Taylor Swift's 'Look' Video References: From Miley and Beyonce to Michael Jackson & Katy Perry
Taylor Swift has always been subtle when it comes to revealing who her more biting songs were inspired by. But in the glittery video for her new single, "Look What You Made Me Do," the singer makes a series of subtle and not-that-subtle references to past beefs that had Swifties screenshotting away after the clip dropped on Sunday night (Aug. 27).
From the opening shot, in which zombie Swift emerges from the ground in a cemetery in a scene that pays homage to the ultimate music video, Michael Jackson's "Thriller," Taylor's latest is a feast for the eyes and for pop-culture junkies who live for a good dig through the crates.
Check out some of the other hidden gems in the Joseph Kahn-directed clip:
Despite Katy Perry's recent claims that she's willing to call a truce with former rival Swift, it seems like Taylor is not yet ready to make nice. "Look" has a number of seeming references to Perry, from the glittering car crash, in which TSwift has a blonde buzz cut similar to Perry's current 'do -- and cradles a Grammy, which Katy hasn't landed yet -- to the later bit where she dances in a cat head, a possible allusion to Perry's fans, KatyCats.
In another apparent swipe at KP, near the end of the video one of Taylor's alter egos drops a reference to collecting "receipts," which, coincidentally, Katy mentions in her single "Swish Swish," where she sings "And karma's not a liar/ She keeps receipts."
Swift takes a ride on a giant swing while sitting in a huge gilded cage, which a number of people have compared to Miley Cyrus' 2010 clip for "Can't Be Tamed," which features a very similar scene.
The birdcage was already done, girl. pic.twitter.com/YbjPR8w0ii— Tricia Morse (@pgizzle312) August 28, 2017
One of the most subtle digs also cuts the deepest, when Swift takes a bath in a tub full of diamonds, with just a single dollar bill visible above her right shoulder, a sly allusion to the legal battle she recently won against former Denver radio DJ David Mueller, in which a judge awarded the singer $1.
Swift spent a few days last week teasing us with enigmatic videos of snakes, which has been widely speculated as a call-back to her beef with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. So, of course, Taylor is depicted sitting on a gilded throne surrounded by snakes, including one who serves her tea.
Speaking of reminders, director Kahn tweeted on Friday that though he's "worked with Beyoncé a few times," and he finds her amazing, the "Look" video is "not in her art space," denying claims that some of the shots are eerily similar to ones in Bey's "Formation" clip.
And that gold bat?
The NERVE Taylor has hold a baseball bat behind her head in this new video. BEYONCÉ DIDNT BLESS US WITH LEMONADE TO BE DISRESPECTED BY A -- pic.twitter.com/gpJfG4LVHU— Brittany (@brittanyshutup) August 28, 2017
You might also notice in the video that Swift's dancers (including Todrick Hall) are wearing a "I ♥ T.S." shirt, which is not unlike the one Taylor's ex, actor Tom Hiddleston, famously wore during their summer fling last year.
And, in yet another seeming Bey ref, Taylor ends up standing atop a mountain of her former alter egos and incarnations, which eagle-eyed Beyhivers have noted is a bit like 'Yonce's "Grown Woman" clip, though Bey celebrates her former selves instead of attacking them.