In the trailer for her new Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, Taylor Swift speaks out about being silenced. The film follows Swift as she navigates criticism and negative press throughout her career and eventually comes to terms with being herself in the public eye. Miss Americana comes out in select theaters and on Netflix on Jan. 31. The singer posted the trailer to Instagram on Wednesday.
"Throughout my whole career, label executives would just say, 'A nice girl doesn't force their opinions on people. A nice girl smiles and waves and says, 'Thank you,''" Swift says in the trailer. "I became the person everyone wanted me to be."
Footage of Swift on red carpets and with friends is paired with soundbites of TV personalities critiquing everything from the songwriter's weight to her relationships. Following heightened backlash after her long-running feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in 2016, Swift stepped out of the spotlight and virtually disappeared from all press and social media.
"Nobody physically saw me for a year, and that was what I thought they wanted," Swift says in the trailer.
Soon after her hiatus Swift released her sixth album, Reputation, which addressed much of the criticism and scrutiny she faced. Last August, she released Lover, an album with much lighter sounds and themes than its predecessor (the rainbow color scheme also runs counter to the darker colors of Reputation).
With the new album came a new attitude toward politics. Swift became more vocal about a variety of issues following earlier criticism that she wasn't using her platform to speak up about important topics like the election and discrimination. With the release of her single You Need to Calm Down, Swift advocated for the Equality Act, launching a Change.org petition urging Senate support for laws that would protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination.
"I need to be on the right side of history," Swift says, reflecting on her decision to be more politically active. "I feel really good about not feeling muzzled anymore, and it was my own doing."
There were some major hiccups leading to the release and promotion of Miss Americana. In November, Swift tweeted that Scott Borchetta, head of her previous label, Big Machine Records, and Scooter Braun, who now owns her entire back catalog of music, during the American Music Awards. Braun and Borchetta reportedly asserted that using any songs from her first six albums would count as rerecording them, which Swift isn't allowed to do until November of this year. After some back-and-forth, Swift was ultimately allowed to perform the songs.
Swift also noted in the tweet that the music executives were preventing her from using her old music in the Netflix documentary. No songs from her first six albums can be heard in the trailer.