If, like myself, you’re a Taylor Swift fan, or for that matter if you’re not, it is hard to look at Taylor Swift, as a person and as a musician, to look at the new video, and to have witnessed it’s marketing and not call her a genius. Taylor Swift has long been judged upon her decisions as a songwriter; and in her choice of men, which considering the history of celebrity media is expected, but not justified. I spoke in my last blog post about celebrities who positively influence their followers; speaking primarily about Hayley Williams and her effect on my growing up and Taylor Swift is just another example of such a celebrity.
One particular song which was equally as important to me was ‘Mean’, a song, that for me, sums up Taylor’s songwriting abilities, intentions and the reason behind her popularity. “You, with your words like knives/And swords and weapons that you use against me/You have knocked me off my feet again/Got me feeling like I’m nothing” – for many people, myself included, these beginning lines resonate so deeply in the heart, and are universally relatable. That relatable nature seems to be at the core of all of Swift’s songs, and by using these relatable subjects (Love, bullying, self-doubt) she actively encourages people to vent their frustrations and troubles into something productive like writing songs or stories, rather than believing the ‘haters’ and indulging in their bullying by accepting it. Through ‘Mean’ in particular she also uses the structure of the song, to build up to a happy, strong climax where she encourages people to accept all these people are “is mean” and someday “I’ll be be big enough so you can’t hit me”.
But, what has this got to do with the Bad Blood music video? Oh, well, y’know…everything! While also being incredibly excited to see the video myself, I’ve been absolutely fascinated by that excitement and the whole marketing of the video. As an aspiring writer and filmmaker it’s incredible to watch something be advertised so well, and create such a hype, only to still retain that hype once the video has been released. Apart from the fact that slowly releasing pictures of super cool famous people associated with her was a genius idea, and apart from the fact that the video is genuinely a fantastic and important work of art, a lot of this comes down to Swift’s personality.After all, she truly proves that it pays to be nice, from the frankly amazing perseverance and determination to help and reward her fans, through any means possible (instagram comments, Christmas presents etc) to the message of strength she sends out to young women and men across the globe. This wonderful personality, and need to connect with her fans means that everything she does, whether it contains a well marketed selection of her famous friends or not, there will be a huge hype, because she is not just a celebrity but a sort of friend, that just happens to be in the music industry. So, that natural instinct humans have to support their friends kicks in with Taylor, because she comes across as a down to earth friend, rather than an unreachable celebrity that’s too good for the public.
On top of this ‘Bad Blood’ (yet another song that is so unbelievably relatable) is an empowering song, with an equally empowering video. Which with its kick-ass group of characters showing strength and support gives a greater contribution to the growing, inspiring wave of feminism that we are living through at the moment, that shows that women are equal to men, and can be equally as strong as they chose to be. The style of the video as well is beautifully cinematic, and neo-noiresque which sets the bar even higher for the effort put into music videos, and re-installs the element of art that often gets lost in music videos.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, thank you for taking the time to do so! Bad Blood and Taylor Swift’s whole persona and approach to life, her friendship with some seriously cool people appears, to this fan, to be setting a firm mark in music history.