“This is like peak girlhood” said Amy, as she and Violet gathered together behind me in their bedazzled bodysuits, stitching me into my broken dress with maroon thread mere hours before the show began. Did I know them 3 days ago? No. Did Violet text me asking about allergies because her boyfriend was making us lasagne for some Eras Tour pre-show fuel? Why, yes. My newfound friends (and Aussie Fairy godmothers) are just one of the many memorable moments that Taylor Swift’s Eras tour has graced fans, both newcomers and lifelong, across the globe.

It’s no secret that Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour thus far has been a revolutionary feat in artistry, performance, and pop culture. It’s the highest-grossing tour of any artist in history – a record that was already surpassed a mere halfway through its run. The Eras Tour has renamed cities, revolutionised the craft bead industry, caused literal earthquakes, and has seen Taylor play to her largest audiences ever (96,000). It has embodied every powerhouse effect of live music, obliterating the confines of a stadium. It’s not just a show date, Eras is a cultural phenomenon.



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Yet, undoubtedly, the near immeasurable and certainly the most invaluable achievement of The Eras Tour is the ways in which it has given us all back our girlhood.

This comes as no surprise – The Eras Tour soared amongst the cultural landscape of 2023, one that has been universally and affectionately dubbed as ‘the year of the girl’. Last year, girlhood went mainstream, offering an unusual liberation from the stigmas that are conditionally-attached to feminine interests. Fangirl joy was emancipated more so from the safe havens and the subcultural spaces of respective fan communities, and many were thriving unapologetically in central forums with less dismissal and critical dampening than ever before.

We had the Barbie takeover, regarded in joint celebratory force with the likes of Oppenheimer. Beyonce’s Renaissance tour was another fierce global celebration of female music industry iconography. Fashion trends centred bows with the ‘coquette’ aesthetic – which indirectly served as girlhood’s reclamation of a term traditionally defined as an insincere or manipulatively flirtatious woman (very ‘Blank Space’ coded). We had a colloquial dominance of the girlies’ everyday experiences with ‘girl math’ and ‘girl dinner’, and the normalisation of responding with “I’m just a girl” to make things acceptable and better in any situation (it’s a proven fact. Don’t ask for my source though I’m literally just a girl).

If being a fangirl captures a present grounding of celebrating the love of art, music, and people – then girlhood is the nostalgic accumulation of this through the entirety of one’s life. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, a journey “spanning seventeen years of music”, delivers exactly that.



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From the outset, Taylor encapsulates girlhood and sets up the retrospective magic of the show alongside newfound memories during the speech of her opening set, Lover:

“Here’s a little dream that I have for tonight…these songs you’re gonna hear, they may have been songs I wrote about my life when I was a teenager, or when I was in my 20s, or it could’ve been just a few years ago. But after tonight when you hear these songs out in the world, I hope that you will think about tonight and the memories that we made here at the Eras tour!!”

The Eras Tour setlist consists of an astounding 44 songs. You’ve got the classic throwbacks of ‘Love Story’, ‘Shake it Off’, and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.’ There’s the emotional hard hitters like ‘The Archer’, ‘illicit affairs’, and ‘marjorie’. And with every era, there is a revival of iconic visuals referenced from past tours, like the snakeskin of Reputation, the statement hats of the Red era, and the spinning golf clubs of 1989.

Reliving the eras of Taylor’s life, by extension, is a reliving of our own. We’ve all attached personal memories, people, places, and seasons to each song, lyric, or album – marking the soundtrack of Taylor’s career as an extension of ourselves. I know I’m not the only one who’s blasted ‘You Belong With Me’ about unrequited childhood crushes, or who’s put my real/imagined enemies on blast during ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and ‘my tears ricochet.’

There is a false dichotomy often imposed that illustrates a separation between girlhood and womanhood. We’re taught girlhood is something we must leave behind in order to ever be taken seriously, to successfully reach maturity or embody sophistication and civility in a way that deems us suitable to truly navigate the big wide world. Taylor has many songs that reference this exact narrative of traditional and patriarchal constraints (‘Nothing New’, ‘seven,’ ‘mad woman’, ‘Only the Young’, etc.). The Eras Tour, like so many other pop cultural phenomena last year, danced over this divide to render it unapologetically and permanently redundant. Girlhood and womanhood – it’s one and the same. Girlhood intrinsically is an authentic and valid navigation of the world, and The Eras Tour owns that.

