All of the shady references in Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do video.
Taylor Swift just stole the show at the VMAS by not even showing up – releasing her Look What You Made Me Do video, which not only was the talking point of the night but also outshone Katy Perry’s confusing hosting.
Swifts lavish Joseph Khan (Toxic, Bad Blood, Blank Space) directed promo sets the context for the new song with a shit load of new imagery that says “Taylor Swift is back, and she’s a bad bitch“. Opinion remains split on that as a motivation for her comeback, given accusations that someone who was recently sexually assaulted by a man discussing how short her skirt was should be more responsible and aware when adopting the language of abusers in the track. Taylor doubles down on every visual gag possible to throw clear references to the people she’s lashing out at. We’ve broken down even some of the more obscure Swift references in this post, including a Mean Girls gag that will have Katy Perry shuddering.
0.20 Zombie Swift – Michael Jackson, Thriller. Dressed in her ‘Out of the Woods’ dress.
0.29 A gravestone to Nils Sjoberg, Swifts songwriting credit on her ex-boyfriend, Calvin Harris‘ track with Rihanna.
0.32 Being buried in her 2014 Met Gala dress.Notably the night Solange Knowles beat down Jay Z.
0.34 The one dollar bill she just won in a court case about being sexually assaulted by a DJ.
0.34 Also, potentially Kim Kardashian West’s gruesome robbery at gunpoint.
0.51 Referencing her being called a Snake by Kim Kardashian
0.51 A sneak reference to Mean Girls, “Et Tu Brute” is what Caeser says to Brutus when he is stabbed to death by his friend. But in the context of Swift’s narratives (which she’s clearly aware of), it doubles as a reference to when Gretchen Weiners proposes to ‘stab Caesar’ in the 2004 movie Mean Girls, which Swift became associated with when Katy Perry referred to her on twitter as a ‘Regina George in sheep’s clothing’. Serious back door shade to Katy Perry.
1.04 – His love was like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street. Faster than the wind, passionate as sin ending so suddenly’
1.38 – Blind for Love on her shirt is a reference to her man-eating reputation.
1.38 – Cat masks as a reference to her cats.
1.40 – Stream Co. is the ticker-tape on the bank she robbed, implying she was holding streaming companies ransom for her library which she just released to Spotify after brokering an exclusive deal with Apple Music previously – a reflection of a long line of issues she’s had with streaming companies. Or perhaps to Kanye’s involvement in Tidal?
1.51 – Creating a squad of impossibly beautiful women after years of being critiqued by her unusually beautiful female friends, that Demi Lovato chimed in on.
2.17 – I heart TS shirts on her dancers poking fun at Tom Hiddleston’s shirt of the same name he wore for her famously to the ridicule of the PR stunt couple.
2.24 – Former Taylor’s fighting for supremacy including RED Tour Swagger Jacked from Britney’s Circus Tour Taylor, 2015 Billboard Music Awards Taylor, Shake it Off Taylor, VMAS Taylor. 1989 Taylor, Fearless Taylor, You Belong with Me Taylor.
2.24 – You Belong With Me Taylor has a shirt that has the names of her famous friends scribbled on
Selena, Todrick, Alana, Lena, Danielle, Este, Blake & Ryan, Ed, Martha
4.00 – Taylor pokes fun at her perpetually surprised award face.
4.08 – The Taylors previously mentioned all having self-aware snipes at each other, ending with a hilarious collective ‘Shut Up’ at her holding the VMA and asking to be ‘excluded from this narrative’. And another Taylor infers she’s going to ‘edit the reciepts’ which may be in reference to her allegations that Kim Kardashian edited the snapchats of Taylor’s interaction with Kanye about being called a ‘bitch’ which she angrily reacts to in the final lineup.