The country star opens up about her real-life Mean Girls experience

By Lesley Messer
Updated December 01, 2020 06:13 PM

She may be country music’s darling, but Taylor Swift‘s life wasn’t always so sweet.

“Junior high was actually sort of hard because I got dumped by this group of popular girls,” the singer-songwriter, 19, tells Teen Vogue for its March issue, on sale Feb. 3.

“They didn’t think I was cool or pretty enough, so they stopped talking to me.”

Another reason she was singled out? “The kids at school thought it was weird that I liked country [music],” she says. “They’d make fun of me.”

But all that changed in ninth grade when she moved from her hometown in Pennsylvania to Nashville and scored a record deal.

A year into her career, Swift returned to perform in the place where earlier she’d been mocked – and saw the girls who made her feel so badly about herself.

“They showed up, wearing my T-shirts and asking me to sign their CDs,” says Swift. “It was bittersweet, because it made me realize that they didn’t remember being mean to me and that I needed to forget about it, too.”

Besides, she says, “Really, if I hadn’t come home from school miserable every day, maybe I wouldn’t have been so motivated to write songs. I should probably thank them!”

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