Taylor Swift was just 16 when she brought out her first album, Taylor Swift, at which point she’d been writing songs for four years #teengoals.

Before she was singing about moving to New York and possibly going out with Harry Styles, Swift bottled up the ultimate teenage experience and poured it all out while strumming on a guitar. Her earlier albums contain a lot of solace for anybody trying to work out dilemmas at school, with friends and, yes, with boys.

So, to celebrate one of our fave singers (and perhaps hopefully a new album this year), here are the best lyrics to live your teenage life by – and the songs they come from.

1. Life is bigger than kissing the person you fancy

A valid lesson for life, not just adolescence, and yet one that can always fade peskily into the background when hormones are really doing their thing.

Swift, who has built a career on singing about kissing the person you fancy, included this nugget of wisdom in Fifteen, a cautionary ballad from her second album, Fearless. In it she captures everything from the first day of school to first dates, kisses, and heartbreaks and includes the sage advice: “But in your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team”. And you will.

2. Whatever you’ve done, you can pick yourself up and start again

Bizarrely, Swift’s introspective Speak Now album track Innocent is said to be written about Kanye West, who famously interrupted her while she was collecting a gong at the 2009 MTV VMA ceremony. In it, she tells him that it’s ok, we’ve all done bad things, it’s never too late to start again. Swift called the song an “open letter” to “someone I forgive for what he said in front of the whole world”.

Granted, not many of us have been publicly shamed by famous rappers on a world stage, but the essence of Innocent works both ways: firstly, be the bigger person and forgive that fool who’s hurt you. Secondly, you can always overcome your demons. As Swift sings in the song: “You’ll have new Septembers, every one of us has messed up too.”

3. Accept your fears, but be brave and do it anyway

Fearless is the most Swiftian of Taylor Swift love songs. There are the essential bingo cards of wet pavements, best dresses and late night drives, but really the imagery of this swooning country number pales in comparison to its message: we’re all scared of stuff, but doing things regardless can be wonderful.

Swift was 16 when she wrote Fearless, and hadn’t really even been on a proper first date. But that didn’t stop her from thinking about what love might look like.

She also explained the true message of Fearless, which is something people of any age can understand: “Fearless doesn’t mean you’re completely unafraid and it doesn’t mean that you’re bulletproof. It means that you have a lot of fears, but you jump anyway.”

4. Know when to stand up for yourself

Listen, this is where artistic license comes in: I’m not suggesting you hire a crack squad of assassins to go and lick your ex-boyfriend’s forks. Obviously. But there is something to be said for Swift’s furious country rock song Picture to Burn, which hints at the possibilities of her vengeance when she’s been wronged.

Sometimes people will do bad things to hurt you, and there’s nothing wrong in asserting yourself – even if that’s in the form of a quiet chat, rather than a pyrotechnic music video. As Swift frequently explained this song on stage: “I really do try to be a nice person… but if you break my heart, hurt my feelings, or are really mean to me, I’m going to write a song about you.” 

5. Everybody feels like an outsider sometimes

The Outside is not one of Swift’s best songs, or her most fun. But it is the first she ever wrote, at 12, about the fear and loneliness she felt going to school – which she claims was far greater than anything she’s felt since.

The good news is that, had she not felt that way, she wouldn’t have written songs, channelled her energy into music and given We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together to the world. But it just goes to show that even international pop stars can feel sad and small at 12, just like the rest of us mere mortals. And maybe your school days aren’t the best of your life?

As Swift said in an interview: “[I was] a complete outcast at school. Some days I woke up not knowing if anyone was going to talk to me that day. People always ask, How did you have the courage to walk up to record labels when you were 12 or 13? It’s because I could never feel the kind of rejection in the music industry that I felt in middle school.”

6. It’s okay if your mum is your best friend

We know, she’s annoying. But your mum’s also been through a lot of this stuff before and knows you probably better than your mates do. Swift had a really good relationship with her mum, especially when she felt lonely at school, so she surprised her for Christmas in 2011 with The Best Day, and a montage of home video clips (sob).

