As if her songs aren’t inspiring enough, Taylor Swift recently took the time out of her jam-packed schedule to send a long, heartfelt Instagram message to a fan who was being bullied.
“It’s okay to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over,” the Grammy-winning star, 24, wrote in her message, which was shared by fans on Twitter. “Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song.”
The teen who wrote to Swift, 14-year-old Hannah Webster, said she was “super excited” to get the heartfelt message from the music star.
“I read it like five times,” said Hannah, who described being bullied at her Lakeville, Massachusetts, high school at the time she wrote to Swift.
“All my friends were really leaving me and saying that that they hated me,” Hannah told ABC News.
Swift, who has admitted that she was once bullied in junior high school because of her love for country music, spoke from experience to the teen, whom she called “Hannahhhh.”
“I know why you’re crying because I’ve been in your place,” Swift wrote. “This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all.”
Swift’s advice could have been straight out of her new No. 1 single, “Shake It Off.” In other words, the “haters gonna hate” but you can’t “stop moving.” You’ve got to “shake it off.”
According to Hannah, it was one very personal line at the end of Swift’s Instagram message that she says she will take with her forever.
“The line I connected with the most was at the end when she said that when someone picks on her that she’ll think of me, and that when someone picks on me I should think of her,” Hannah said.
Read Swift’s entire message below:
“Reading this made me so sad because I love seeing you in your videos and photos being so happy and wide eyed, like the world isn’t as harsh and unfair as it actually is. I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, but I know why you’re crying because I’ve been in your place. This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change.
“People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all. It’s just what they do, and you’re a target because you live your life loudly and boldly. You’re bright and joyful and so many people are cynical. They won’t understand you and they won’t understand me.
“But the only way they win is if your tears turn to stone and make you bitter like them. It’s okay to ask why. It’s okay to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over. Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song.
“You’re going into high school this week and this is your chance to push the reset button on how much value you give the opinion of these kids, most of whom have NO idea who they are. I’m so proud of you and protective of you because you DO. If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more.
“Every time someone picks on me, I’ll think of you in the hopes that every time someone picks on you, you’ll think of me… and how we have this thread that connects us. Let them keep living in the darkness and we’ll keep walking in the sunlight.
“Forever on your side, Taylor.”