Taylor Swift is making sure that everyone knows she means business with her latest release. After a social media wipeout, followed by some cryptics clips of a few suspicious snakes, the artist dropped her new single "Look What You Made Me Do" ahead of upcoming new album Reputation.
Since the video's release, Swift has broken a fair few records– the YouTube clip is currently at 70 million views, and counting– and has stirred a whole lot of speculation as to her targeted attacks in the video: at her past identities, famous friends and foes, but also much bigger issues and ideologies that could extend past the realm of pop music.
Taylor Swift, Aryan Goddess?
It's not exactly news that Taylor Swift has long been adopted by the alt-right as a pop culture icon to underscore their ideologies, but it does seem to be going a step further with her new single.
In a somewhat unsettling turn, far right-wing news site Breitbart News began tweeting all of Swift's new lyrics to announce their news stories– with no real pattern or message seeping through, except deep appreciation for Swift's newfound edge, apparently. The publication in the past has been celebrated as "the platform for the alt-right" by CEO Steve Bannon.
A lengthy investigation into Taylor Swift's influence within the neo-nazi/alt-right community was exposed last year by Broadly, and now Dazed have started connecting the dots too; the new single just seems to push these theories further.
"Look What You Made Me Do" is fierce, fearless and fearful. It's provocative and shows that Swift is more than aware that a lot of people just don't love her as much as they used to. On the surface, there are a lot of jabs at recent pop culture events: references to Kanye's tilted stage, a hit at Kim's jewel burglary.
But a few past political theories are being resurrected along with Taylor's new image. Hardcore fans are actually getting worried for her life amid the heavy symbolism of death in the new video. Sure, zombie Taylor could just be ridding herself of the pop queen of the past, but is the life of this new artist actually safe?
The blank space the alt-right has been craving
Taylor Swift has been adopted by the alt-right for several reasons. There are very few/no pop stars expressing openly non-democratic opinions, for that side of the fence to sing along to. So, with her somewhat questionable political silence, Taylor Swift has provided the blank space the party craved. And as of yet, there's no tangible proof to deny the possible correlation.
Are we overthinking this? Is Taylor Swift's new song just a hit back at bad press - or could it be indicative of a political awakening that conspiracists have predicted for years? Simply put, the Daily Stormer claimed Swift as:
"a pure Aryan goddess [...] secretly a Nazi waiting for the time when Donald Trump makes it safe for her to come out and announce her Aryan agenda to the world."
The good girl gone bad has come before Swift, as Miley Cyrus dropped Hannah Montana for Bangerz in a heartbeat, then dropped this persona in exchange for a vanilla, sugar-sweet alter-ego all over again.
Interestingly, there are clear influences of the Bangerz era throughout "Look What You Made Me Do" (skip to 1:46 for a familiar fire-fuelled stuffed toy massacre) - as well as that correlation with Beyoncé's Formation that everyone is talking about. But what will it really take for Taylor to finally be comfortable in her own
political beliefs sound at last?
You can listen to the controversial single and feast your eyes on the many faces of Taylor Swift here: