When Taylor Swift released her video for “The Man,” fans were immediately blown away by her transformation into a hyper-macho man. Complete with facial hair, male posture and every other stereotypical facet of masculinity, Swift was practically unrecognizable.
But Swift is far from the first artist to bend her gender in a music video — for years, artists have transformed themselves into opposite-sex characters for music videos for laughs, for tender moments, and to just wave a middle finger at society’s insistence on age-old gender roles.
In honor of Swift’s gender-bent new video, here are seven times artists dressed as the opposite sex in music videos.
Lady Gaga, “Yoü and I”
When Lady Gaga released her music video for her country-rock anthem “Yoü and I,” fans were not that surprised to see Gaga in her typically atypical fashion statements. That is, at least, until Jo Calderone showed up. Dressed in a pit-stained white shirt and a greaser hairdo, Gaga’s chain-smoking male alter-ego had fans immediately turning their heads, and applauding Gaga on her shocking transformation. We even got to see a little bit more of Jo when he showed up at the 2011 VMAs for a memorably weird performance.
Foo Fighters, “Learn to Fly”
While the focus of “Learn to Fly” relies mainly on the Foo Fighters literally learning to fly when the airline they’re on begins to crash, there is a major blink-and-you’ll-miss-it female impersonation that some fans failed to even notice. While Dave Grohl is featured in a number of over-the-top, ridiculous female costumes, drummer Taylor Hawkins manages to pass well as a female stewardess on the doomed flight, complete with a mousy brown bob, a full flight attendant outfit and some light-yet-convincing makeup.
Mariah Carey, “Obsessed”
Ever since the 2009 release of Carey’s “Obsessed” video, fans have openly wondered whether the star was directly throwing shade at Eminem amid their ongoing feud. It’s easy to see why: In the video, Carey dresses herself up as an obsessed male stalker, whose clothing bears a striking resemblance to Slim Shady himself. Regardless of whether the video was a diss, one thing is clear: When Mariah Carey wants to dress in male drag, she knows exactly how to do it.
Jenny Lewis, “Just One of the Guys”
Call this a five-for-the-price-of-one music video. Jenny Lewis teamed up with stars Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson and Kristen Stewart for her “Just One of the Guys” video, where everyone performs with Lewis in her band, before transforming into stereotypical guys, showing the unrealistic expectations that are placed on women everywhere.
Eurythmics, “Who’s That Girl”
Throughout her career, Annie Lennox always wore her androgynous style on her sleeve. But in the 1983 video for the Eurythmics track “Who’s That Girl,” Lennox decided to play with the expectations of her audience. She stars in the video as a very feminine, ’60s-style nightclub singer, and as a hyper-masculine male audience member. Simultaneously showing off her male and female looks, the video ends with a bold kiss between Lennox’s two characters.
Selena Gomez, “Bad Liar”
Selena Gomez decided to break her visual format with her 2017 music video for “Bad Liar.” One of the ways she did that was by playing every main character, one of which happened to be a male school teacher that is having an affair with a gym teacher (also played by Gomez), even though he’s married (to Gomez) and has a kid (also Gomez). It may be a very confusing video, but the star’s ’70s-style wig and mustache make for a pretty funny male impersonation.
Taylor Swift, “The Man”
It really can’t be overstated how uncanny Swift’s transformation into her aggressively male character in “The Man” is. Even when the star shows a series of photos revealing the prosthetics and makeup used in the transformation, it’s still an almost-unclockable look. Combine that with her expert-level use of man-spreading, posture and unearned confidence, and Swift makes a pretty convincing caricature throughout the entire video.