Scroll To See More Images
Swifties know that T-Swift’s music videos are never what they seem, and Taylor Swift’s “The Man” music video meaning is no exception. The “You Need to Calm Down” singer, 30, released the music video for her latest single, “The Man,” on Thursday, February 27, and man oh man were there a ton of Easter eggs. Let’s dive in, shall we?
“The Man” is Swift’s fourth single from her seventh album, Lover, which debuted in August 2019. Since its release, “The Man” has been a fan favorite among Swifties for its lyrics about misogyny and the double standard that women face in the music industry. At the 2019 American Music Awards in November, Swift wore a white button-down shirt with the titles of her six albums before Lover—Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989 and Reputation—as she sanng “The Man.” Fans believed that the look was a nod at Swift’s drama with record executive Scooter Braun her former record label’s owner Scott Borchetta. (Swift called out Braun and Borchetta in July 2019 after Braun purchased Swift’s masters from Big Machine Records, her former record label, which prevented her from owning them.) There was also drama before the American Music Awards after Swift claimed that the deal would hinder her from performing her old songs at the awards show.
Needless to say, the “Look What You Made Me Do” singer has had a lot of trouble with men in the music industry. Check out the hidden meanings you may have missed in “The Man” music video (where she dressed as a man!) ahead.
Kim & Kanye’s House
When Swift announced “The Man” music video, she tweeted a poster with 19 colorful hands and an empty white hallway. Eagle-eyed fans compared the picture to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s house, which looked suspiciously similar to the crisp white hallway in “The Man” poster. Given Swift’s drama-filled relationship with Kimye over the years, Twitter users were fast to assume that the similarity was no coincidence but shade.
19 Hands = 19 Female Artists?
In her announcement, Swift specified that there were “19 hands,” which fans believe represented the 18 artists (plus herself) that Swift shouted out at the Billboard Women in Music Awards in December. “And I see that fire in the newer faces in our music industry whose work I absolutely love. I see it in Lizzo, Rosalia, Tayla Parx, Hayley Kiyoko, King Princess, Camila Cabello, Halsey, Megan Thee Stallion, Princess Nokia, Nina Nesbitt, Sigrid, Normani, H.E.R., Maggie Rogers, Becky G, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, Billie Eilish. And so many other amazing women who are making music right now,” she said in her acceptance speech for Woman of the Decade. Fans speculated that these 18 artists would make a cameo in “The Man” music video (the same way Swift featured her famous friends in the music videos for “Bad Blood” and “You Need to Calm Down), but, of course, those who have seen video know that that isn’t true. That doesn’t mean Swift didn’t have any famous cameos though! (Read on to find out who those were.)
19 Hands = 19th Amendment
Ah. The real reason for the 19 hands. After “The Music” video debuted, Swift “liked” an Tumblr post that theorized that the 19 hands symbolized the American Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. If that wasn’t confirmation enough, the Supreme Court ruled to dismiss a challenge of the amendment on February 27, 1922—the same date that Swift released “The Man” music video, just 98 years later.
13th Street Station
This is an easy Easter egg for Swifties. In one scene, Swift (dressed as a man) pees in a subway station. The station reads “13th Street,” which is a nod to Swift’s favorite number: 13.
“If Found Return to Taylor Swift”
One of the more obvious Easter eggs in the music video is a scene where Swift (as a man) pees in a subway station. On the walls of the subway station are the titles of her albums written in graffiti: Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989 and Reputation—all of which she doesn’t known because of Braun’s deal with Big Machine Records. Near the titles is a sign that reads: “Missing: If found return to Taylor Swift,” which is a nod to how Braun owns her music and she wants them returned. Fans also believe that Swift peeing on the subway wall is a metaphor of how two men pissed on her music. Others noticed that Fearless was spelled backwards on the wall, which could be a reference to how Fearless was written on Swift’s back during her AMAs performance.
The subway wall also included a sign with the illustration of a scooter circled in red with a line through it to communicate “No scooters.” Given Swift’s drama with Scooter Braun, the sign was a clear reference to her negative opinion of the record exec.
To the side of the subway wall is a poster for Mr. Americana, a documentary about “Tyler Swift” that was directed by “Larry Wilson.” The poster was an obvious riff of Swift’s Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, directed by Lana Wilson, except the poster in “The Man” video switched all of the names to men.
Fans have pointed out the word “karma” on the subway wall as well. The word is sandwiched between her album titles. Though some believe the word is simply Swift telling Braun that there will be Karma for his actions, others believe “Karma” could be the title of her upcoming eighth album.
Miss Americana Sweater
The real Miss Americana shows up later in the video when Swift as a man is on the subway and woman next to him is wearing a Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince sweater as she listens to something on her headphones. The sweater could be a reference to Mr. Americana later in the video or it could be an Easter egg for Swift’s next single after “The Man.”
In the same subway scene, Swift manspreads between two women. Behind the singer is a poster that reads: “BO$$ SCOTCH. Capitalize on the Feelings.” Many believe that “Scotch” is a mashup of Scott Borchetta’s first and last name, while the slogan is shade at how the exec “capitalized” on Swift’s feelings in her songs only to throw her away.
“What Men Won the Year of Celebrity Dating?”
The subway scene also shows Swift reading a newspaper with the headline, “What Men Won the Year of Celebrity Dating?” Fans took this as a reference to how Swift is often criticized by the media for her love life. The headline alludes to how celebrity men are often congratulated for dating many women, while female celebrities receive the opposite treatment.
Wolf of Wall Street References
Swifties have compared the music video to Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio. One of the scenes fans point to is the office that the music video opens with, which shows Swift as a man overlooking the city. Another scene fans note is one where Swift is on a yacht surrounded by beautiful women. Both are notable scenes from The Wolf of Wall Street, which is based on the life of Jordan Belfort, a high-powered businessman who commits fraud. Fans also believe the music video could riff on the movie because of a lyric from the song that references DiCaprio, who played Belfort: “I’d be just like Leo, in Saint-Tropez.”
“58 Years Later” = 13
Later in the music video shows a flash forward of Swift as an older man who marries a younger woman. Before the scene is the text “58 years later.” Fans have pointed out that “5” plus “8” equals 13, Swift’s favorite number.
Serena Williams Reference
One of the final scenes of the music video shows Swift as a man freaking out after a tennis match, with the character throwing balls and smashing a racket after a disagreement with the referee. On the wall of the tennis court reads: “Women’s Charity.” Twitter users have compared the scene to how Serena Williams was unfairly penalized for her reaction to a ref’s decision at the 2018 U.S. Open.
There are lots of 7s around “The Man.” Fans have pointed out that the lyric video for the song came out on February 7. Then Swift sang an acoustic version of the song in Paris on February 17. She released the song on February 27 at 7 a.m., which fans have compared to a lyric from “You Need to Calm Down”: “And I’m just like damn, it’s 7 a.m.”
Loren Gray’s Cameo
Tik Tok fans may have noticed Loren Gray’s cameo in “The Man” music video. She plays a woman on the side of the tennis court who watches Swift (as a man) as she wrecks havoc. The end of the music video sees Swift break the fourth wall and congratulate Loren on her job. “By the way, excellent work over there, Loren. That was astonishing.” The music video also includes a cameo from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Swift’s “man” voice, and YouTube star Jayden Bartels.