The guy in Taylor Swift’s new music video is a guy ... or is he? Swift dropped her much-anticipated music video for 'The Man' last night, generating instant buzz and racking up almost 8 million views in less than 24 hours, and rightfully so.
Swift deserves an Oscar for directing herself in perhaps the most creative and expertly-crafted music video of the year, whilst sending a strong message about feminism by taking aim at all the double standards between men and women.
The video sees Swift, ever the master of self-mockery and metamorphosis, undergo a makeup-heavy prosthetic transformation into - quite literally - a man.
The music video opens with the “male version” of Swift dressed in a suit and tie, sporting a neatly trimmed beard and sideburns, utterly unrecognisable to say the least - the only telltale signs were the fact that it’s a Taylor Swift song, and the “guy” in the video has Swift’s signature confidence and a hint of her, at times awkward, dance moves.
As she sings the lyrics: “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,” she storms an office, where everyone appears to be kneeling at her feet.
There are countless Easter eggs in this video. These lyrics, for instance, refer to her “juicy past”, as portrayed in the media, where she’s allegedly someone who goes through boyfriends like tissues.
The video and message behind the lyrics are also reminiscent of a scene in Swift’s critically-acclaimed Netflix documentary 'Miss Americana' where she almost broke down in tears during a heated exchange with her father about whether or not she could weigh in on politics; and another scene where Swift said she needed to enjoy her fame while it lasts, because most female artists’ careers are over by the age of 35.
Put simply, showbiz seems to be so much more unforgiving when it comes to female artists, and Swift has once again transformed one of her music videos into a tool of empowerment by weighing in on important but unspoken issues impacting women.