The infectious magic of The Eras Tour is not exclusive to those who are lucky enough to attend the shows in person. Swifties have fostered countless cultural practices that defy physical capacities of live performance venues and empower an unmatched sense of community and connection.



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Exactly one year ago today, I was glued to a scratchy livestream, buzzing and overwhelmed with the excitement and curiosity over how T was going to perform her entire career in one consecutive marathon stint. If you saw me, I may have been mistaken for already knowing the choreo to ‘tolerate it’ on night one. But, in my defence it’s a perfectly reasonable reaction to shove things off my kitchen table and scream-sing along when your favourite Track 5 is unexpectedly included in a stadium performance set. Livestream participation is a trend that’s continued across the course of the tour, with Taylor herself often extending acknowledgement to fans watching at home during the surprise acoustic sets.

‘Taylor-gating’, the practice of gathering outside stadiums for the duration of the Eras show, also healed wounds of those who did not survive the Great Ticketek War 💔. Fans have been gathering in their tens of thousands at venues across the globe – to sing and dance, laugh and cry, even share meals together and participate in the electric atmosphere.



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It wouldn’t be a conversation about The Eras Tour – let alone The Eras Tour and girlhood – without spotlighting the outfits!!! An incredible means of expression, Swifties have gone all-out for their Eras outfits, wearing replicas of Taylor’s costumes and tour merchandise, often DIY-ing their own creative interpretations of favourite song lyrics or album aesthetics. A singular line in ‘You’re On Your Own Kid’ inspired the now integral tradition of trading friendship bracelets, which are a literal symbol of connection and girlhood. They mimic the beauty of the setlist in the sense that they literally string together the lore of Taylor’s career into a digestible and deep-cut crash course that binds people and experiences together.

Social media has embraced the chaos of Eras girlhood by bringing all of the above elements into one. Fans share and consume endless GRWMs, fan edits, tutorials, reenactments, outfit inspiration, and surprise song reactions (I’m looking at you Sydney N3 Exile meme scream girl, real x). New traditions have continued to emerge as the tour goes on, with the latest driver for fun and chaos in Eras girlhood being summoned by Taylor’s new affinity for unpredictable and arguably unhinged acoustic mashups.

The transformation of The Eras Tour experience into a concert film captured the effervescent energy that is often exclusive to live performance. The film catapulted the Eras Tour celebration of girlhood to new levels, with concert traditions like dressing up and trading bracelets translating seamlessly into another dimension of self-expression and connection that captured movie theatres across the globe.

The filmic documentation of such a special phenomenon means that The Eras Tour is something that now surpasses the passage of time, solidifying itself in popular culture and collective memory with a permanence that allows us to channel our girlhood always, with that same unmatched energy and carefree timelessness.




When I think of girlhood, I think of the lipstick I found when cleaning my room, the one I was given from a pop-up stall at the Speak Now Tour back in 2012 (it’s definitely expired, and I will definitely be keeping it forever). I think of the ridiculously unflattering, accidentally-zoomed-in videos of my face that I took in the stadium when I recorded my surprise song reactions to send to my sister back home. It’s the snacks I didn’t touch at the cinema because I underestimated what should’ve been an obvious preoccupation with the three-hour karaoke session ahead of me. It’s also the wine my cousins and I snuck into the cinema on my third Eras film viewing, when we went to watch it together after one of us had a rough breakup. Essentially, girlhood is the one friendship bracelet I have that bears a phrase that holds all the magic and memories I could ever hope to capture – simply: ‘The Best Day’.

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour has allowed us to form new bonds, revisit the fond, and let go of the old, boldly. It’s an experience of collective joy created by screaming and singing and dancing all together – in a way that is true and vulnerable while also being strong and unapologetic. The Eras Tour is a cultural phenomena, a beautifully safe space of connection. Something heralded by Taylor’s reclamation of her music, which has offered Swifties a reclamation of our own identities in return.

Thank you Taylor, for giving back our girlhood – it was always ours first.

Experience the magic of The Eras Tour and embrace your girlhood by streaming ‘The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version)’, now on Disney Plus.