On the train I saw two adorable best friends, around 16 or 17, on their way to see Taylor Swift. I knew this because the girls were dressed identically in Taylor-inspired outfits: rhinestoned wire headbands with cat ears, and plunging, skimpy white t-shirts silkscreened with the Statue of Liberty, tucked into black, high-waisted short-shorts. They also had terrifyingly matching deep spray tans and the most complicated, matching eyeliner, fake eyelashes, blush, smoky eyeshadow and very dark hair with matching blonde highlights. They would’ve looked like hookers except because they matched, they looked like very innocent members of a club. They were carrying large open picture frames made of white oaktag, on which they’d written quotes from Taylor Swift songs. There was a camera duct-taped to the back of each frame, so the girls could stick their heads into the frames and snap selfies. They sat across from two teenaged boys they’d just met, and they handed the boys their personal phones and asked them to take pictures of the two of them. They’d clearly practiced their poses, where they put their faces together, but not touching (which would smear their makeup) and they flashed identical smiles revealing acres of blindingly whitened teeth. When one of the girls scrolled through these photos, she commented, a little disappointed but still approvingly, “They all look the same.”
The girls could have been their Moms, squealing over N’Sync, or their grandmothers, shreiking over the Beatles, or their great-grandmothers, in bobbysox and poodle skirts, swooning over Sinatra. They loved Taylor, but they really loved the occasion, which had given them a reason to get all tanned and waxed and dolled up.
The girls I saw aren’t in the photo above, but I’m sure my girls would approve, and then make comments.