Taylor Swift received a lot of positive feedback on her newest single, but the same can’t exactly be said for its accompanying music video. Taylor Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down” music video has stereotypes in it, and people are taking offense. Swift’s lyrics were already very overtly anti-homophobic and—bravo. Because We 👏🏼. Needed👏🏼. That👏🏼. The world needed it. The pride anthem was applauded for being super badass, albeit a bit shady, as it called out homophobic haters and Twitter trolls. The music video, however, has taken everything up like ten notches and fans are exactly thrilled with how all the different types of people are portrayed. On the plus side, Katy Perry makes an appearance, which is great because it just confirms what we’ve known for weeks now—the feud between the “Roar” singer “Ready For It?” singer is O.V.E.R. No more ‘bad blood’ here! Well…there is a bit of bad blood, but now it’s between fans and T-Swift. Yikes.
The video starts with T-Swift with her classic red lips (seriously—HOW does she get them so perfect?) and an eye mask that reads, “calm down.” How fitting. It’s innocent enough. But then about halfway through the three-and-a-half minute video, we are introduced to the anti-LGBTQ+ crowd who are protesting Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita’s fake nuptials. And…well…let’s just say they are definitely stereotypes and not quite the nuanced character you might hope to see. One fan wasn’t thrilled with the portrayal and went as far as saying she was, “disappointed.”
“So @taylorswift13 new song/video is calming down and not throwing shade yet she stereotypes the protesters…guess calming down only applies if you agree with her views. #disappointed,” the Twitter user wrote.
Another user took issue with the fact that Swift’s video seemingly only highlights one, narrow version of intolerant people. “Did she really need the lazy classist stereotype? Last time I checked, there were plenty of pretty polished people spewing intolerance too.”
Wowza. Strong opinions from the peanut gallery! But they’re not wrong. And the stereotypical portrayals don’t end there. Some people are taking issue with how the LGBTQ+ community is portrayed as well, saying it plays too much into the stereotypes about pride. The video is full of drag queens and while that’s perfectly marvelous, it too isn’t an equal, overarching representation of the whole of community. And the party aspect, while super fun, kind of perpetuates the notion that Pride is just one big bash instead of a movement.
Some have been super supportive of the video, though. So it’s not entirely polarizing. And ultimately, she’s standing up for what she believes in and we love her for it.