Taylor Swift: A Class Act Unspoiled by Success

She hasn’t succumbed to sleaze-ification that often drags down teen divas

Last Updated: February 8, 2010 @ 6:17 PM

Taylor Swift may not have made history like Beyonce at the recent Grammy Awards, and she may have been accused of singing out of range during her duet with Fleetwood Mack’s Steve Nicks. But congratulations are still in order for her well-earned awards recognizing the luminous singer’s productive music career, and for upholding class and style while climbing out of the entertainment industry trenches.

A 20-year-old winning four Grammys, including Album of the Year for "Fearless," is nothing to scoff at.

More commendable is how Taylor Swift managed to achieve success with good old-fashioned hard work, evidence that a well-managed, talented youngster can rise through the music industry ranks without provocative sales ploys, age-inappropriate fashions or even Disney.

Baffling that she did this without dropping bed-sheet bombs or wielding stripper poles in her performing arsenal, isn’t it?

The curly-haired blond singer started her career acting in school plays and only used her voice to sing karaoke tunes at local gigs and school events. Swift’s intention was to stick to acting — until someone suggested she pursue singing instead.

She started writing songs as an 8-year-old — even wrote a 350-page (unpublished) novel by the time she was 10.

After singing the national anthem around the country at sporting events to get noticed, Swift sought a recording contract, but she kept getting shot down by record labels. She soldiered on songwriting and recording until she finally hit it big.

The rest is history.

For perturbed parents on the lookout for a decent role model for their kids, consider how the country crooner has been able to keep her good-girl image through it all, and has suffered only minor negative tabloid attacks due to others’ stupidity. Teenyboppers know Joe Jonas went MIA on Taylor over the phone, and there’s hardly anyone on the planet who didn’t watch as Kanye West rudely snatched the microphone from Swift’s hands to belittle her while she accepted an award at the 2009 American Music Awards — she scarcely even flinched at this unexpected assault!

Swift’s clean-cut, natural beauty is certainly enviable. Remarkably, Taylor tactically maneuvered herself onto the entertainment frontlines and has not succumbed to the sleaze-ification teen divas typically give in to once they become mainstream. No Disney-chick path for Swift (though she admits the Dixie Chicks inspired her to keep singing).

Luckily, there’s no indication the country singer will head down this notorious road. She’s far from it, reassuring her legions of multigenerational fans she’s as normal and wide-eyed as they are and that an Amy Winehouse-type train wreck is not imminent. Don’t count on Swift getting a DUI or seeing her mug shot any time soon.

Hurrah to Taylor Swift for not surrendering to what must be intense pressure from the entertainment business to grow up quickly, sell more music and appeal to a broader audience.

All in due time, my dear. In due time.

Suzette Valle was recognized by Time Warner Cable as one of San Diego's Best Moms. She is the author of "101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up" (Walter FosterJr. Fall 2015), a reference book for kids. She has appeared on the "Dr. Phil" show discussing the effects of reality shows on families. Her posts have been featured on Fox,YahooMovies.com, and Movies.MSN.com. A mother of two, she lives in San Diego with her husband. She blogs about parenting and Hollywood's influence on children's daily lives and family values at www.MamarazziKnowsBest.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SuzetteValle.