Taylor Swift has written an inspirational letter to fans for U.S. retailer Target's special edition of her new album Reputation.
The Look What Made You Do hitmaker is famous for the direct and common sense advice she shares, for young women in particular, and her new piece, Prologue, is no exception. It serves as the introduction for a book of her personal poetry, the free gift fans receive when they purchase hard copies of the album at the store.
"Here's something I've learned about people," she begins the piece, which discusses fame, social media, and the challenges facing her own generation.
"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..."
"We may hear rumors about a person and believe those things to be true," Taylor continues. "We may one day meet that person and feel foolish for believing baseless gossip."
She also touches on the perils of posting pictures online "to curate what strangers think of us", only to later realise that the reality is more about "cracks and scars and blemishes". She issues no judgement, insisting "humans are intrinsically impossible to simplify" and "never just good or just bad".
Swift also gets very honest about how social media has affected her personally, ruing the fact that her "heartbreaks have been used as entertainment" and her songwriting often written off as "oversharing".
She closes by reiterating her original statement: "We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them that they have chosen to show us.
"There will be no further explanation," she concludes. "There will just be reputation."