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The Psychology Behind Taylor Swift’s Beauty Aesthetic

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The Psychology Behind Taylor Swift’s Beauty Aesthetic

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Life can be unpredictable, so it only makes sense that as humans, we try to craft and stick to routines as much as possible. From capsule wardrobes to signature perfumes, there is comfort in sticking to what you know works. That’s why, when you can see yourself in a celebrity you love — be it because of their approachable outfit or low-key makeup — you might gravitate toward them. It’s one of the many reasons Taylor Swift is so popular today.

Yes, she is a global pop star and songwriter who somehow manages to write lyrics that almost everyone can relate to, but when you think of Taylor Swift, it’s not hard to conjure up an image of the star. This is likely because it has rarely changed over her almost two decades-long career. Swift’s hair color has remained a relatively similar shade of dirty blond, the wildest she’s gone with her makeup is a a red lip, and her nails are usually kept short, square, and painted with some sort of neutral shade. Those characteristics could easily describe a handful of people that you know at this very moment. They are looks anyone could create at home.

“The fact that Taylor Swift’s [beauty aesthetic] appears attainable while still being elegant and casual at the same time is exciting for her fans,” Nadia Teymoorian, clinical director at the mental health facility Moment of Clarity in Orange County, California, tells PS. “Her fans are a wide range of ages and genders; however, it seems the younger generations are more attracted to her music and her looks, which are easily duplicated.”

On one hand, some find her beauty aesthetic safe to the point of boring. Others consider it a mindful approach to a level of fame few will ever reach. “It would seem that Taylor Swift is a celebrity that takes responsibility for the influence she has,” Teymoorian says. “She does this by not endorsing or participating in outlandish behavior, which extends to the way she adorns her face and body.”

It’s a theory that could have some merit. In Swift’s 2020 documentary titled “Miss Americana,” the singer revealed the reactions of the people closest to her after she decided to speak up about politics for the first time. She was immediately met with resistance, most notably from her father, who urged her to think about the potential consequences of her actions. To that end, it makes sense to conclude that Swift has to think of every aspect of her life at all times — down to the way that she looks — in an attempt to remain as neutral and brand-safe as humanly possible. This is what gives fans the level of relatability that makes a star like Swift as influential as she is, and it’s worked.

“In terms of fashion, she has a clean look with a focus on appropriate choices that a common person could wear or feel comfortable in,” Teymoorian says. “This on top of often simple, yet glowy skin, and very approachable hair and nails, is possibly the key to her beauty and relatability.”

Alternatively, in a world that’s obsessed with micro-trends, having a signature aesthetic that doesn’t require sitting for hours in a salon chair or will have you questioning why you decided to DIY that manicure, is a message that anyone can get behind. “With the rapid dissemination of information online, trends can become oversaturated and lose their novelty quickly,” Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, an NYC neuropsychologist and director of Comprehend the Mind, previously told PS. “This phenomenon has accelerated the turnover rate of trends, making it challenging for individuals and brands to keep up.”

Maybe Swift’s “capsule wardrobe” approach to beauty has been ahead of the curve all along. A go-to haircut or color, manicure, or makeup look that you know works for you is an easy way to look put together, sans the decision paralysis that can accompany your getting ready process. Still, it’s important to note that while she’s found her aesthetic, beauty is whatever you make it. As Swift has proven, sticking to the script that works for you will never go out of style.

Ariel Baker is the associate editor for PS Beauty. Her areas of expertise include celebrity news, beauty trends, and product reviews. She has additional bylines with Essence and Forbes Vetted.

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