FOR THE QC
Gone is the country girl singing about screen doors and tear-stained guitars, and gone is the popstar focused on shaking it off — Taylor Swift is once again changing her image to something we are definitely not ready for.
Swift has greatly emphasized the change in direction she is taking for her newest album, Reputation. From purging her social media to flat out saying that “[the old Taylor] is dead” in Look What You Made Me Do (LWYMMD), Reputation’s first single, it is no secret that Swift is trying to distance herself from her previous image.
Even though it seems like a departure from Swift’s wholesome country girl image, it is really just an extreme version of what she has done for her past albums. Each album has a unique style and sound, and Swift has characterized each era with new hairstyles and distinct fashion choices. Swift has said that she “will never change, but [will also] never stay the same,” a motto which she seems to embracing for the Reputation era. However, upon examination, it is easy to spot places where the old Swift is still lurking.
Despite having deleted all of her past social media posts before announcing Reputation, Swift has remained active on Tumblr, where she has been interacting with fans. When the singer deleted all of her social media posts in preparation for the new album, Swifties were worried that it meant the end of the strong connection Swift had with her fans online.
But since the LWYMMD video was released, Swift has liked many posts about the song, the video, and theories about the album. She has also continued to ‘Taylurk’ fans on the platform. Taylurking began during her 1989 era and involves Swift liking multiple posts off singular blogs about her and her music. The reemergence of Swift’s prescence on Tumblr reassured fans that Swift was still interested in having connections with her fans, despite not being active on most social media platforms.
Since the LWYMMD music video, Swift also starred in a commercial for AT&T and her app — Taylor Swift Now —where AT&T users can watch exclusive behind-the-scenes videos. The commercial is a short goofy video where Swift plays with her cat, eats cookie dough, and fights with Andy Samberg. Everything else that Swift has put out during this era so far has been serious, and this commercial was a return to the sillier side of Swift; one that many fans thought was gone.
Several fans also noticed that throughout the commercial Swift had hidden guitars from all of her past eras. Fans are speculating this is yet another hint that the old Swift is still alive and kicking.
It looks like Swift is less interested in destroying her past image and reputation than it originally seemed. Fans think that this Reputation-era Swift is not trying to erase her reputation, she simply no longer cares what it is. Whatever her motives are, we will find out more on Nov. 10 when the full album is released.