Taylor Swift Transforms Into 'The Man' for Her Latest Video: All of the Easter Eggs Explained
In the video, the singer exhibits some pretty bad (but often standard) behavior as a man: man-spreading on public transit, asking for pats on the back for doing the bare minimum, ballin’ out on a yacht, throwing tantrums during sports and more. Swift embodies her character so fully that it is difficult to figure out if that’s really her under all of those prosthetics (major shout out to the makeup team!). But that’s not the best thing about the music video, which is a direct shot at the double standards that Swift has faced throughout her career.
The 30-year-old is known for dropping Easter eggs into her music videos, and this one is no exception. How many are there, you ask? Swift herself told fans on YouTube, “Lots and lots. More than in any kid’s yard on Easter morning.” Just call her the Easter Bunny.
Let’s get started, shall we?
She’s the Man
While The Man is on the train being generally awful to the women onboard, he opens up a newspaper. The story on the front page? In all caps, “What Man Won the Year in Celebrity Dating.” Swift has been open about the scrutiny she’s received for her love life in the past. In the song, Swift sings that, if she were a man, “They’d say I played the field before / I found someone to commit to / And that would be okay / For me to do / Every conquest I had made / Would make me more of a boss to you.”
Then, when The Man gets off of the train, he stops to relieve himself on a public wall (ah, the beauty of being able to pee while standing), and that wall has a ton of Easter eggs literally written all over it. First, the station he stops at is 13th street station. 13, as any Swiftie would know, is the singer’s lucky number, and she was born on Dec. 13th.
There Are a Few Allusions to Her Drama with Big Machine Records and Scooter Braun
All of Swift’s albums from her time with Big Machine Records are tagged on the wall in graffiti.
Some back story for those of you who don’t know: It was announced in June 2019 that former CEO Scott Borchetta sold Swift’s previous label Big Machine (and with it, Swift’s entire catalog of music) to music manager Scooter Braun for $300 million. Swift made her disapproval known, penning a lengthy post in which she made it clear that she did not support Borchetta’s decision.
The drama continued when Swift, who was honored as Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards in November, released another statement, this time alleging that Big Machine was blocking her from singing her past hits in a medley at the awards. Swift did get to perform the songs and, in a similar fashion, opened her performance with “The Man” while wearing a shirt with her album names on it and played at a piano that had the names of the album engraved in it.
In case that wasn’t enough, next to the album names, there is a poster that says, “MISSING: IF FOUND RETURN TO TAYLOR SWIFT.”
And the cherry on top of the cake? A sign indicating no scooters allowed.
And there’s a poster on the subway that reads, “BO$$ SCOTCH: Capitalize on the feeling,” which fans think is a dig at Braun and his $300 million deal with Scott Borchetta.
Don’t forget: In a Rolling Stone cover interview last fall, Swift mocked Braun and Borchetta’s announcement portrait, in which “they’re standing in a wood-panel bar doing a tacky photo shoot, raising a glass of scotch to themselves.”
There is also a poster for Mr. Americana with Tyler Swift, which is an “official selection” for the “Mandance Film Festival.” Swift just released a documentary on Netflix titled Miss Americana, and it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
There Are Some Fun Cameos!
Swift may have transformed herself to play the man, but Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson voiced the role.
And TikTok star Loren Gray also made an appearance in the scene on the tennis court.
Swift’s dad, Scott, was the umpire in the tennis match, which means that Swift got to have a temper tantrum and throw tennis balls at her own father.
She tweeted after the video’s premiere, “My dad making his acting debut as ‘unimpressed umpire’ is a memory I’ll always cherish.”
The tennis match itself is suspected to be a nod to Serena Williams. The tennis star argued with an umpire at the 2018 US Open, costing her the title. During her match against Naomi Osaka, Williams broke a racket and was given a code violation after also receiving a code violation for illegal coaching. Both of those codes lead to a point penalty, which then lead to Williams arguing with the umpire, telling him “You owe me an apology! I have never cheated in my life.”
The umpire then gave Williams another penalty after she called him a thief for taking a point from her. That’s when it got really ugly, and she got a third warning. Williams memorably said, “To lose a game for saying is not fair. There’s a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things, and because they are men, that doesn’t happen.”
A Nod to the 19th Amendment
And here’s Kimye’s:
But more important than any shade (perceived or real) there’s significance behind the number of hands that Swift high fives. The singer tweeted two days before the music video’s debut, “There are 19 hands in the hallway,” which means it has to be significant, right? RIGHT?!
Fans think that it has something to do with the 19th amendment, which is the amendment that granted women the right to vote. The music video came out on Feb. 27, which is the date that the amendment was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1922.
Another Twitter user aptly pointed out that before The Man runs down the hallway, he is seen leaving a naked woman in bed. The implication is, “men are applauded for having sex whilst women are shamed for it — “The Man” received a “walk of praise” after sleeping with a woman and leaving the next morning, whereas a woman would encounter a sexist walk of shame.”
What’s the Next Single?
One eagle-eyed fan thinks they figured it out! The number on Swift’s director’s chair is two, which could be a sign that the second song off of Lover, “Cruel Summer” is Swift’s next single. And if that’s not impressive Swiftie sleuthing, they also noticed a date on one of the posters was July 20, 2020. Add up 07/20/2020 and you get…13! Coincidence? Maybe. But is anything really a coincidence in a Swift video?
Also, remember that cameo from Loren Gray? She’s TikTok famous, and her fans are called Angels. In the music video, Gray rolls her eyes, an appropriate reaction to The Man’s antics. Well, it could be more than that! Swift sings “angels roll their eyes” in “Cruel Summer” which is another Easter egg cracked!
Swift Owns It All
At the end of the video, the credits role and show Swift’s transformation into The Man, and we see that Swift directed the video, wrote the song, owns the music and stars in the music video.
Watch the entire video and dissect it for yourself here: