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It’s not just Travis Kelce! Scientists explain why so many women are fascinated and obsessed with Taylor Swift – and it’s not because of her personality. what could it be?

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It's not just Travis Kelce! Scientists explain why so many women are fascinated and obsessed with Taylor Swift - and it's not because of her personality. what could it be?

 

It’s a debate that will be familiar with many millenial friendship groups – and has no doubt dominated plenty of recent conversations.

 

It's not just Travis Kelce! Scientists explain why so many women are fascinated and obsessed with Taylor Swift - and it's not because of her personality. what could it be?

Just what is it about Taylor Swift that makes her so stratospherically popular?

Not only has her music garnered more than 26 billion streams on Spotify and helped to attract more than 281 million to her Instagram page, she’s also engaged a brand new audience as the girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Meanwhile, millions more tuned in to last night’s Superbowl game to watch her in the VIP box, cheering on her boyfriend.

Now, experts have revealed the intriguing, science-based reasons why Swift is such a global phenomenon – and it’s got little to do with her true personality.

One of the major factors, experts say, is simple familiarity. The more Taylor and her music surround our daily lives, the more we grow to like her.

This is a psychological phenomemon known as the ‘mere exposure effect’ – studies involving repeated television commercials have found viewers grow to prefer the products they see on screen most often.

A study published in PLOS One had participants undergo imaging tests to see which types of music activated the brain’s reward system.

The researchers found that people who listened to music they were familiar with were more likely to have the pleasure centers in their brains light up than those who listened to music that they said they liked.

‘Familiarity seems to be a crucial factor in making the listeners emotionally engaged with music,’ the team wrote.

Another reason for the 34 year-old’s popularity is that her songs are uniquely catchy. And scientists have dissected what makes an earworm.

A 2017 study from the American Psychological Association, for example, found that catchy songs include ‘melodic turning points’ between different sections of the song like the verse, chorus, and bridge.

Researchers note that, in Taylor’s case, she often uses one-note melodies in certain sections of her songs that slowly build up.

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Swift lashed out at Minaj’s claim of the industry ‘rewarding’ white women at the ‘expense’ of black artists when she tweeted, “Maybe one of the men took your slot.” This exchange sparked a broader conversation about racial dynamics in the music industry and Swift’s own privilege. In the aftermath, critics began pointing out a narrative of ‘white victimhood’ in Swift’s career. Later on, the Lover hitmaker accepted that this incident was eye-opening for her. “A lot about how my privilege allowed me to not have to learn about white privilege,” Swift explained. “I didn’t know about it as a kid, and that is privilege itself, you know? And that’s something that I’m still trying to educate myself on every day.” This insight made Swift consider her prior deeds and public image. In addition, being so active on social media, she realized, had made it seem like everyone deserved a window into every part of her life. “I created an expectation that everything in my life that happened, people would see,” she admitted. Constantly sharing every detail of her life online backfired. It turned her into a target for tabloids and fans who dissected everything she did, and she ultimately realized her image was not in her control. No matter the choice she would make, public opinion on it would vary; damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. It was in this regard that Swift told The Guardian, “I’m kinda used to being gaslit by now. And I think it happens to women so often that, as we get older and see how the world works, we’re able to see through what is gaslighting.” Besides, the summer of 2016 was brutal also because of a public fight she had with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian about a lyric in his song Famous. Kardashian uploaded edited clips online, and the backlash against Swift exploded on social media, turning the tide of opinion against her. It left her feeling like everyone was against her and completely misconstrued the situation. When people are in a hate frenzy and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them. And anything you say is in an echo chamber of mockery,” Swift explained, describing why she chose not to defend herself publicly at the time, as per The Guardian. The constant criticism and scrutiny took a toll on Swift. She found herself in a no-win situation. “Oh my God, they were mad at me for smiling a lot and quote-unquote acting fake. And then they were mad at me that I was upset and bitter and kicking back,” she recalled. Needless to say, 2016 was a rough year for Swift. Between the public feuds and the constant pressure, she just needed some space. She stepped back from social media and all the attention, realizing things weren’t quite balanced between her life and her music. This break also opened her eyes to issues of privilege and social justice. “How can I see where people are coming from, and understand the pain that comes with the history of our world?” she asked herself.
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