As she explained a few months later, she wrote the song while “remembering all the times that we had when she was my only friend when I was 13 and I couldn’t understand why my friends were being so mean to me. She would just take me on these adventures and we would drive around and go to towns we’d never seen before.”

7. Appreciate you have a lot to learn, and it’s going to be fun to find it all out

Ok so 22 may seem like a long way off at the moment – and that’s because it is – but Swift’s infectious song about a transformative year of her life was written as a celebration of accepting the journey you have ahead of you.

As she told Billboard: “I like all the possibilities of how you’re still learning, but you know enough. You still know nothing, but you know that you know nothing. You’re old enough to start planning your life, but you’re young enough to know there are so many unanswered questions. That brings about a carefree feeling that is sort of based on indecision and fear and at the same time letting loose.”

While right now your options of having “breakfast at midnight” might be more sleepover-based than frolicking around New York, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take joy in all of the exciting things ahead. As Swift sings: “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical.”

8. Don’t forget it’s ok to be a kid sometimes

We know it’s tough right now. Adulthood: either it feels like you’re getting there too quickly, or not quite quickly enough. Swift was barely an adult when she wrote Never Grow Up, but she did so for the younger girls in the crowd at her shows while exploring her own confusing feelings about growing up.

The song is fairly self-explanatory in that way, but her simple advice tugs on the heartstrings at any age. While you’re busy trying to do all that stuff actual adults get to do, don’t forget that there’s a lot of really wonderful things about being younger too: “Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room, memorise what it sounded like when your dad gets home”.

9. Those school bullies will never be as cool as you

It is a truth universally known to those who survive and leave school that the class bullies wind up kind of loser-y, while the nice, smart, kind people get to go and do cool things. Swift realised that, whatever she did, there would be people talking trash about her. Then she wrote a heel-kicking country kiss-off about how little she cared.

Learn the words to Mean. Sing them loudly, because victory shall be yours – one day, at least: “Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me / And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.”

10. Just keep doing your own thing

Shake It Off signalled Swift’s official move from country to pop music in 2014, and while the video met with controversy, it quickly became a giant dancefloor (and YouTube lipsync) hit. In it, she tackles all the accusations thrown at her by critics and the media – going on too many dates, having nothing in her brain, etc – and tells them that she couldn’t care less, and will continue to bang her own drum regardless.

If you can manage to do the same thing during your teens, you’ll be absolutely fine.

@alice_emily

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Getty/Katie Edmunds

Ok, winter you were fun for a while, but it would be really nice if you’d bugger off now so we could all have some time to regain the feeling in our toes.

Here are some of the other things we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Taylor Swift and Zayn’s song was released

Finally, after weeks of teasing, Swifty and Zayn have released the music video for their brand-new song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” There’s a lot of brooding looks and coloured lighting, but let’s be real, we’ll probably keep watching it all day.

The boys in your class might be getting more allowance than you

Yep, according to a report by Childwise, on average, boys between the ages of 11 and 16 receive £17.80 allowance a week, compared to girls of the same age, who get £12.50. Not only that, the report found that boys are encouraged to have more financial independence than girls. Ladies, it’s time to get negotiating.

piggy-bank

Miss Canada, you’ve got our vote

Siera Bearchell, the woman who represents Canada in the Miss Universe pageant took to Instagram this week to talk about something really important: self-worth. Her message for everyone out there? Stop focusing on who everyone else wants you to be and embrace who you really are. Well, we’re backing Miss Canada for the win.

I was recently asked, "What happened to you? Why have you gained weight? You are losing points" This was a reference to my body of course. While I am first to say I am not as lean as I was when I was 16, 20, or even last year, but I am more confident, capable, wise, humble and passionate than ever before. 🙋🏻As soon as I started to love who I was rather than always trying to fit what I thought society wanted me to be, I gained a whole new side of life. This is the side I am trying to bring to the @missuniverse competition. The side of life that is so rare to find: self-worth and self-love. We always focus on the things we wish we could change rather than loving everything we are. #missuniverse #bodydiversity #IMG

A post shared by Siera Bearchell | Miss Canada (@sierabearchell) on

H&M to donate millions to refugees 

Over the holiday period, H&M made a pact to donate 5% of proceeds for every gift card that was sold in 4000 of their stores to help refugee children. They’ve dedicated the money to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help them provide education for children who have had to flee their homes. If you want to learn more about the UNHCR, you can read about them here. But in the meantime, we’re watching this adorable video that UNHCR Philippines put together – it’s giving us all the feels.

