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The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

Time’s Person of the Year 2023: Taylor Swift

Madison Morrow
A picture of the cover of the “Time: A Year in Review” cover. Taken on December 17, 2023.

Who has had the most positive or negative influence on us throughout 2023?

This question is important and has been since 1927 when the Time’s Person of the Year franchise began. Times is an American News magazine, based in New York City. The Person of the Year has been used to highlight the most influential person for the past year, sometimes the honor has been a positive influence, and others a negative one. Over the years, The Person of the Year has been people from every walk of life, groups of people, and even objects, and this year’s edition, Taylor Swift.

In 1927, The Times Person of the Year was called ‘Man of the Year’, due to men being the more dominant holders in more “influential” jobs back then. The idea originated during a slow news period. Editors found it challenging to find a person or event to write about and, in turn, decided on an interesting article that would easily attract readers to select the person they deemed most influential. The editors chose Charles Augustus Lindbergh that year because he was the first man to fly an airplane successfully across the Atlantic Ocean in only 33 hours and 39 minutes. He was considered a hero. The title stayed ‘Man of the Year’ until Wallis Simpson, the first woman, was named ‘Woman of the Year’ in 1937. The title didn’t change into the gender-neutral title we know today until 1999.
The Person of the Year title goes to the person who editors of the magazine believe is “…the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse,” as former Managing Editor Walter Isaacson wrote in the 1998 issue. The exception is the 1982 article, where ‘The Computer’ was titled ‘Man of the Year’ to “capture a movement that’s bigger than any one individual,” says Times Magazine.

This year’s Person of the Year edition features Taylor Swift, whose music and concerts have overtaken the world. “We picked a choice that represents joy. Someone who’s bringing light to the world,” said Sam Jacobs, the magazine’s editor-in-chief,” on NBC’s Today program on December 6. Some people thought she was a deserving choice for this honorable title, and evidently, the Times agrees. “She was like the weather; she was everywhere.”

In the interview portion of the Person of the Year article, Swift was more open than she had been in years. She opened up about her relationship with Travis Kelce, a player for the Kansas City Chiefs, and the controversy between her and Kanye West in 2016 that sparked her 5th studio album, Reputation. Swift remembers her 2016 era as “…getting canceled within an inch of my life and sanity,” as she says in the interview. She talks about this moment in her career as one of the main catalysts that made her the powerhouse she is today. That, and getting the masters for her first six albums previously taken by Scooter Braun. She turned that situation around by making the phenomenon we know today as Taylor’s Version.

The Person of the Year interview discusses Swift’s extensive tour and her most significant achievement yet, The Eras Tour. Wherever she went, the economies of the cities flourished. “I wanted to play a show that was longer than they ever thought it would be because that makes me feel good leaving the stadium,” says Swift, and fans can attest that she exceeded everyone’s expectations. Swift knew how many fans wanted to go to the concert but didn’t get the chance to because of scalpers during the pre sales of tickets, so she brought the tour to movie theaters.

When Swift brought her tour to the movie theater, she decided to skip the middleman of Hollywood studios and go into a deal directly with AMC Theaters. “Ultimately I did what I tend to do more and more often these days, which is bet on myself,” says Swift, and it paid off. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is the second-biggest October debut ever. The movie premiered on October 13th, 2023, and has made over $250 million in global box office sales. The movie was filmed during the last nights of her Los Angeles shows, the final location of her tour, on August 1-3, 2023. It was Swift’s dad, Scott Swift, who connected with Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC, to finalize the deal.
Emery Luckett, a freshman at Lafayette High School and a fan of Taylor Swift since 2016, attended her June 30th, 2023 concert at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. “I loved (the concert). I thought it would be overwhelming at first, but once I got there, I was so excited, and everyone there was so excited. Taylor was amazing. Her performance was amazing.”

Swift made history, once again, by being named Time’s Person of the Year. This makes her the first woman to ever be featured on the cover of one of Time’s Person of the Year twice, the first time being in 2017 when the Time’s Person of the Year was a group, ‘The Silence Breakers’. That year’s edition was incredibly important because the group focused on inspiring women to speak out about sexual misconduct. In Miss Americana, her documentary that aired in 2020, disclosed her 2017 lawsuit against DJ David Mueller, whom Swift accused of groping her before her Denver concert in 2013. The lawsuit began in 2015 when DJ David Mueller sued Swift for defamation after he lost his job because of the encounter in 2013. Swift counter-sued for $1, to prove that it wasn’t about the money. It was to prove that what happened to her happens to so many other women, and worse, but nothing is done about it.

Swift was chosen for this honor because the Times team believed that she solely captured 2023. Her generosity showed as she donated to the main food banks of any city she travels to, as well as her supportiveness when she attended Beyonce’s tour film as well, despite the media trying to turn two of the most powerful women in music against each other, and of course, her music. Her incredible songwriting has captured the hearts of millions and her bravery to continue what she loves.

Do you agree with Time’s Choosing of The Person of the Year? Who else would’ve made an excellent choice for this year’s edition if not?

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About the Contributor
Madison Morrow, Staff Writer
Madison Morrow is a freshman at Lafayette High School, and this is her first year writing for The Times. She is a passionate writer and is excited to write about issues that impact the Lafayette community and the world. She plays club volleyball and loves to listen to Taylor Swift. She's an avid reader and is a part of the Student Council.