“Look What You Made Me Do” (LWYMMD) has been ridiculed from the second it went public. The New York Post called it “very mediocre,” and USA Today called it “impulsive” because the beat was stiff and didn’t sound like a normal Swift song. Regardless, LWYMMD was the most watched lyric video in the first 24 hours of its release, with 19 million views on YouTube and eight million plays on Spotify.
The LWYMMD music video was the true show stopper, though. It wasn’t just a music video but a work of art. Swift starts off in a graveyard, rising from the dead as a “new” Taylor. Next, she’s lying in a tub filled with $10 million dollars worth of diamonds along with a single dollar bill, the amount she won in her recent sexual assault trial.
Some believe that Taylor is mocking Kim Kardashian in this scene because of the burglary Kim faced back in 2016 when she was forced into her bathroom and had $3 million dollars worth of jewelry stolen. There’s another theory though. In 2015, Taylor described a scene when introducing “Blank Space.”
“I wanted to start with a song I wrote actually as kind of a response to– the media having a wonderful fixation on kind of painting me as the psycho serial dater girl,” Swift said.
She also responds to the recent scandal in which the media called her a snake. In the scene, Taylor is surrounded by snakes and sipping tea, embracing the idea.
The most important part of the video, though, would be the Taylor Swift dressed in black at the top of the “old” Taylor mountain. This “new” Taylor kicks at all the “old” Taylors as they claw at each other, symbolizing that she is throwing away all her old “reputations.”
At the end of the video she has many different identities throughout the years standing together. There’s a T dressed in black that points to the zombie Taylor saying, “What’s wrong with that Bitch?” The zombie Taylor responds with, “Don’t call me that!” Referencing to Kanye’s song “Famous” when he takes ownership for making Taylor famous and calls her “that bitch.”
Another Taylor calls the “Teardrops on my Guitar” Taylor fake. Another Taylor responds with, “There she goes playing the victim, again,” in reference to the media and fan base calling her a liar after Kim Kardashian released a tape showing Taylor agreeing to Kanye’s choice of lyrics in “Famous.” In the end of the video, Taylor says, “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” This implies the way the media has portrayed her in the past years, as a boy-obsessed lying psycho, is not her true identity.
This music video is a great first single to release in preparation for the drop of her “Reputation” album, showing that in spite of what the media has thrown at her she has gotten stronger and harder. The media has attacked Taylor relentlessly, and instead of getting down about this, she uses it as inspiration. She portrays this psycho dating character again in her newest single “…Ready for It?” These two new songs show that Taylor is a strong woman that will take the tabloids view of her and grow.
There will always be people saying Taylor Swift shouldn’t be writing about boys or that they miss the old Taylor, but the new Taylor is more confident than the girl who use to write about burning pictures of exes or kissing in the rain. Her new self is mature and ready, and this new album will show this new side.
Cover photo courtesy of Variety