Taylor Swift is the pop star who made it cool to be nice. She boasted of her baking skills and sent surprise gifts to her many fans — the fiercely loyal ‘Swifties’. They, in turn, rewarded her with a string of hit records.
But there is another Taylor Swift. Still only 27, she has left a line of ex-boyfriends in her wake and had some spectacular fall-outs with big-name stars.
In her latest video, Look What You Made Me Do, which has already been viewed 25 million times, she gets her revenge. ALISON BOSHOFF explains how . . .
Claws out for Katy Perry
In her new video, Taylor (left) — looking like Katy Perry (right) — crashes a car while holding a Grammy award
Taylor and pop star Katy Perry were great pals up to 2011, but fell out, allegedly after Perry dated Swift’s ex-beau, singer John Mayer.
In her new video, Taylor — looking like Katy — crashes a car while holding a Grammy award. It’s a vicious dig as Perry has 13 nominations, but has yet to win one — while Taylor won ten. Arguably, Katy’s love life is a bit of a car crash: she was briefly married to comic Russell Brand.
A camp sneer at Tom
n the video, her male dancers wear suspenders, high heels and ‘I heart TS’ tops
Taylor Swift and Night Manager star Tom Hiddleston’s relationship last year caused a sensation. Then heavily tipped to play the next Bond, the 35-year-old actor was spotted kissing Taylor on a beach in June.
The couple went out of their way to be seen together, culminating in pictures of Tom frolicking in the sea wearing a vest saying ‘I heart TS’.
Months later, the romance was dead, and Taylor’s camp implied he had used her for publicity. In the video, her male dancers wear suspenders, high heels and ‘I heart TS’ tops.
What an embarrassing reminder for macho star Tom who wanted to be 007.
Tom Hiddleston frolicking in the sea wearing a vest saying ‘I heart TS’ last year
Grave insult to ex-love Calvin
A terrifying zombie Taylor rises from the dead. But look at the name on the gravestone on the left: Nils Sjoberg. This is the pseudonym she used when she co-wrote the smash-hit This Is What You Came For with her then boyfriend, DJ Calvin Harris.
Her involvement in the song was leaked just after they broke up in a move many saw as trying to discredit his work on the hit. Harris furiously tweeted: ‘Hurtful to me at this point that her (Taylor) and her team would go so far out of their way to try to make ME look bad.’
Looks like she’s well and truly buried that relationship for good now!
A dollar bill and a nasty lawsuit
The dollar bill can be seen next to Taylor’s right arm as she lies in a bathtub
Earlier this month, Taylor Swift was vindicated in a lawsuit over an alleged grope by former U.S. radio host David Mueller in 2013. He sued her for £2.3 million, saying she had pressured his employer to fire him after a red carpet incident. He said he touched her arm, she said: ‘He grabbed my bare ass.’
She countersued — asking for just $1 in damages. The jury found in her favour.
In the video, she lies in a bath of diamonds, with a single dollar bill at her shoulder. Could there be a better way for her to demonstrate that victory was never about money — but revenge?
There may be a darker meaning, too. Reality star Kim Kardashian — with whom Swift is also feuding — was robbed of jewellery including a diamond ring by a Paris gang last year, who held a gun to her head, gagged her . . . and put her in a bathtub.
Snakebite for Kim Kardashian
This shot of Swift sitting on a throne surrounded by snakes is a swipe at Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West.
They fell out last year over Kanye’s track Famous, in which he calls Taylor a ‘b****’. When Taylor publicly objected to a ‘misogynistic message’, Kim released excerpts of a recorded phone conversation suggesting that Taylor had approved the track. During the fall-out, Kim observed it was ‘national snake day’, and accused Swift of being untrustworthy.
Here, Taylor shows she embraces being queen of the snakes — and doesn’t care if people think she’s a slimy character. Later the line ‘Et tu Brute’ is seen carved onto her throne — apparently bemoaning former friend Kim’s apparent betrayal.
Kicking out at Kanye…
Taylor wears the same dress in the video, left, as what she wore when she was interrupted by Kanye West (right)
Sharp-eyed fans will notice that Taylor wears a succession of very familiar dresses during the video, including this silver number.
She was wearing it at a 2009 MTV video music awards ceremony when — as she accepted her best video award — she was interrupted by Kanye West (left), who said his friend Beyonce should have won instead.
Back then, Taylor forgave West. Those days are gone — in the video she is seen killing off her former, gentler selves.
Flaming fury at web giants
Taylor stages a robbery, setting fire to piles of money. The vault belongs to a ‘ Streaming Company’ (note the rolling information screen in the background) — a clear reference to iTunes and Spotify.
She complained they were hitting her earnings by letting people listen to music for free — hence the image of her burning money.
iTunes caved in and changed their policy after she withheld her music from them in 2015 — while Spotify only reached a settlement this year.