Taylor Swift’s fans are legion. Why some call themselves ‘Senior Swifties’ — and how the pop star’s eras play a part.

Taylor Swift's fans are legion. Why some call themselves 'Senior Swifties' — and how the pop star's eras play a part.

A certain image may come to mind when you think of a Taylor Swift fan — one of a teenage girl covered in friendship bracelets, wearing outfits that represent any of the pop star’s eras.

In reality, Swift’s audience comes from all walks of life. They’re moms who’ve found community on Twitter, Gen X-ers and Boomers who find inspiration in Swift’s lyrics and even people in their 90s who’ve found joy in dancing to her music.

“I think we take an almost parental pride in her brilliance as an artist, her work ethic, her financial acumen, her emotional genius and her kindness,” author Paul Slansky, a 73-year-old self-proclaimed “Senior Swiftie” who’s written about older Swift fans, told Yahoo Entertainment.

As Slansky explained, the term “Senior Swiftie” is a label given to older Swift fans, though it holds different meanings for people depending on their interpretation.

For some, it describes a fan that’s followed the artist since she released her self-titled debut album in 2006, who prides themself in witnessing all of Swift’s eras as she evolved from country star to pop royalty. For others, it simply describes Swift fans in their 30s, 40s and beyond who’ve recently taken an interest in Swift’s music.

Some millennials like Abby, 31, have found power in their “Senior Swiftie” status. The mom of one started the Twitter handle @SeniorSwifties in 2021, as a nod for parents who love to talk about all things Swift.

“After joining stan Twitter [communities for Swift] a few years ago, I noticed quickly there were a few younger individuals that were calling anyone over the age of 25 old, so we went with it and started playing into the game, calling ourselves ‘senior,’” she told Yahoo Entertainment.

“When you get to bond with a number of other people that have similar interests and then find people in similar life stages — shout out to the #SwiftieMoms — you truly feel like you fit in,” she explained.

The ‘Taylor Effect’ takes flight

Slansky first discovered Swift after seeing her Nov. 2021 performance of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” on Saturday Night Live. He was so impressed that he “immediately bought every album and went through them chronologically.”

“I found that every one of [the albums] was full of great songs and she just kept growing,” he explained. “Since I found her, I think 90% of the songs I listen to are hers. She rejuvenated my interest in music. There are times when I wish I’d been on the ride from the beginning, but then I wouldn’t have been able to have that explosive all-at-once revelation.”

The love for Swift has infiltrated retirement homes as well.

Every morning, Connie Chevalier, life enrichment director at the Primrose Retirement Community in Sedalia, Mo., leads a Zumba class with residents in their 90s. Calling themselves the “Primrose Sedalia Chiefs Cheerleaders,” they perform choreography to music while sitting in chairs.

Recently, the dancers went viral ahead of Super Bowl LVIII after Chevalier posted a video on her personal Facebook on Jan. 19. The short clip showed the group dancing to Tech N9ne’s “Red Kingdom” as they cheered on Swift and her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

“I would call myself a Senior Swiftie,” Chevalier, 63, told Yahoo Entertainment. “Taylor has gotten very popular now, even people in our age group know her. To bring her into our music vocabulary, and dance to it, is pretty cool.”

‘It’s not like you get older and stop feeling emotions’

As musicologist Nate Sloan told Yahoo Entertainment in October 2023, Swift’s 2012 album, Red, exemplified Swift’s pivot from country to pop, most notably in songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Her transition from country artist to pop superstar was fully realized with the 2014 release of her next album, 1989, which Swift credits as her first “official pop album.

Suzanne Ely, who is 53 years old, didn’t appreciate Swift’s pop sound until the release of Red.

“The country stuff did nothing for me, but when Red came out, I was like, ‘Oh, yes,’” Ely told Yahoo Entertainment. “Regardless of what she does and what she might represent for a lot of people, [Swift] is just talented. You can’t take that away from her.”

A self-described “Senior Swiftie” herself, Ely said listening to Swift’s music takes her back to her angsty teenage years, when music provided an escape from a world that seemed “too big and so complicated.”

“It’s that feeling of being alone in my bedroom. I could put a record on and just feel everything. I can sort of release [my stress] and get some sort of relief, and that saved me. Emotionally, that’s how I coped with life,” she said. “It’s the same thing with Taylor. It doesn’t change. It’s not like you get older and stop feeling emotions.”

Similarly, Sara Reiner, 33, has followed Swift’s career since the singer, now 34, was 17, though she didn’t catch the Taylor fever until somewhat recently.

“While I relate to Taylor closely in age, I could see myself being a senior Swiftie, meaning the new generation [of fans] now discovering her,” Reiner told Yahoo Entertainment. “When I went to her ‘Eras Tour,’ I saw people of all ages — older in their 50s to the 4-year-olds who just wanted to trade bracelets. There is probably at least one song everyone can relate to whether they acknowledge it or not.”

“She delivers this, like, pseudo-personal message to her fans through her music,” said Ely. “When was there ever a point in time when somebody could be this much, everywhere?”

Jerry David is a seasoned Senior Reporter specializing in consumer tech for BritishMags. He keeps a keen eye on the latest developments in the gadget arena, with a focus on major players like Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon, and Sony, among others. Jerry David is often found testing and playing with the newest tech innovations. His portfolio includes informative how-to guides, product comparisons, and top picks. Before joining BritishMags, Jerry David served as the Senior Editor for Technology and E-Commerce at The Arena Group. He also held the role of Tech and Electronics Editor at CNN Underscored, where he launched the Gadgets vertical. Jerry David tech journey began as an Associate Tech Writer at Mashable, and he later founded NJTechReviews in 2010. A proud native of New Jersey, Jerry David earned his Bachelor of Arts in Media & Communication with honors, minoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Muhlenberg College. Outside of work, he enjoys listening to Bruce Springsteen, indulging in Marvel and Star Wars content, and spending time with his family dogs, Georgia and Charlie.