Fandom of the Year

Taylor Swift

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In 2023, Taylor Swift embarked on her blockbuster Eras Tour, her first tour since 2018. Swift had a lot of ground to cover, having released four albums since her previous tour. The three-hour celebration of Swift's music quickly became one of the biggest tours of all time (in more ways than one), sending her nearly two-decade career and music sales to new heights. Taylor Swift's dedication, longevity, stamina, and talent are once in a lifetime. We're watching a music icon build her legacy in real-time. She still manages to find new records to break and new peaks to achieve, all while making the ride a special spectacle for every fan in her audience.
- Reed Gaudens
Netflix Life Editor

How this fandom made the world a better place

As a powerful woman in the music industry, Taylor Swift is reopening the doors that had been slammed shut by the systematically unfriendly and misogynistic passage of time, though the women who came before her had already kicked those doors down. And she’s making sure to keep those doors wide open, an influence she can and will wield. She’s nearly peerless in the level of acclaim, fandom, and success she’s achieved in 2023. The list of records she’s broken (including ones she previously set herself) is amazingly exhaustive: The Eras Tour’s multi-billion dollar economic impact, her concert film’s unprecedented theatrical smash, her continued sales and chart dominance, and the list goes on and on and on. While her achievements are often looked at as awards and dollar signs, Taylor’s real impact on the world far exceeds how many Grammys she has on her shelf or how high her net worth climbs. It’s remaining unchanged by the excess and being completely herself everywhere she goes. It’s creating art that means something to millions and provides joy in stadiums, theaters, and bedrooms worldwide. It’s giving back and paying it forward in conscious and unconscious ways. It’s her fans having the time of their lives with her every bejeweled step of the way.

What was the icon or totem for this fandom this year?

Taylor Swift’s talent in songwriting has often been used against her by sexist critics, who tend to reductively view her as one thing. This year, her fans reclaimed the true essence of her songwriting by turning a throwaway line about friendship bracelets in the bridge of her song “You’re on Your Own, Kid” into a viral exercise in community building. There was even a bead shortage at one point! Each stop of The Eras Tour became an opportunity for Swifties far and wide to honor Taylor by exchanging song and lyric-themed friendship bracelets. Even celebrities got in on the fun, with fans and famous friends alike showing off bracelets well up each arm. (And we all know one particular person who had a friendship bracelet and a dream…) For Taylor to have cultivated an audience that rallies behind her and cares about the details of her songwriting in such a celebratory and joyous way must mean more than any sold-out stadium, award, or #1 single ever could.