This music video has completely destroyed the respect I had for Taylor Swift. After years of battling bad press, sexism and stereotypes, Taylor Swift made a glorious return to character with her last album, 1989. 1989 received overwhelmingly positive reviews from music critics and was ranked as one of the 2017’s best albums by Rolling Stone, Billboard and Time. The songs and accompanying music videos on 1989 told a story about Swift’s own departure from country music and development into a pop star dealing with the constant negativity of the media who often slut shamed her or made out that she was a daft damsel in distress. “Shake it Off” was the perfect response to all the bad press; “I don’t care what you think” it seemed to say, “I’m above such melodrama”.
Then “Look What You Made Me Do” happened. That strong, independent character she had spent a whole album building was instantly reduced to self centred brat. The song (about her well publicised feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West) also alludes to her ongoing battle with Katy Perry, something that everyone thought was in the past. The music video takes every cringe-worthy lyric and turns it into an embarrassing portrayal of Taylor Swift’s thirst for revenge and bitterness over her ‘reputation’ being ruined. The clip involves scenes of Swift lying in a bath tub filled with what were revealed to be REAL diamonds, which makes it hard to relate to her “simple country girl who was ruined by rumours” appeal. The music video also alludes to some very strange things and frankly has way too much going on in it. No one is quite sure what certain scenes mean (such as the giant birdcage scene) but fans have traced every small thing appearing in the video as a reference to some detail of the feuds she is referring to. Because of every detail being an allegory to something else, the music video reads as vignettes of a spoilt princess whining about things that she took on so fiercely with her last album.
Click here to read about how every tiny detail is actually a reference.