“I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead,” sings Taylor Swift, the perky pop princess who quickly fell from grace after a brush with Kim and Kanye, in her new single “Look What You Made Me Do.” Is the first song from her new album Reputation, dropping November 10, good? No, no it is not. In fact, we prefer Swift’s old, sugary and melodic sound before she dropped off the face of the earth and asked to be “excluded from this narrative.” But we are feeling her makeover in the teaser for the new video, debuting at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. Consider this new-and-improved version Taylor 3.0.
After literally wiping the slate clean by clearing her Instagram account, a slithering serpent started to take shape. Long gone was the country darling that captivated audiences across America during her early days and the glittery pop crossover diva with the release of “Bad Blood.” Fresh off the win of a sexual assault lawsuit against a former radio host, a vengeful, less naïve Swift appears ready to insert herself back into a narrative of her own creation—and she’s sporting stiletto nails this time around in an effort to claw her way back to the top.
In addition to fierce and fresh manicures in both classic crimson and metallic gold, we see Tay sport multiple looks in the 20-second clip, including glossy red lips (a former beauty signature), ’70s inspired waves, mussed-up curls, and a don’t-fuck-with-me, wine-stained pout. While the Beyhive was quick to point out the similarities between the teaser and Beyoncé’s work (like the male dance crew reminiscent of scenes in “Formation”), Swift seems committed to updating her image on her own terms. No more poufy prom dresses paired with cowboy boots. No more “good girl fate” and a “tight little skirt,” which she croons about in “Style.” No more goodie-two-shoes girl squad. Moving forward, Swift is setting the tone and her intentions with just two sentences on Instagram: “There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation.” While sartorial reputations often precede celebrities on the red carpet, we look forward to viewing the reimagined version of Swift in full come Sunday.