Reputation [Prologue]

Taylor Swift

Here's something I've learned about people

We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them they have chosen to show us
We know our friend in a certain light, but we don't know them the way their lover does
Just the way their lover will never know them the same way that you do as their friend
Their mother knows them differently than their roommate, who knows them differently than their colleague
Their secret admirer looks at them and sees an elaborate sunset of brilliant color and dimension and spirit and pricelessness
And yet, a stranger will pass that person and see a faceless member of the crowd, nothing more
We may hear rumors about a person and believe those things to be true
We may one day meet the person and feel foolish for believing in gossip

This is the first generation that will be able to look on their entire life story documented in pictures on the internet, and together we will all discover the after-effects of that
Ultimately, we post photos online to curate what strangers think of us
But then we wake up, look in the mirror at our faces and see the cracks and scars and blemishes, and cringe
We hope someday we'll meet someone who will see that same morning face and instead see their future, their partner, their forever
Someone who will still choose us even when they see all of the sides of the story, all the angles of the kaleidoscope that is you

The point being, despite our need to simplify and generalize absolutely everyone and everything this life, humans are intrinsically impossible to simplify
We are never just good or just bad
We are mosaics of our worst selves and our best selves, our deepest secrets and our favorite stories to tell at a dinner party, existing somewhere between our well-lit profile photo and our drivers license shot
We are all a mixture of our selfishness and generosity, loyalty and self-preservation, pragmatism and impulsiveness
I've been in the public eye since I was 15 years old
On the beautiful, lovely side of that, I've been so lucky to make music for living and look out into crowds of loving, vibrant people
On the other side of the coin, my mistakes have been used against me, my heartbreaks have been used as entertainment, and my songwriting has been trivialized as oversharing

When this album comes out, gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song, as if the inspiration for music is as simple and basic as a paternity test
There will be slideshows of photos backing up each incorrect theory because it's 2017 and if you didn't see a picture of it, couldn't have happened, right?

Let me say it again louder for those in the back

We think we know someone, but the truth is we only know the version of them they have chosen to show us

There will be no further explanation
There will be just reputation

Written by: Taylor Swift
Sent by Ariele. Revised by Diego.
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