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Taylor Swift’s re-recorded album “Red (Taylor’s Version)” was just the tip of an iceberg of new content. Along with the “All Too Well” short film, Swift has also released a music video for “I Bet You Think About Me,” directed by actress Blake Lively.
The video opens with a groom, played by Mile Teller, practicing his wedding vows. “I will never forget the first time that I met you,” Swift sings. The line is a poetic beginning to a song about an ex-partner who can’t forget the narrator. Suddenly, the groom sees Swift in the mirror instead of himself. His distress is emblematic of the song’s title — he’s clearly still thinking about Swift despite his imminent nuptials.
Set at an all-white wedding, the video goes on to present Swift in mostly monochromatic red outfits, in contrast to the wedding guests, bride and groom, and decorations. Notwithstanding the symbolic connection to the album’s title,
Swift’s behavior might give the color choice a deeper meaning.
The singer takes a chunk out of the wedding cake, knocks over the cake topper, sits at the kids table and entertains the children, eats the olives out of other people’s drinks, and switches out white roses for red ones. She’s a strong presence at the wedding, acting childish and drinking, without a care in the world. Red, traditionally a color of passion, energy, and action, seems like an apt choice to match her actions. The lyrics, like “Mr. Superior Thinkin’,” support the idea that Swift was infantilized and felt separate from the world of her ex. Her mischievous actions seem to indicate a rebellion against that perception of herself.
In the one scene where she isn’t wearing red, Swift is in a white ballgown and dances with the groom. The bridge plays right before, ending with the line: “The the love that you’re lookin’ for is the love that you had.” They dance in a projector-like beam of light, the groom perhaps realizing that this relationship was right for him all along. Swift’s dress, along with the flowers and background, then turns bright red and she picks up a guitar. She steps into her own and grows beyond the person she was in her past relationship. Her “concert” at the end exudes confidence and self-assurance. He may be thinking about her, but she’s definitely not thinking about him.
Fans have also speculated that the song may be symbolic of her struggle with owning her music. The masters of her first six albums were purchased by Scooter Braun from Scott Borchetta in 2019 against the wishes of the artist herself. Braun and Borchetta were “controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them,” Swift said in a blog post on her Tumblr. All of her antics, like teaching the children at the wedding to crank up the middle finger and ruining a wedding cake, could be interpreted as one big “Take that!” to Braun and Borchetta. Swift has re-released two of her past six albums and has built up a fan base dedicated enough to only listen to the re-recorded albums.
This video is likely the first in a series of music videos to be released by Swift. She’s committed to putting out the content and songs her fans want to listen to and see. “I get to do things I know they wish I would have done the first time,” Swift said in an SNL interview about re-recording her music.
The music video for “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version)” tells more than just the story of an old relationship. Whether it’s a reflection of her growth or a dig at those who’ve wronged her, the music video sends a bold, almost “reputation”-like, message. Swift has moved on — but you’re probably still thinking about her.
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