Music Video Breakdown: ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ by Taylor Swift

Part One

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the old Taylor is dead. Old Taylor is so dead that her corpse makes a guest appearance at the beginning of Taylor Swift’s new music video, “Look What You Made Me Do.” It’s exactly like another famous Taylor music video, “You Belong with Me,” but instead of pining after a cute boy, she’s plotting his murder and instead of pajamas, she’s wearing leather and fishnet stockings.

The general message—from the countless tight black outfits to the numerous references to her reputation—is that Taylor Swift is now the bad girl that her critics always said she was. The biggest problem with that is that no one who listened to her country love songs and girly pop ballads has ever seen her as a bad girl. She’s that one innocent friend in your blocking group that goes to a party once and claims she is now a wild college kid. It’s cute that Taylor thinks she’s bad, but this writer is not convinced it’s actually true.

Early on, it is clear that this new reputation is a farce. As she sits in a bathtub filled with diamonds, it’s almost hard not to laugh as she makes a gun with her fingers or ferociously bites a necklace. Despite the video’s best efforts, the Taylor clad in tight black clothes seems more artificial than the 2009-VMA-Taylor or “Teardrops on my Guitar”-Taylor, even though both are accused of being fake in the video’s final moments.

New Taylor robs a bank while wielding a bat in true Harley Quinn style. This would be cool if it was last Halloween, but that costume is so last year. It’s a good thing that there are ten other sets. The video has a total of eleven sets ranging from a graveyard to a Victorian drawing room to a dark alley. It seems that new Taylor isn’t interested in hanging out on the bleachers or in her bedroom anymore.


Even if you’re still not quite sure what Taylor did, by now you should know that she’s done it and it’s your fault.

—Staff writer Caroline E. Tew can be reached at

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