 

“I think you’re old like dirt”: Bad Lip Reading 

Need something to make you laugh? It’s seven days since President Trump was inaugurated, and it’s been an, er, interesting week. You may have seen the actual inauguration, but have you seen Bad Lip Reading’s version? It’s full of gems like: “the new kid smells like falafel and wants to shave my moustache” and “you think I won’t fling three eggs at you?” We promise it’ll have you in stitches.

Harry Pooper and the Chamber of Secrets

Every so often, JK Rowling answers a question you never even knew you had. This week on Pottermore she revealed that wizards used to…poo themselves. TMI? Maybe. But hey, now we know.

Just look at this actual excerpt from Rowling's entry about the Chamber of Secrets:

The nail polish challenge 

This week, Lily and Anjali messed around with the NailsInc nail polish that came in this month’s bettybox to do a nail polish challenge. Let us know who you think won in the comments section!

Have a great weekend, we’ll see you Monday!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Of all the things we’ll be sad to see go when the Obamas leave the White House this week, perhaps the thing we’ll miss most is the Barack and Joe Biden bromance memes. Like this one of Barry O awarding his pal with the Medal of Freedom – or as the internet liked to think of it, the classiest friendship necklace ever.

But don’t cry – we’ve rounded-up a lovefest list of our fave celebrity BFF pairings, to fill the Obiden void.

Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner

mophie2

While the Stark sisters have an erm… complicated, relationship, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner’s one is pretty straight forward: they’re straight-up BFFs. The Game of Thrones co-stars have literally grown up together, so they have firm BFF credentials – but in case you were in any doubt, last year they even revealed their matching tattoos at the Emmys.

Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran

They craft for each other, they get ready for awards shows together, they speak in rhyme and they even make each other jam. Hands down the most adorable pals in the world.

Taylor Swift and… pretty much everybody

Happy 4th from us ❤️

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

What else do we expect from the woman literally responsible for the hashtag #squadgoals? Her vast army of friends ranges from models to actors to sportspeople to her primary school BFF. And one day, maybe, us.

Zendaya and Tom Holland 

Tom Holland and Zendaya met on the set of the film Spider-man: Homecoming, where she plays Mary Jane and Peter Parker in the upcoming movie Spider-Man: Homecoming. But their friendship isn’t just for the screens – after all you know what they say: friends who dance together, stay together.

Salasi and Val

Oh Bake Off, you’ve left such a cake-shaped hole in our lives – but luckily, some of the cast have continued to hang out and warm our hearts like fresh scones. Salasi and Val are easily our fave Bake Off friendship to date. Nothing says adorable like a baking banker from London hopping on his motorbike to hang out with a pensioner in Somerset.

Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell

To my little sis on her birthday – PLL has given me so many things I'm thankful for but you are easily at the top of that list. Having experienced something so life changing together has bonded us in a way that's impossible to describe, and I am forever grateful you were by my side the entire time (literally 😬). We have spent so many early mornings and late nights together and it's those moments, those exhausted, delirious, and hilarious moments I can't wait to look back on in five years and tell our kids about years after that. I know this next year of your life will be your best yet and I am so lucky to be along for the ride. I love you Benz and I'm so thankful you were born. – Buttah 🙌🏽🎂👭 #buttahbenzo

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

The five Pretty Little Liars stars are all real life BFFs (so much so that they got matching tattoos to remember each other by when they finished filming – seriously, matching tattoos are everything) but Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell are more than just besties. They’re ‘sisters’.

