Scattered throughout the music video are hidden details, references, and meanings. Taylor Swift’s new single, “You Need to Calm Down”, was made to support the LGBTQ community. Though it has shown signs of doing so, it has also been questioned by many. Some are claiming that Swift made such a performance only in support of her image. Swift has been accused of missing the point when she addresses the lack of acceptance many members of the LGBTQ community face daily.
In the “You Need to Calm Down” music video, the entrance and around the trailer park is decorated with pride flags. Swift’s blue and purple wig matches the colors of the bisexual pride flag. The video’s co-producer, Todrick Hall, a gay singer, dancer, and actor is shown walking next to Swift as they lead the way through the trailer park. They pass by gay pop star Hayley Kiyoko and then a wedding scene celebrating gay love. The video also shows Swift sharing a cup of tea with many other people, including ‘Queer Eye’ star, Tan France. It seems as though every scene has some reference to the pride month of June.
Trans filmmaker, Rhys Ernst, described Swift’s new single:
“Feels to me like a version of straight cis white girl pop star advocacy — not the most effective thing, but not as calculated and hollow as the other branded opportunist pride campaigns of late.”
In a recent twitter post, Joy Villa referred to Swift’s support of equality as “click bait.”
Though many are ridiculing Swift’s new single and questioning her motives for her creation, others fully support her message. Jemina Skelley posted her opinions of the matter on Twitter saying that given the number of individuals who attack the topic of equality, why waste their time on Swift?
Many say that in her new single, Swift is trying too hard to become a gay icon. Tony Bravo, a well-known actor from Mexico City, shared his own take on Swift’s single:
“One of the underlying sources of frustration here is the idea that Swift is trying to appoint herself as a gay icon with ‘You Need to Calm Down,’ which isn’t how icons are created. Garland, Swift, Ross and Madonna did not announce themselves as gay icons; the gay community did. Checking all the boxes of gay references is not the way to build a genuine and enduring relationship with any community — especially not the gay community, who can usually detect an impostor designer fragrance.”
Swift’s new single has been a controversy ever since it was released and has likely not received the last of the hate. It has entered into a world of conflicting opinions. The truth is, people may just need to calm down or even, shake it off.