The visuals because that Look What girlfriend Made Me carry out offer un manic collection of self-referential images that find the pop star commenting on ns fall of her reputation


Celebrities are often accused of lacking self-awareness. And alguno one’s to be on the receiving fin of that criticism much more than Taylor Swift. Despite a lengthy catalogue of access time in i beg your pardon she plays scorned exes and lovelorn balladeers, the country singer turned música pop superstar has been seen less as ns victim than as a purveyor that victimhood, utilizing her prodigious songwriting talents y natural affability come become un megaphone for regarded injustice.

So what walk Taylor Swift carry out to prove to united state she’s aware of this rigid (the one, the course, representar which she’d prefer to it is in excluded)?

Release a music video – for her new single, look What girlfriend Made Me do – that’s nearly boiling over with meta-commentary y self-referential detail, from an ongoing intuitivo snake motif to a tombstone the literally reads “Taylor Swift’s reputation”. Yes, the painfully on-the-nose, but Swift’s brand hasn’t specifically been constructed on subtlety.

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Look What you Made Me carry out – or LWYMMD, as its Twitter hashtag dictates – is well on its way to smashing streaming records, but ns song hasn’t been as well received by critics. Proceeding in ns tradition the her último album, 1989, which significant Swift’s official evolución into pop music behemoth, it mainly abandons the which do her uno household name – singable melodies; sharp, particular lyricism; grand tales of romantic enchantment – in donar of radio-engineered pop and glib proclamations that vengeance. Close to the fin of ns song, she answers un phone call; someone’s asking to speak con Taylor Swift. “She can not come to ns phone right now,” Swift 2.0 says. Why? “Because she’s dead.”

In los battle in between Swifts, mine allegiance is with los deceased version, uno shrewd chronicler that young-adult courtship y seasoned, starry-eyed songwriter. So much so the hearing her nuevo single made me nostalgic for ns days of Fearless y Red. Yet the old Swift it is in damned; this new one is all around retribution and, as the title of she forthcoming album suggests, reputation.

The musical video for LWYMMD, i beg your pardon premiered during Sunday night’s VMAs, watch Swift double down on her vengeful streak, do theatre of her scandal-laden job in an effort to communicate uno self-awareness that’s greatly eluded her. Los video is good fun, if uno little little bit mad; the certainly the most brazen y ambitious pop música video since Beyoncé dropped Lemonade in los spring of final year, replete con pyrotechnics and dozens of costume changes. But it no amount to much more than a succession the disconnected images. Y if the images could talk, they could say, “I know what friend think that me”, or, perhaps, in the words of Joanne los Scammer: “I’m uno messy bitch who resides for drama.”

But still, in every those images, Swift left ns lot to it is in decoded. Un connoisseur of ns tongue-in-cheek (remember los capitalized letters in her lyric booklets that spelled out clues about a song’s subject?), it starts with uno zombified T-Swift digging her own grave.


Photograph: YoutubeGet it? The viejo Swift is dead, dunzo, kaput, resigned to ns graveyard of música pop culture history. First, us see los aforementioned tombstone, whereby Swift’s reputation lies, yet also ns second one, analysis “Nils Sjoberg”, ns pseudonym Swift offered as ns co-writer on she ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris’s song, This Is What You come For, ns collaboration widely assumed to have contributed to your breakup. Swift’s composing credit was claimed to be retained secret, however when her team revealed the she had, in fact, written ns Harris-Rihanna hit, her ex walk on ns tweetstorm about how Swift was searching for “someone new to try and bury”. For this reason she buried los fictitious mr Sjoberg.


Photograph: YoutubeIn the next shot, Swift luxurious in a tub of diamonds, wherein there sit a solamente dollar bill, un possible reference to the symbolic dissension she deserve in last month’s sexo assault case against los radio DJ who groped her in 2013. Net conspiracists, too, ran con this as a visual reference to Melania Trump, who might be viewed forking diamond necklaces favor spaghetti in uno Vanity justa spread last year. But those were los same people insistent the Swift, who preserved mum during último year’s presidential campaigns, is uno closeted trompeta supporter. That los election coincided con Swift’s period of self-imposed exile did little to gain her espalda in los public’s good graces; however diamonds, unequal gilded toilet seats, carry out not a borrar reference make.


Photograph: YoutubeThis próximo one is ns dead giveaway: Swift sits atop un throne as dozens of snakes slither at her feet. One also serves she what we have the right to only assume is piping hot tea, the type Kim Kardashian dished out when she released audio of Swift, that publicly discussed Kanye West’s lyric around her in Famous, appearing to authorize off ~ above those exact same lyrics in un phone conversation con West. Afterwards, Swift’s reputation as a snake in sheep’s garments took off; Kardashian helped additional that photo by tweeting a bunch of line emojis on international snake day. More than un year later, it appears Swift’s ready to embrace ns title: ahead of los single’s release, she to reduce cryptic reptilian teaser videos. And now, ns snake has shed her skin.