Dan and Phil

YouTube stars Dan (@danisnotonfire) and Phil (AmazingPhil) met through the internet in 2009 – and they’ve been pretty much inseparable ever since. They’ve made hundreds of YouTube videos together, they’ve done a radio show together and they’ve even lived together. How could you not be Phans of these two?

Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak 

bj-and-mindy

The Ross and Rachel of Twitter, Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak were colleagues, then bf and gf, then platonic BFFs. Supposedly. It’s been a very confusing ride for their fans who just want these two soup snakes to be together.

Suki Waterhouse and Cara Delevingne

Suki and Cara have been best friends since their school days. In 2016, they somehow made a high-vis jacket the ‘must have’ of the season when they wore their matching ones to Glastonbury. They topped off the look with blue hair extensions and matching braids from Braid Bar, because everyone knows that while friends worry about wearing the exact same outfit, best friends dream of it.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Judge Rinder

The Sherlock actor and daytime TV star Robert (aka Judge Rinder) met at Manchester University, where they became student BFFs. Robert was the best man at Benefit Combersnog’s wedding – and even more adorably, when the Judge got hitched a couple of years earlier, Benny C got ordained online so he could officiate the ceremony. Or ‘Tribbiani it’, as we like to say.

Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Mamrie Hart.

These three lovely ladies are have been dubbed ‘YouTube’s Holy Trinity’ by their fans. Between the three of them they have 2.3 MILLION FOLLOWERS, and rumour has it that if they ever had a fight, the internet might actually implode.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey

The joint queens of comedy, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are one of our fave celeb double acts. They spent years on Saturday Night Live together, and were the first female duo to host Weekend Update. Oh, and they’ve hosted the Golden Globes – three freakin’ times. Obviously, they missed working together so much that they starred in a sibling comedy film together, proving once and for all that they really are each others’ sister from another mister.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Images: Getty

At one point or another, everyone has flipped through their own Instagram or Facebook profile and cringed at their former selves. The Justin Bieber fringe. The super-tight jeggings. The oversized hoodies. You’ve peered at the you of a few years ago and thought “girl… what were you thinking?!”  But, hey, at least we’re not alone in this one – celebs have a digital past too guys, and it’s wonderful.

On Twitter last week, Shy Charles went on a magnificent rant about this old MySpace profile pic of Taylor Swift, and it totally resonated with people – including us. You can practically feel the adolescent angst in this photo. Seriously, look at the clothes rail behind her, there isn’t a single colourful piece of clothing to be seen. This wasn’t just an experimental selfie – Swifty was committed to this look.

t-swift

After a little bit of digging, we found some of Tay’s other profile pics from her MySpace days – and we love them all.

Have you ever wondered what people did before Instagram? This. This is what people did before Instagram. Somewhere around 2007, Apple released computers that had built in cameras that you could take photos on and then apply totally *ahem* awesome filters to. Like this one, that makes it look like you’re on the front cover of a bad horror film.

t-swift-with-filter

Or this one, which was super artsy because it made you look like you were in an Andy Warhol painting. Sahh artsy.

andy

Also, for some unknown reason, people used to take photos of themselves in mirrors with digital cameras, which, sure, makes sense. But then they’d leave the flash on. In hindsight, the early noughties were a bad time for photography, but at the time it was ‘kewl’, ok?

sub-buzz-2537-1473792327-1

It wasn’t just T. Swift who got on board with this trend. Harry Styles was into it too – but he stepped it up a notch so the photo is completely useless and you can’t see his face at all. That’s right, Harry Styles had MySpace. Sometimes the internet really is a glorious place.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-41-42

And look how cute he was! Look! With the beaded necklace and the half-Biebs fringe. Plus the trademark red eyes that went along with almost every photo taken on digital cameras between 2003 and 2010 which used to make people look like they were possessed or extras in Twilight.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-36-56

But the best bit about Hazza’s (is that a thing? We’re making that a thing) profile is the blurb. He wants to meet Superman. Isn’t that the cutest damn thing you’ve ever heard?
screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-36-36

Unsurprisingly, it turns out the Jenners have been around since the dawn of social media. Yep, Kylie and Kendall both has MySpace profiles too.

