- Taylor Swift released a music video for her newest single, "The Man," on Thursday morning.
- The video is packed with Easter eggs, cameos, and hidden references to her real-life struggles.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Taylor Swift used prosthetics to transform herself into a man for her new music video, aptly called "The Man."
The video, which she wrote and directed herself, is packed with Easter eggs, cameos, and hidden references to her real-life struggles. We found at least 40.
Watch the music video here, and keep scrolling to see everything you may have missed.
The opening shot recalls a moment with Brendon Urie in "Me!"
The video opens with Swift staring out a window, while "Me!" features a similar moment with a suited Brendon Urie staring out a window, looking at Swift dancing on the street below.
Swift walks into an office, crumbles up a piece of paper, and tosses it over her shoulder. Three women scramble to catch it, like a bouquet at a wedding.
Swift liked a post on Tumblr that points out this parallel: "i just noticed when taylor crumples the piece of paper at the beginning and tosses it, three women catch it and freak out like bridesmaids who catch the wedding bouquet," the fan wrote.
The office scene reminded some fans of Swift's 2011 music video for "Ours."
In the music video for "Ours," Swift plays a lonely employee who's jostled around by disrespectful coworkers.
One fan called the contrast a "glow up" in a Tumblr post, which Swift liked.
It also appears to reference the 2013 film "The Wolf of Wall Street."
"The Wolf of Wall Street" stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who got away with fraud and corruption for years before he was arrested.
DiCaprio is explicitly mentioned in the second pre-chorus of "The Man," in which Swift sings, "And they would toast to me, oh, let the players play / I'd be just like Leo in Saint-Tropez."
One woman in the office is holding a coffee cup with lyrics from "The Man."
The coffee cup reads, "I'd be the man," which is the last lyric in the song's chorus.
Swift turns to the camera and winks, recalling another moment from "Me!"
Swift also wears a suit in the music video for "Me!" and winks directly at the camera.
Swift's cocky alter-ego is then seen "manspreading" on the subway in between two women.
"Manspreading" is a phenomenon on public transportation wherein men sit with their legs spread out, taking up more space than necessary. The New York Times called it "the bane of many female subway riders."
The advertisement running along the top of the subway wall also reads, "Because you DESERVE what you want."
One poster on the subway advertises a movie called "Man vs Disaster" with the tagline, "Mother Nature doesn't stand a chance."
Not only does the poster dramatize the hyper-masculinity in many action movies, it also appears to reference the climate change crisis. Not to mention, it probably wasn't an accident to use the feminine term "Mother Nature" and essentially have the male protagonist threaten her safety, further underscoring the theme of the video.
Lastly, the fake movie apparently has a release date of July 20, which could be significant. Some fans have theorized that Swift plans to release another single that day, or make some kind of announcement.
The poster on the right, which reads "Bo$$ scotch" and the tagline "Capitalize on the feeling," is almost certainly a reference to Scott Borchetta.
Borchetta founded Swift's former label Big Machine Records, which owns the masters of Swift's songs recorded before she made the switch to Universal Music Group in 2018.
Swift has accused Borchetta and Scooter Braun, who recently purchased Big Machine, of bullying her, barring her from performing her old music on TV, and refusing to license it for her Netflix documentary, "Miss Americana."
Not only does the man on the poster sort of resemble Borchetta, the tagline ("Capitalize on the feeling") appears to sum up her feelings about his ability to profit from her first six albums, all of which are highly diaristic.
"These are two very rich, very powerful men, using $300 million of other people's money to purchase, like, the most feminine body of work," she told Rolling Stone. "And then they're standing in a wood-panel bar doing a tacky photo shoot, raising a glass of scotch to themselves."
For an additional Easter egg, the word "greedy" is also graffitied next to the poster.
A girl on the subway is wearing a sweatshirt that says "Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince."
"Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince" is the seventh track on "Lover." Some fans think Swift is hinting that she'll release it as her next single.
There are at least five Easter eggs in the newspaper that Swift reads on the subway.
The front page of the paper features headlines like "Year's most eligible CEO's" and "Men we love in sports," which are both stereotypically masculine professions and are paired with photos of men.
The largest section of the front page features the headline, "What man won the year in celebrity dating?" — which is almost certainly a nod to how Swift was maligned for dating male celebrities and labeled a "maneater," whereas male celebrities who date lots of famous women don't face the same scrutiny.
