My dislike of Taylor Swift is well-documented, so writing this feels both necessary and incredibly uncomfortable.
Swift dropped her new song “Delicate” and accompanying music video at Sunday’s iHeartRadio Awards, and it is a legit bop. The song is the fourth single released off her Reputation album.
The vid, directed by Joseph Kahn—the man who also brought us such Swift-classics as “Bad Blood” and “Blank Space”—has (predictably) already hit numero uno on YouTube’s trending list. It begins with Swift being interviewed by reporters, taking selfies with young fans and yet also feeling like she can only be herself away from the cameras. But that all changes when Swift magically becomes invisible, allowing her to let her freak flag fly, awkward-dancing her way through a hotel, the subway and out onto the streets.
While few can relate to Swift’s $280 million empire, many fans—and even some non-fans—are connecting with the message of the video. And they’ve already uploaded the memes to prove it:
— मुन मुन (@swiftie_77) March 12, 2018
— alli (@the_diagon_alli) March 12, 2018
— tay (@swiftiesince07) March 12, 2018
the video was a little strange, but I think that was the point. once she was invisible, she was free to be whoever she wanted. she could be out there and wacky and strange without anyone giving her looks or rude comments. she could do whatever she wanted with no repercussions.
— ruby (@spxrklingswxft) March 12, 2018
However, the “Delicate”vid has also hit a sour note for some, with several Twitter users suggesting it was a rip-off of Spike Jonze’s iconic fragrance commercial for Kenzo.
taylor swift’s “delicate” video is a poor man’s version of spike jonze’s ad for Kenzo, this bop deserved more pic.twitter.com/39Ub99bKqc
— christina.jpg (@wtfcylon) March 12, 2018
But let’s be real, what would a Swift single be without some controversy over whether or not she actually stole what is intended to be a fresh new brand of awkward girl-next-door?
As a non-Swift fan, for me what sets this song and dance apart from Swift’s previous work is her opening lyric. “My reputation’s never been worse so / you must like me for me,” sings Swift, which feels surprisingly self-aware compared to her earlier release, “Look What You Made Me Do.” Dare I say, that message alone is worthy of some clapping emojis?
Whether “Delicate” signals a turning point for Swift’s rep is still to be determined, but it’s safe to say that this song—and its memes—are already taking over.
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