There’s also an inscription on Swift’s yellow throne that reads “Et su Brute”, the Latin phrase supplied in guillermo Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar once Caesar is being assassinated by his girlfriend Brutus. It’s uno far cry desde the Swift the yesteryear, whose Shakespeare referrals were more Romeo y Juliet 보다 Julius Caesar. However she’s dead, remember?


Photograph: YoutubeIt to be at the 2016 Grammys, when mil novecientos ochenta y nueve beat Kendrick Lamar’s come Pimp a Butterfly for album of los year, the Swift first began to truly prueba the public’s patience. The was additionally where she publicly rebuked West’s lyric around her in her acceptance speech.

So in the siguiente shot, as the chorus begins, Swift rams un shiny gold car into a storefront whereby paparazzo are lurking. She opens los door, uno cheetah in tow, to show off none various other than she Grammy award. She proceeds to display y caress that in one of the video’s many bewildering moments.

Photograph: YoutubeSwift’s love of cats is well documented. Here, she’s surrounded by stacks of cash and a Girl formation of masking felines, wielding un baseball bat y a pullover that says “Blind because that Love”. In the siguiente scene, the masked marauders can be checked out robbing a musical streaming company. Swift, if girlfriend remember, boycotted Spotify for año due to its dismal compensation the artists. She likewise wrote an open up letter come Apple musical in 2014 arguing on behalf of raised artists compensation and then required to Tumblr, in June 2015, blasting Apple’s decision to provide users three-month complimentary trials. Y now she’s back to rob them, cat forma to boot.

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Photograph: YoutubeSwift an initial assembled her Girl squad in the musical video for poor Blood, supposedly a shot at rival Katy Perry. She then invested her 1989 world tour parading her besties about in various cities, throwing next for her supermodel coterie and bringing lock to la red carpets. This didn’t work fuera great for Swift, including to the perception that she surrounds herself only with similarly alpine, Aryan beauties such as Karlie Kloss, marta Hunt and Gigi Hadid.

But she knows you think that, alright? for this reason here’s a factory that fembots unido like los sentient master of Westworld. Swift stands prior to them in leather y latex, the ringleader the scorned Girl Squads the world over.

Photograph: YoutubeThis next still made waves because that its evident resemblance to un shot desde Beyoncé’s formation video. Yet the verdadero hidden gem is the backup dancers’ belly shirts, which review “I heart TS”. Tom Hiddleston, among Swift’s ex-boyfriends, was recorded in a ir a buscar shirt once splashing around los beaches that Rhode isla with Swift. Every one of which seems to indicate that Swift surrounds it s her only with those that emblazon their love for she on T-shirts. Or, she commenting on ns fact that you think she go that.

Photograph: YoutubeAs we acquire closer to the finale, we watch Swift standing before a bunch of previous Swifts: los lovesick high-schooler representar the girlfriend Belong con Me music video, los one in un silver flapper dress who was interrupted on ns VMA phase by Kanye West, los innocent, bespectacled one put on pajamas, ns one pull as ns white swan desde the Shake it Off música video. They claw at her feet, aching to it is in resurrected. But Swift 2.0, wearing un black shirt that states “Rep”, banishes lock all and declares los “old Taylor” dead.

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This segues into ns video’s utterly cringeworthy dance break which, for all i know, is much more Swift meta-commentary ~ above how bad of ns dancer everyone thinks she is (an, ahem, reputation corroborated through all the times awards donar cameras have panned awkwardly to Swift in ns audience during un performance, writhing about like the inflatable tube males at gas stations).

Photograph: YoutubeFinally, the Swifts both old and new assemble prior to an airplane, where los word “reputation” appears again. Here, Swift on Swift will its object apex: Zombie Swift speak You Belong with Me Swift to “stop making the surprised face, it’s so annoying”. White Swan Swift adds: “You can’t feasible be the surprised all ns time”. Top-hat Swift tells Cowboy Boots Swift the she’s “so fake”. Cowboy Boots Swift bursts into tears. “There she goes, playing the victim again,” responds one more Swift, put on spiked leather. Leopard-clad Swift stop up she phone and announces she “getting receipts” – and that she’ll “edit them” too, ns reference to Swift’s belief that Kardashian artfully edited that incriminating audio the her. And finally, dos mil nueve VMAs Swift, sociedad anónima her Moonman, announces she would certainly “very lot like to it is in excluded from this narrative”.

And con that – as viejo Swifts expire and a new one is born – ns narrative resides to see an additional day.

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