literally asking the question.

  39. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 13:12

    My always says that hurt people hurt people. Meaning that people who are hurting inside tend to hurt other people.

    • Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 13:13

      oops sorry meant to say My mom always says…
      [=

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by girlygirl1234 on November 23, 2011 at 09:38

        Well I just meant that’s why there are so many bullies because they come from a broken home and they are hurting inside so they tend to hurt and bully others.

      • Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 17:33

        If I was given a choice- to kill someone else or to kill myself (and you have to kill)I would kill myself before I kill anyone. I would want to hurt myself before I hurt anyone else or God. I know Jesus says we shouldn’t kill or hurt others but I’m just saying if I had a choice (and you couldn’t get out of the choice)- I would kill myself. Morbid I know…

  40. Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 13:04

    I love Taylor Swift and this is one of my favorite songs by her. She is really inspiring and I am praying that she doesn’t end up like another Miley Cyrus or Britney Spears.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ckemp on May 21, 2012 at 17:07

      i think we should all pray that those people never know how many girls they let down when they do that! but i think taylor would she thinks alot about her fans!

    • Splendisa

      Posted by Splendisa on November 29, 2011 at 19:17

      I totally agree! She is my role model! I hope and pray she doesn’t end up like them. =(

    • Posted by on November 14, 2011 at 16:30

      Yeah! If she ended up like them, I’d be so sad! =[ prayers are a must!