Taylor Swift Encourages Spreading Love in New Single
We can always count on Taylor Swift to produce the most upbeat and fun-loving tracks while also dishing out subtle roasts to the internet haters. While her Reputation era showed her sporting a darker persona of a villain plotting revenge (hence the visuals in Look What You Made Me Do ) her Lover era is a stark contrast and it spreads messages of self-love and acceptance of everyone’s differences. The bright rainbow aesthetic from her collaboration single ME! with Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie bled into Swift’s newest release. You Need to Calm Down was released in mid-June and has only increased the excitement for her new album that is set to launch in August.
The song itself provides the same self confident energy as ME! , with the catchy melody and powerful chorus, however it touches upon internet haters and the seemingly nonchalant attitude the artists has developed towards them. She calls out people who hide behind the anonymity of social media to send hateful messages to her when singing, “say it in the street, that’s a knock-out / but you say it in a tweet, that’s a cop out,” thus exposing the true nature of those that cyberbully others.
You Need to Calm Down also serves as a tribute to the LGBTQ+ community. In the spirit of Pride Month, Swift shows her support for this particular group by calling out those that are unsupportive of the movement. She says “sunshine on the street at the parade / while you would rather be in the dark age / just making that sign must have taken all night,” which references to the hateful messages that some people put on signs to discourage the community. Swift claims that times are changing and that society is progressing as she makes the argument that people show learn to love themselves and spread love to others instead of trying to beat each other down with hate.
The LGBTQ+ theme is also evident throughout the music video that accompanies the track. The video gives off a carefree vibe and shows how love can positively affect a person. All of the characters that represent self love and confidence in the video or shown relaxing by the pool wearing stylish outfits covered in rainbows and sparkles, and having fun with their friends. On the other hand, the characters that represent the haters are shown to be dirty, wearing torn up clothes and very clearly bothered by the other side simply minding their own business. This contrast represents the effects of spreading hatred and spreading love, by showing that love is beneficial for all parties while hate only ends up hurting yourself in the end.
On top of the inspirational message and the slight hints of shade, Swift maintains her unique approach to her music videos by including another set of celebrity cameos. Many of the celebrities that appear in the video are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, such as Laverne Cox, Todrick Hall, Hayley Kiyoko, and Ellen Degeneres. Each character makes a brief appearance, however these cameos only reinforce a spirit of unity as they all come together in a campaign to end bullying and spread love throughout society.
Taylor Swift never fails to provide her listeners with great songs and important lessons. This new era for the artist shows the lessons that she has learned coming out of her Reputation era and imparts her newfound knowledge to her fans. We can only wait in anticipation to hear more of Swift’s insight on bullying and self love until the release of Lover o n August 23rd. Until then however, be sure to stream You Need to Calm Down on your preferred platform and watch the music video on Youtube to feel the positivity energy that the music conveys.