On the back page, there's an ad that reads, "For men with real thirst." Swift liked a post on Tumblr that breaks down the meaning behind this phrase: "Low key in this part it's like saying you're not a real man if you don't thirst a woman's body/ don't pit woman against eachother/ don't play sports etc. media plays a role into shaping this idea of what a 'real' man is."
Finally, there's a "Style Section," which is the only visible section that mentions women — without centralizing how the women are dating or somehow related to men ("It's men against boys… no ladies around" is the headline right next to it). This is likely a critique of how famous women are often asked about their clothing, especially during red carpet interviews, whereas men are asked meaningful questions.
The titles of Swift's first six albums are graffitied on the wall at 13th Street Station — Swift's lucky number — as well as the word "karma" twice.
The only album missing from the wall is "Lover," which is the only album that Swift owns outright. The "missing" poster on the wall ("If found return to Taylor Swift") is likely a nod to Swift's desire to own her other albums, too. Some fans think that "karma" could be the name of her next album.
Interestingly, "Fearless" is the only album title spelled backwards. Fans have theorized this means that "Fearless" will be the first album that Swift rerecords — which she has said she "absolutely" plans to do — and possibly that she'll reorder the tracklist so that it plays backwards.
It could also be spelled backwards because it was printed on the back of her shirt during Swift's performance at the 2019 American Music Awards, which she began by singing "The Man."
A poster on the wall reimagines her Netflix documentary as "Mr. Americana" starring Tyler Swift.
"Mr. Americana" is advertised as premiering at "mandance," rather than Sundance, and was directed by Larry Wilson, rather than Lana Wilson.
There's literally a "no scooters" sign, referencing Swift's ongoing feud with Scooter Braun.
Swift has said that Braun — who manages fellow musicians like Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Ariana Grande — "tried to dismantle" her "musical legacy." Braun has said he's still hoping to patch things up with the singer.
Swift pees on the wall and it spells out "The Man" in sparkling silver letters.
"A man pissing all over a woman's work…seems right," one fan wrote in a Tumblr post, which Swift liked.
The yacht scene embodies the lyric, "I'd be just like Leo in Saint-Tropez."
DiCaprio's foundation organizes a yearly gala in Saint-Tropez. He has also been photographed hanging out with models on a yacht off the coast of the French town.
The scene also seems like an early reference to the song's bridge: "What's it like to brag about raking in dollars / And getting bitches and models?" Swift sings, which itself appears to be a reference to Kanye West.
In West's song "Famous" he name-drops Swift and claims he put her on the map. Swift has maintained she never approved of him referring to her as "that bitch."
West's "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1," a track from the same album, also includes a refrain about having sex with a model. (He was already married to Kim Kardashian West at the time.)
After an apparent one-night stand, Swift's male alter-ego goes on a "walk of praise" instead of a "walk of shame."
"THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT HAPPENS," one fan wrote in a Tumblr post that Swift liked. "they leave the girl behind… walk out the door and instantly tell all their friends what happened and get high fives and praise for 'getting the girl' while she is left to wake up alone."
There are 19 hands in the hallway, which likely represents the 19th Amendment.
Swift made a point to note that there are 19 hands in the hallway.
The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. Although it was ratified on August 18, 1920, it was unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court on February 27, 1922 — exactly 98 years before Swift released her music video for "The Man" on February 27, 2020.
Swift appeared to confirm this theory by liking a Tumblr post about it.
The next scene highlights how little men have to contribute to childcare in order to be praised.
"Okay but hear me out in this scene i guess she is trying to say that there nothing new if a woman take cares and nourishes her child but when a man does that he is extraordinary and the greatest dad," one fan wrote in a Tumblr post, which Swift liked.
"Hardworking mothers, clothing, feeding and protecting. Committed to motherhood. In the background. And then a man simply picks up a kid and is APPLAUDED for it. Taylor is pointing out the glaring double standards to parenthood. I'm SCREAMING," another wrote in a Swift-approved post.
YouTuber Jayden Bartels and TikTok star Dominic Toliver are two of the people who applaud Swift's parenting.
Both of the young stars thanked Swift for including them on Twitter.
