Swift Kills in “Blank Space” (Not Literally)


Edit Cred: Grace Li Photo: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s newest music video, “Blank Space,” had heads turning as a staged relationship quickly morphed from sweet to maniacal. The description box, however, points out that “no animals, trees, automobiles or actors were harmed in the making of this video.” Nothing harmed except Taylor Swift’s heart. But who’s to blame: an ex, or the media?

As of December 7, the music video had over 155 million, well-deserved views. Swift ruins cars, punches walls, tears paintings–all because the media sort of wants her to? Yes, the music video is satire. And the catalyst for “Blank Space” is not another breakup as the media may believe, but rather the media itself.

That’s right. Taylor Swift is making a point of how the media portrays her as this crazy, in-denial, heartbroken ex-girlfriend who’s out for blood. It’s almost as if she’s saying “You want crazy? I’ll give you crazy.” Swift calls out how ridiculous the media makes her out to be.

“I’ve noticed there’s been a pretty sensational fictionalization of my personal life,” Swift says. “They’ve kind of drawn up this profile of this girl who is a serial dater, jet setting around with all her boyfriends, she can get ’em but she can’t keep ’em because she’s too emotional and she’s needy. Then she gets her heart broken because they leave and she’s jilted so she goes to her evil liar and writes songs about it for revenge.”

Swift mentions that “Blank Space” started as a joke. It definitely became something more. The “Blank Space” music video ended up being a very clever piece of satire, poking fun at the media while maintaining a very well-directed look. Swift sets herself in a lush mansion, and turns wild and obsessive–mascara running and everything. It’s enough to send a shiver down your spine, and that’s exactly what Swift wants.

Through it all, there’s a sense of sass and solidarity. She throws what people want to see back at them, and has fun while doing it. Swift reminds the audience that the character on the screen is not her in real life.

“I think as a songwriter you have to be pretty well aware of who you are as a person,” Swift says. “But then you also have to have one eye on what people think of you.”