Taylor Swift shares wisdom about body image, social media and curly hair

In an essay for Elle magazine, Taylor Swift shares lessons she's learned in her first 30 years of life.
Taylor Swift Elle magazine
Taylor Swift shares her top 30 life lessons with Elle Magazine.Ben Hassett/Elle

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/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

Taylor Swift has experienced a lot in her first 29 years, and she's ready to share some words of wisdom with her beloved fans.

In a new Elle magazine essay titled "30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30," the singer reflects on her life thus far and shares some of the most powerful lessons she's learned, explaining how they've informed the person she is today. (Swift turns 30 on Dec. 13.)

Swift's life lessons are totally relatable.Ben Hassett/Elle

The piece is filled with inspiring nuggets of wisdom that range from the somewhat trivial (like how Swift has learned to make a mean cocktail and a tasty meal) to the more inspiring (like how she's learned to handle serious family illness with grace). Along the way, the "Look What You Made Me Do" songstress shares some pretty relatable lessons about body image and beauty in general.

For instance, being in the public eye has certainly taught Swift a thing or two about the need to feel validation on social media.

"Social media can be great, but it can also inundate your brain with images of what you aren’t, how you’re failing, or who is in a cooler locale than you at any given moment. One thing I do to lessen this weird insecurity laser beam is to turn off comments. Yes, I keep comments off on my posts. That way, I’m showing my friends and fans updates on my life, but I’m training my brain to not need the validation of someone telling me that I look 🔥🔥🔥," she wrote.

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Swift gets real with Elle Magazine.Ben Hassett/Elle

For Swift, turning off the comments has been a game changer.

"I think it’s healthy for your self-esteem to need less internet praise to appease it, especially when three comments down you could unwittingly see someone telling you that you look like a weasel that got hit by a truck and stitched back together by a drunk taxidermist. An actual comment I received once," she shared.

At the same time, the 29-year-old has also learned to calm her inner critic and has worked on loving her body, no matter the size: "I learned to stop hating every ounce of fat on my body. I worked hard to retrain my brain that a little extra weight means curves, shinier hair, and more energy. I think a lot of us push the boundaries of dieting, but taking it too far can be really dangerous. There is no quick fix. I work on accepting my body every day."

Swift turns 30 later this year.Ben Hassett/Elle

Swift also acknowledges the fact that women, in particular, face an unrealistic amount of pressure to look young at all times, and gives a shout out to actress Jameela Jamil for fighting back against traditional societal views of beauty.

"I’ve learned that society is constantly sending very loud messages to women that exhibiting the physical signs of aging is the worst thing that can happen to us. These messages tell women that we aren’t allowed to age. It’s an impossible standard to meet, and I’ve been loving how outspoken Jameela Jamil has been on this subject. Reading her words feels like hearing a voice of reason amongst all these loud messages out there telling women we’re supposed to defy gravity, time, and everything natural in order to achieve this bizarre goal of everlasting youth that isn’t even remotely required of men," Swift wrote.

Over the years, the stylish singer has played with a range of different fashion and beauty looks, and said she's learned to just have fun. "Fashion is all about playful experimentation. If you don’t look back at pictures of some of your old looks and cringe, you’re doing it wrong. See: Bleachella."

Remember that time Swift dyed her hair platinum blond?Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Of course, Swift has also learned from a few beauty mistakes over time. And let's just say her current beauty routine includes a lot more TLC than it used to.

"After my teen years and early twenties of sleeping in my makeup and occasionally using a Sharpie as eyeliner (DO NOT DO IT), I felt like I needed to start being nicer to my skin. I now moisturize my face every night and put on body lotion after I shower, not just in the winter, but all year-round, because, why can’t I be soft during all the seasons?!" she wrote.

Every Swift fan remembers that curly haired fresh face that first burst onto the music scene all those years ago, and the singer revealed that she actually misses her old look.

"I learned that your hair can completely change texture. From birth, I had the curliest hair and now it is STRAIGHT. It’s the straight hair I wished for every day in junior high. But just as I was coming to terms with loving my curls, they’ve left me. Please pray for their safe return," she wrote.

The singer-songwriter was once known for her ringlets.Damian Dovarganes / AP

Other notable life lessons for Swift? Finding her political voice, realizing the value of vitamins and fighting back against bullies. Pretty impressive for someone who hasn't even turned 30 yet, right?