OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift’s Bigger Picture on Bullying

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

When Taylor Swift’s last album came out, the speculation on one of her new songs, “Mean,” was that it was about a music journalist who was critical of her singing. (The line about “drunk and grumbling on and on about how I can’t sing” obviously made that seem like the truth.) But when you watch the video, that’s when you see that this song is so much bigger than just one man sitting at his computer making observations about Swift. It’s about all the mean people. The cruel ones who tease homosexuals. The bitchy ones who won’t let the girl sit with them at lunch because her bow is a different color. Anyone like that who uses words like knives and takes pleasure in picking on the weaker person. I know Swift’s song is not the first country one to address bullies. I always loved Tim McGraw’s “One of These Days” and Jake Owen’s “Nothing Grows in Shadows.” But let’s hope this one can make a difference and get a few of those heartless bastards to take a good long look in the mirror.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.