Aside from winning awards for chart-topping hits and selling out tours worldwide, calling out her haters in not-so-subtle ways is Taylor Swift’s forte. The Grammy award-winning musician underwent an epic makeover to transform into a man for her The Man music video, and she looks unrecognisable (though that’s probably the point).
The Man tells an over-exaggerated portrayal of toxic masculinity to emphasise the sexism and double standards women have to put up with on a day-to-day basis.
Taylor has faced sexism throughout her extremely long – and successful – career; she was refused the right to perform her own music and won a historic assault case last year where she was awarded a symbolic $1. The song shares the message that if she was a man, she would have not only reached success faster, but would be taken more seriously in the music industry. And that’s not up for interpretation, either. Taylor sings “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man”.
Taylor also called out Scooter Braun, the music executive that bought her entire catalogue, by showing a wall adorned with the names of her previous albums topped with a sign reading ‘Missing: If Found Return to Taylor Swift’ – alongside a ‘No Scooter’ sign. Shots fired.
She even mentions Leonardo DiCaprio – an actor known for adventures aboard his yacht filled with impossibly gorgeous models - and points out the difference in how they’re portrayed by the media, as she is often ridiculed for her dating life whereas her male counterparts are praised and congratulated when they finally find “someone to commit to”.
Directed by Taylor (and owned by Taylor, as she lets you know in a big, bold font in the credits), the video ends with Director Taylor asking Man Taylor – voiced by Dwayne Johnson – to act sexier and more likeable – a comment we’d imagine isn’t far from one women in the industry have received before.
Make sure you stay tuned to the end to see the impressive transformation from 29-time American Music Award-winner to The Man.
How many easter eggs can you spot? Watch the video below:
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