I FIND myself feeling the urge to write about Taylor Swift relatively often, probably owing to her complete world dominance over the last year in particular.

She’s always been successful, but that success has really taken off to astronomical heights in recent months, even propelling her to billionaire status. Akin to the Bieber fever of the early 2010s, Swift has enjoyed an almost mass hysteria amongst her fanbase of late. Every time I do write about her though, it’s almost like the internal battle I feel in relation to her plays out in real-time, a battle I’ve recently tasked myself with confronting head-on.

I say that because I think as her popularity increases, it becomes more and more obvious how much we have been conditioned by the media to dislike this woman over the years. And is it justified?

The National: Taylor Swift arrives at the world premiere of her concert film on Wednesday in Los Angeles (Chris Pizzello/AP/PA)

In case you missed it, Swift dropped her hotly anticipated double album The Tortured Poets Department this week. A whopping 31 songs, the majority of which are about navigating heartbreak or loss of some type via thinly veiled metaphor. Every album release from this global powerhouse is hotly anticipated, but this supersedes anything I’ve seen of hers before.

For a number of reasons I assume, not least the fellow A-Listers that a number of the tracks are suspected to be in reference to with actor Joe Alwyn, The 1975 frontman Matty Healy, global heartthrob Harry Styles and even Kim Kardashian seemingly in the firing line – the tea appears to be piping hot.

In a society powered by celebrity gossip, I can see the appeal. Also on the back of a highly public breakup, followed by her new romance with NFL main man Travis Kelce and being named as Time magazine’s person of the year, she has truly played a blinder with this album release.

I have never been a Swift fan, mainly because I’ve found her to be problematic in a number of ways, but I have to say I am loving this album. We can say what we will about her, but she is a poetic songwriter and has an ability to tell a story through her art that resonates deeply among the masses. It is a gift, and she has done an unparalleled job of harnessing it.

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Her main power though is that she has a Beyonce-esque ability to speak to and empower young girls with her art. She is the Madonna of our time, and in the social media age, probably has more power than Madonna ever did. Her music is empowering and often leans towards feminist narratives, which has emboldened an entire generation of young girls who consume her every move.

An undoubted positive of her influence, whatever the wider verdict on it is. She has been outspoken in support of LGBTQ+ rights and the importance of voting, in fact when she encouraged her Instagram followers to register to vote, more than 35,000 voter registrations flooded the system.

I recently watched her Netflix documentary Miss Americana which is probably what I’ll credit with shifting my opinion of her. She came across as a deeply empathetic, kind and – dare I say it – normal person.

It was then that I realised that almost exclusively, every piece of content I’d consumed about her had been manufactured by external sources. I’d never actually listened to her speak, or taken much of an interest in what she put out organically.

As a self-proclaimed feminist, the realisation sat uncomfortably with me. Had I fallen for the age-old adage of the media machine and its ability to systematically tear down successful women?

I was horrified at the thought, but have to admit that it’s at least partly true. For years, I had sat with a dislike of this woman that I couldn’t really pinpoint.

While I do think that she has been problematic on some fronts, being a billionaire is the starkest red flag considering the exploitation involved in manufacturing that level of obscene wealth. Being silent amidst a genocide is another terrible choice she shouldn’t be forgiven for and I won’t ever forget her silence on the white supremacy that infiltrated her earliest fanbase for the benefit of her own success. But for the most part, I disliked her because I had been subconsciously taught to.

Taught that she was annoying, for example. It wasn’t until I confronted my own narratives that I asked myself the question – what is even annoying about her? That she is vocal? That she is an empowered woman?

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How embarrassing and shrouded in patriarchy it is to be a feminist and put a strong female influence in the infamous annoying box with no solid explanation as to why.

It is also true that Swift can be a symbol of feminine power and a beacon of hope for young girls all over the world, at the same time as being a capitalist machine hell-bent on profiting and re-profiting from those girls. She can be an impressive ally for minority groups, at the same time as being silent on global issues that need her influence.

All of these things can and are proving to be true simultaneously. Taylor Swift is a walking enigma, I’m sure in no small part owed to the contributions of the media machine that has, unwittingly for me, been pulling the strings of our opinions on her all along.

There is something specifically dark about the hatred that is systematically spewed at her without pause and it is underpinned by a deep-seated misogyny that penetrates our media outlets.

The National: Taylor Swift has released an expanded instalment of her new album The Tortured Poets Department (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

This album release – albeit its multiple formats and cost-inducing extras feel a little off-key given that she is a billionaire and doesn’t need to profit to this extent off of a fanbase that hangs on her every word – is by every definition a bold and empowering love letter to young women.

It’s about navigating heartbreak and loss and reclaiming your power while simultaneously being present in the joys of your life – and it is excellent. If all it achieves is providing inspiration to a generation of young girls, or serves as a small antidote to the rise in misogynistic radicalisation, I salute it.

I never thought I’d say this, but I look forward to spending the next week hitting the repeat button on her new tracklist. My transition to certified Swiftie is on the horizon, I fear.