Taylor Swift just released her newest video for “The Man,” from her Lover album, and it is a glorious bit of sticking it to, well, The Man.
I love Taylor’s music for lots of reasons, but one of the main ones is how unambiguously she writes.
“I would complex. I would be cool. They’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to. And that would be ok for me to do.”
She opens with the most basic of truths, syncopates it perfectly, and makes it a bop. It’s not a revelation that her song-writing skills are top-notch.
But her videos add another layer to her explicit point: Taylor Swift actually IS The Man. She’s writing, directing, and starring in the video. She’s adding layers of Easter eggs and veiled digs at the culture that tries to diminish her accomplishments all while effortlessly adding to those accomplishments.
She’s playing The Man but is almost completely unrecognizable physically (how did they get her legs and hands to look like that?) but all the while completely dominating the space as the fully recognizable voice and force in the song itself. Like she’s daring us: “Try to figure out if this is me, while knowing the whole time it’s definitely me.”
The entire video is draped in Taylor Swift. Her album titles. Her voice. Her dad. Her cache. Her unmistakable sound. But we never see her. Until we realize we’ve been looking at her all along. It’s mega-meta. It’s fiercely feminist. And I don’t care how obvious it is. I love it.
What’s your favorite hidden slam in “The Man”?
Beth is the proud sponsor of two little women and a huge fan of fandom. She took 3 years of Latin in high school and now speaks fluent pretension, which fully explains her current preference for gay wizard regency novels. She will roll over for a giant book with a map in the front. She takes comic book recommendations every day but Wednesday and TV recommendations never (she knows what's good).