Kylie went with the weird glowy filter that made everyone look like ghosts and paired it with the tried and tested “Kylie Rocks” for her blurb. Classic.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-37-13

Whereas Kendall went for the thermal filter (why, just why) and the casually humble “It’s All About Me” for her blurb. Plus, her URL was horsegirlkl, possibly the most 00s URL ever.

kendall

So next time you’re scrolling through your Insta profile and see some of your old photos that make you cringe now, remember that even the most famous faces in the world went through a stage of, fist-gnawingly awkward teenage photos. And who knows, if you’re famous one day, those pics might even help cheer up some teenagers on a grey Monday morning.

Plus, next time your nan tells you that your generation is too obsessed with selfies, you can show her this article and say with total confidence: “Actually the MySpace generation were a million times worse. Plus, their filters sucked.”

You’re welcome.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

The week is finally (almost) over and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Half term is just around the corner, the iOS update is more fun than we thought and Taylor might be making all our dreams come true.

Here’s the betty weekly round-up of everything we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

Happy Day of the Girl!

Tuesday 11 October was International Day of the Girl – a day where we all put our heads together and try work out how to make the world a little bit better for girls. We went along to Women of the World’s Day of the Girl Festival at the Southbank Centre where we saw some amazing speakers, including the brilliant Caitlin Moran. If you want to know more about the day, read our write-up here.

To mark the event, the Guardian made this amazing-but-incredibly-depressing video about how global inequality starts before girls are even born. Watch it, get angry and let’s try to make things for girls better by next year. Or even next week.

Laura Bates slays, as per usual

Following the outrageous footage that was released of Donald Trump making sexist and generally revolting comments about women, Laura Bates (the founder of the Everyday Sexism project and author of ‘Girl Up!‘) appeared on BBC Channel 4’s Today Programme and ended up teaching the male presenters a lesson about why what Trump said was DEFINITELY NOT, in no way ever, a compliment.

(Psst… we recently chatted with the wonderful Laura, watch this space over the next few weeks for our interview with her).

Brexit is causing more break-ups

British staples like Marmite and PG Tips were removed from Tesco’s website on Wednesday. It’s the first time consumers have been directly impacted by Brexit and the falling pound, as Tesco and Unilever are in the middle of a monumental row over pricing. Tesco has decided to stop stocking Unilever’s products until they kiss and make up, leading to panic up and down the country. It’s the supermarket equivalent of unfollowing your ex on social media, but with disastrous consequences for everyone’s afternoon tea.

Karen with the good hair 

I complain almost every time I wash my hair. It’s boring and time consuming and then I have to blow-dry it which is also boring and time consuming. But when Karen Nyberg was in space in 2013, she made a series of videos explaining her beauty regime – and it turns out there’s something weirdly mesmerising about watching someone perform vaguely mundane tasks in zero gravity. Our new obsession.

Surprise! There might be a Swift release on the way!

If you have a working internet connection, you’ve probably heard that T. Swift is rumoured to be dropping a new album some time towards the end of this month. Specifically October 23rd. Where did this date come from? Well, almost all of her albums have been released in October in order to make the most of Christmas sales. Plus, surprise albums are really in right now (Bey was bae, of course). Taylor’s also playing a concert the night before in Texas (her first since December 2015) which her fans believe she might be using to launch her new album.

Fingers crossed! Come October 23rd, we just hope there isn’t a blank space.

taylortwift

iOS? More like iO-YES!

And in more best news ever, this week we discovered completely by accident that iOS 10.0.2 has a cool new feature. If you iMessage ‘Congrats!’ to someone, they’ll get an influx of confetti on their screen. Obviously we spent the next 15 minutes trying to work out what other animations we could find – so far we have ‘Happy Birthday!’ balloons and ‘Happy New Year’s Eve!’ fireworks. Let us know if you find any more!

IMG_3373

Now go and congratulate all your friends for being awesome and watch the confetti fly…

Happy weekend, we’ll see you on Monday!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.