Taylor Swift Releases Video for You Need to Calm Down

Swift dropped the video for “You Need to Calm Down” following the release of the video for “ME!” last month.

We’ve watched Taylor Swift transition from America’s country singing sweetheart to an outspoken, political pop star – reclaiming her space and embodying the kind of change she hopes to ignite. Reputation gave a glimpse into the relentless drive Swift has to show ‘em whose boss. Aggressive, erotic, and unforgiving, sappy love letters no longer made the cut. With a no-interviews policy, Swift made it clear that she was no longer seeking explanations. This has carried over into her latest era, as she dropped the video for “You Need to Calm Down” earlier today with little warning on Good Morning America.

Following the success of her comeback album, Swift has been dropping hints into the themes of her 7th album via Instagram. Steering away from selfies and nature pics, her Instagram page has been dipped in whimsical, queer aesthetic. Broadcasting crowns, sprinkles, tea and rainbows, Swift has been setting the stage for her emerging influence in the LGBTQ+ community. Alongside her newfound aesthetic came a (literal) change of heart. Using her legendary homemade cookies as an olive branch with once-nemesis Katy Perry, Swift is coming to terms with her feuds and demons, ready to let go of the past. “The aesthetic for the music I make is usually a reflection of how I feel as a person,” Swift said during an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music. As we could predict, there would be an album following alongside her new persona.

Her upcoming album, Lover, has already set the soundtrack for the political influence Swift hopes to radiate. The woman who built a career on country love songs is turning over a new chapter—this one comes with rainbows and politically-leaned groove. The message behind “You Need to Calm Down” proves how Swift is beyond twitter arguments with Nicki or passive exchanges with Kanye; like her newfound relationship with Katy Perry shows, she is replacing social feuds with political activism. The single embodies her ability to unite with enemies and prove that boundless love is stronger than petty conflicts. Taking full advantage of her music and social outreach, Swift says goodbye to family-friendly romance and hello to living on the offense.

#YNCD has no patience for homophobia and misogyny in the pop world. Paying homage to its progressive and poignant lyrics, the music video for “You Need to Calm Down” surpasses assumptions made towards Taylor Swift’s capability as a controversial pop princess. Premiered on “Good Morning America,” the video takes place in a star-studded, LGBTQ+ candy-colored trailer park. The video follows neighbors including Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Hannah Hart, Laverne Cox, RuPaul, and Billy Porter; they then coincide with an array of Drag Race alumni acting out their best pop queen drag, reflecting Adam Rippon, Dexter Mayfield, Ciara and others as they party in the face of anti-queer protesters. Even more so, the video continues to outdo itself with the ultimate biggest shock: Katy Perry, as the literal cheeseburger to Swift’s French fry. “You Need to Calm Down” ultimately allows comedic relief, rainbow fashion, and childish obsessions to pave the path for peace between the two stars. The music video makes you feel like cotton candy— light, delicious, confusing in texture— leaving you wanting more. The video concludes cohesively, however, with a call for fans to sign her petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.

Combined with her surprise performance at the Stonewall Inn to kick off Pride Month in NYC, the video makes Swift’s intention clear. The adored singer/songwriter is expanding the music playing field to include all those that it may have otherwise, setting the stage for Pride Month. What’s next, Swift and Kanye doing ballet while tackling climate change? Stay tuned as we follow Swift’s next steps and releases of the sparkling album.

Watch the full video from Taylor Swift for “You Need to Calm Down” below.

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