The onetime outsider — a songwriting savant bullied by mean girls in junior high and overlooked by the guys she crushed on — has evolved into the ultimate insider, an entertainer Forbes ranked as the highest-paid celeb under 30 this year, with earnings of $57 million. Her fourth album, Red, is a blockbuster that moved more than a million copies its first week. She has A-list BFFs, a couple of hit movies, and a growing list of high-profile ex-boyfriends (including Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s 18-year-old son, Conor). So why can't Swift shake the fear that she'll somehow mess it all up? "I'm scared of this whole thing backfiring," she admits. "Or chewing me up and spitting me out, and all of a sudden, I don't love it anymore."
Here are some highlights from the interview. Check out the full Q & A with Taylor Swift in this weekend's issue of Parade.
Despite writing about it so prolifically, Swift claims not to know much about love: I tend to think things are love and then look back and reevaluate.... I know how many people I've said 'I love you' to. I could probably count it up, but I don't feel like it. Part of me feels you can't say you were truly in love if it didn't last. If I end up getting married and having kids, that's when I'll know it's real — because it lasted.
Photos: Taylor Swift's Romantic Rap Sheet
Swift on the bad boys she often seems drawn to: There's a really interesting charisma involved. They usually have a lot to say, and even if they don't, they know how to look at you to say it all. I think every girl's dream is to find a bad boy at the right time, when he wants to not be bad anymore.
Swift is the first to admit that her romances tend to develop — and end — rather swiftly: I don't think there's an option for me to fall in love slowly, or at medium speed. I either do or I don't. I don't think it through, really, which is a good thing and a bad thing. You don't look before you leap, which is like, 'Yay, this is awesome! Let's not think twice!' And then you're like, 'We used to be flying. Now we're falling. What's happening?'
On the difficulty of living in the public eye: I don't know necessarily how much privacy I'm entitled to, but I know I don't get much of it. At the same time, I asked for this. I could be playing in a coffee house. I'd be happy doing that, [but] not as happy, probably. Knowing that people are going to hear the music I make is the most amazing feeling. Knowing that there are dudes waiting outside my house with cameras, hiding in the bushes, is a less awesome feeling.
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