Taylor Swift covers Elle. (Carter Smith)
Not only did she take the stage at the Grammys, but her performance opened the show and she won an award for "Safe & Sound."
But despite all the success, the 23-year-old remains relatable to her fans, probably because she's willing to talk about times when she was much more of an outsider.
"Middle school was what programmed me to be semi-insecure, like, all of the time," Swift notes in the new Elle magazine. "I didn't fit in … I'd stand on the outside of the circle but I was never really in. That's when I started to realize there's this thing called rejection."
Of course, that rejection — from other girls, from guys — is what eventually led to some of Swift's many hits, like "You Belong With Me" or "Teardrops On My Guitar." Now everyone pays close attention to figuring out exactly which experience, and more importantly, which person, she's singing about in her every tune. Swift insists, however, that chronicling her love life in song is not part of some big scheme to sell more music, it's just her creative process.
"To me it's just writing songs the way I always have," Swift says. "It's me sitting on my bed feeling pain I didn't understand, writing a song, and understanding it better. If people want to dissect the lyrics, that's their right, but it's all coming from the exact same place as where I started. It's just something I do to feel better."
As TSwift notes, she's a writer, not a fighter.
"I don't think I've ever yelled at an ex-boyfriend. Ever. I'm not a yeller. I'm not a fit thrower," she says. "If something is done, it's done."
Even now, Swift claims that she's often bullied by the media, which apparently has slapped her with the same role that Jennifer Aniston and so many have had before: the desperate woman.
"I'm sure if I looked up the latest Google Alerts rumor it would say I'm chasing somebody who doesn't like me as much as I like him — people love that angle on me," Swifts admits. "They're like 'Oh Taylor, coming on too strong again, chasing boys.' I never chase boys. They don't like it!"
She knows when to give up a thing for a certain guy, just like she believes that she'll know when to stop the music ... if and when that day comes.
"I don't want to end up being so addicted to the sound of a screaming crowd that I stay on stage longer than I should," she says. "I love this so much, but if the fans don't love me doing it anymore in 10 years, 15 years, then I would like to think I would know when to gracefully bow out."
Read more of Taylor's interview in the March issue of Elle, on newsstands February 19.
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