Taylor Swift released a new song Friday, and it’s packed with hidden messages — at least that’s what her fans seem to think.
Everything about the single, titled “You Need to Calm Down,” embodies peace, love and harmony — from the cover art (which depicts the 29-year-old singer in a pink bikini, pink fur and heart-shaped earrings, while showing off a massive back tattoo of a snake bursting into a flock of butterflies) to the lyrics.
If you recall, Swift’s “Reputation” era was riddled with snakes and sly remarks aimed at enemies Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but at its core, “You Need to Calm Down” is the antithesis of all of that.
In speaking about her inspiration for the track, Swift recently told Apple Music’s “Beats 1,” “I’ve observed a lot of different people in our society who just put so much energy and effort into negativity, and it just made me feel like, ‘You need to just calm down. Like, you’re stressing yourself out. This seems like it’s more about you than what you’re going off about. Like, just calm down.'”
Here’s everything Taylor Swift appeared to reference in her new track and the second single off her forthcoming album, “Lover”:
Sending a Different-Toned Message to Kimye?
“Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out / But you say it in a tweet, that’s a cop-out,” Swift sings, taking aim at the people who troll via cryptic messages on social media or through their work. “And I’m just like ‘Hey, are you OK?’/ And I ain’t trying to mess with your self-expression but I’ve learned the lesson that stressin’ and obsessing ’bout somebody else is no fun.”
She also tells said trolls that “snakes and stones never broke my bones,” which could be interpreted to mean that the Kimye feud didn’t knock her down.
Standing Up for the LGBTQ+ Community
Back in April, the singer donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project. She also wrote a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander asking him to support the Equality Act, which she spoke about during her recent Wango Tango performance. Now, she’s giving the LGBTQ+ community a hefty shoutout in her music while simultaneously condemning homophobic behavior.
“You are somebody that we don’t know / But you’re comin’ at my friends like a missile / Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?” Swift sings, referencing the LGBTQ organization.
“Sunshine on the street at the parade / But you would rather be in the dark ages / Making that sign / Must’ve taken all night / You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace and control your urges to scream about all the people you hate / ‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay,” she sings.
Swifties also noticed that the letters “e” and “a” were highlighted every time they appeared next to each other in the singer’s lyrical video, which is likely another nod to the Equality Act.
Shading Donald Trump?
Some Swifties have interpreted the aforementioned lyrics loosely linked to the Equality Act to be shade toward President Donald Trump, especially because she recently rejected his “stance that his administration, ‘supports equal treatment of all,’ but that the Equality Act ‘in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.'”
Today is also Trump’s birthday. Hmmm.
“And we see you over there on the internet / Comparing all the girls who are killing it / But we figured you out / We all know now / We all got crowns. You need to calm down,” Swift sings. “Like, can you not step on our gowns?”
It’s no secret Swift has love for the women who love her (i.e. her “squad”), but she seems to be turning a new leaf in regard to all women — including those she’s publicly feuded with, like Katy Perry. (The two just squashed their beef over a plate of chocolate chip cookies.)
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