The old Taylor Swift might be dead, but her love of having the last word isn’t. Swift premiered the music video for her latest single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” off her upcoming album “Reputation” during the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night, and it’s full of subtle–and not-so-subtle–digs at her enemies. Here, we’re breaking down the shade. Grab a cup of tea.
Let’s start at the beginning. When zombie Taylor is burying old Taylor’s reputation, a headstone in the graveyard reads “Nils Sjoberg.” That’s the pseudonym she used when co-writing the song “This is What You Came For” with ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris.
Next up we have the jewel-filled bathtub. Notice the single dollar bill to Taylor’s right. She was recently awarded one dollar in her court case against DJ David Mueller, who she accused of grabbing her butt in 2013. Mueller was found guilty of sexual assault and battery.
In the portion of the video that many have compared to Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” Swift’s backup dancers are wearing crop tops emblazoned with “I <3 TS,” which is eerily similar to ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston’s tank top.
Swift and her gang rob a streaming service all decked out in cat masks, and Swift wears a sweatshirt with a Tiger on it–remind you of Katy Perry’s “Roar”? And, Perry’s fans are known as “Katycats.” Swift famously refused to allow her music on streaming services–until she put all her music on Spotify right before Perry released her new album, “Witness.”
Swift is reaaaaally channeling some serious Katy vibes here, except one thing–she’s holding a Grammy, which Katy has never won, despite several nominations. Swift has won 10.
Swift is serving up some tea in the video–literally–surrounded by snakes, which she banned from her Instagram comments in 2016. After she was outed as having approved Kanye West’s lyrics in “Famous” despite her saying otherwise, thanks to video proof by Kim Kardashian West, people started to call her a snake. Looks like now she’s embracing that reputation.
“Et tu Brute,” from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” is etched into Swift’s snake-covered throne, suggesting Swift feels like friends betrayed her. Fans also recognized the reference to “Mean Girls,” when Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert) loses it and screams “We should totally just stab Caesar!” And in 2014, Perry tweeted to “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing” after Swift’s interview with Rolling Stone.
Swift is known for her girl squad of famous models and other celebrities–and she apparently knows she gets mocked for it, too. Here she lies with her mannequin squad, throwing shade at those who call her “fake.”
Swift’s favorite number is 13, and it’s sprinkled throughout the “LWYMMD” video–even though, isn’t that old Taylor’s favorite number? Is it new Taylor’s favorite number too? Here it is on one of the old Taylor’s hands, but it’s also in the license plate, necklace on her cheetah and air plane hangar.
Here stands new Taylor, on a pile of all the old Taylors of music videos past. We still have one burning question, though: Didn’t old Taylor write this song?