"I've re-written this tweet 15 times. How does anyone explain what it feels like to be a part of one of @taylorswift13 's creations? This video is so important & the message means so much to me. Thank you for being an inspiration to me my whole life. I will never forget this," Bartels wrote.
"Thank you so much @taylorswift13 for having me being a part of your music video it was such an honor to showcase my oddly funny reactions," Toliver wrote.
Swift's face is on a $100 bill that falls on a woman's body in a strip club.
The strip club scene appears to condemn objectification, pointing out how some men use women's bodies for their own pleasure.
Having Tyler Swift's face on the $100 bill could simply be a cheeky touch, or it could reference the longstanding fight to put a woman's face on the $20 bill. Former President Barack Obama supported putting Harriet Tubman's face on the bill, replacing the slaveholder Andrew Jackson, but the move has reportedly been delayed since President Donald Trump took office.
Fans have also tried to decode the serial number on the bill: 000021413. Is it a date (February 14, 2013)?
Ironically, the sexist Tyler Swift plays tennis to benefit an undefined "women's charity."
"WOMEN'S CHARITY," one fan wrote in a Tumblr post, which Swift liked. "The sarcasm. This is iconic."
Swift's real-life dad, Scott Swift, plays the tennis referee.
"My dad making his acting debut as 'unimpressed umpire' is a memory I'll always cherish," Swift wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to the entire cast and crew for helping me become the man I always knew I could be."
Swift's "meltdown" on the tennis court is probably a nod to Serena Williams, who has received racist and sexist criticism for scolding referees.
Williams was infamously given three code violations during the 2018 US Open final.
The first violation was for coaching, which Williams argued against. "I don't cheat to win — I'd rather lose," she said. Williams was later given a violation for smashing her racket, costing her a point. Her third violation, for calling referee Carlos Ramos a "thief," cost her a game. She eventually lost to Naomi Osaka.
Williams has since accused the referee of sexism, as she does not believe a male player would receive the same treatment. "I just don't understand," she said. "If you're a female you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do."
Many female celebrities and athletes have thanked Williams for calling out the sexist double standard.
"This video was the EPITOME of 'women can only overreact' while men are allowed to react in similar manners by society but still withstand the scrutiny," one fan wrote in a Tumblr post, which Swift liked. "Women are deemed to be so inferior when it comes to emotions because they can only act 'crazy' when showing them while men are allowed to behave like hooligans and every thinks 'oh well he's a man so whatever.'"
A Swift-branded water bottle, designed by Stella McCartney, is on the tennis court.
The water bottle was designed for the Stella X Taylor Swift merchandise line.
Swift is wearing her own merchandise on the tennis court.
The blue wristbands and the white socks are both for sale in Swift's online store.
TikTok star Loren Gray makes a cameo, wearing a piece of Swift merchandise.
Gray wears a baseball hat emblazoned with lyrics from the song: "I'd be a fearless leader, I'd be an alpha type." The hat is for sale in Swift's online store.
"taylor has been my ROLE MODEL pretty much as long as i can remember and i'm at a loss for words," Gray wrote on Twitter. "i'm so grateful to have gotten to know her. thank you to taylor for having me be a part of this video. and thank you for sharing your heart with the world. this meant so much to me."
Fifty-eight years later, Tyler Swift is getting married to a much younger woman.
Five plus eight equals 13, which is Swift's lucky number.
The number "2" is seen on the back of the director's chair, which fans think could be a clue about what the next single will be.
Fans believe it could be referencing "Cruel Summer," which is the second track on "Lover."
Moments earlier in the video, Gray is seen rolling her eyes, which fans think could be another hint since the song features the lyric, "Devils roll the dice / Angels roll their eyes."
Swift flips the gender roles in the last scene, which features the real her as a director and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the voice of her male alter-ego.
"Was that last take more what you had in mind?" Tyler Swift (in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's voice) asks the director.
"Pretty good," she replied. "Could you try to be sexier, maybe more likable, this time?"
As fans on Tumblr pointed out, she also praises Gray for doing "the bare minimum," while her makeup is touched up by male assistants.
"i love how she criticizes the man's acting but compliments the woman just standing there because that's exactly how women are treated in movies/shows/life in general: give their all to have the director (or any men) say they should be sexier and smile more while men get praised for doing the bare minimum," one fan wrote in a Tumblr post, which Swift liked.
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