Hidden Meanings: Taylor Swift “Ready For It?” Music Video Analysis

Recently, Taylor Swift released her Music Video for her new song “Ready For It” directed by Joseph Kahn. There were a lot of people wondering what the video was about so, here is my analyzation of the video. There are some very important hidden meanings within this music video so, let’s get started.

VIDEO INTRO

The video opens with Taylor’s name written on a garage door in Graffiti, the title of the song and the director’s name are also introduced in the same way. There is a close up of Taylor swift’s eye as it lights up a neon blue.

As she begins to sing you can visibly see that she is wearing a dark outfit. Behind her, on the wall, there is an 89 in red and it is underlined right next to a 91 written in yellow. The numbers switched around can make the number 1989, aside from that being Taylor’s birth year, 1989 is also the title of her last album released before her new album, Reputation.

In the Chinese Zodiac, 1989 is the year of the snake. Lucky numbers for snakes are 2, 8, and 9. Numbers such as  89, for example, are also considered to be lucky. The Lucky Colors for snakes in the Chinese zodiac are black red and yellow and the fact that 89 is in red and it’s underlined should not go unnoticed.

 

TAYLOR’S WALK DOWN THE ALLEYWAY

Taylor’s walk down a dark robot-filled alleyway could easily have something to do with all the gossip about her exes, but I’m not going to take that route. This scene represents so much more than a bunch of exes who broke her heart, it’s more about Taylor’s evolution through these relationships, their heartbreak, and the gossip and isolation that often comes from going through all of that in the public eye. In this scene, there are a few things that caught my eye. The first was the red number 13 placed just left on the screen and the next was the writing on the wall that read “This Is Enough”. Another thing I noticed was ” I love you in secret” written on the wall in Yellow.

 

 

The written phrase “You’re Gorgeous” is the one that really caught my eye because it’s a lyric from Taylor’s new album Reputation, which leads me to believe that all of those phrases on the walls could actually be lyrics we haven’t heard yet. Reputation is most likely going to pay homage to the art of reclaiming and taking control of public and self-image

    THE LOCKED DOOR

In the next scene, Taylor is standing in front of a locked door. A small group of robots stands behind her as she enters a code to open it. On the door, the word “Illusion” is written. This scene is very interesting because, while Taylor seemingly has the key to this “illusion” room she is still being followed and watched by robots.

Taylor Swift and Joseph Kahn could be trying to portray the image that is often projected onto Taylor swift. In the past, the media and even some of her peers have painted her as evil and out of blood. She’s pointing out the fact that these images they have projected onto her are not truths they are illusions. Taylor is the only one who can get into the room, and Taylor is the only one who can truly tell you who she is.

 

IN THE ROOM

 TAYLOR VS TAYLOR

In the room, there is another version of Taylor in a clear glass box. Let’s call the Taylor in the box “Prison Taylor” because she’s in a box and can’t escape at the moment and let’s call the Taylor who is confidently walking up to Prison Taylor the box, “Misunderstood Taylor. We’ll call her “Misunderstood Taylor” because she’s wearing dark colors and everyone paints her as someone she is not.

 

JAILER

 

“Prison Taylor” stands and stares at “Misunderstood Taylor”. When “Misunderstood Taylor” sings the lyric ‘are you ready for it?” Prison Taylor begins to grow armor and weapons around herself.  As Prison Taylor changes and gains strength she sings a lyric of the song for the first time in the video, she sings “Jailer” as she looks into the camera. This stands for Taylor calling out all of the people in her life and in the media who constantly put her in a box by creating a reputation that maybe originally she did not want to be known for.

THE WHITE HORSE

 

In the next scene, Taylor Swift is sitting on a white horse which is quite significant when you realize that White horses are actually very symbolic. White horses symbolize the balance of wisdom and power, they are also the universal symbol of freedom. This scene represents Taylor’s evolution as an artist, it’s also a wonderful visual representation of the power and strength that can come from learning, growing, and self-improving overtime. Taylor is wiser than ever and maybe she feels a new sense of freedom and power within herself because of that.

BLUE BALL OF ENERGY

In the next scene Prison Taylor holds a blue ball of energy in her hand, gawking at it with wonder and amazement, she begins to rise up with little blue balls of light or energy surrounding her and in this moment she seems at peace. “Misunderstood Taylor” watches in awe, then attempts to destroy that peaceful image.

Photo of Taylor Swift in the Ready for it? Music Video

 

 

 

This could be another representation of the media, how sometimes they see positivity and instead of contributing to it they pick it apart.  When the two Taylors approach each other and touch hands through the glass Prison Taylor uses all of that built up power, resilience and strength to break the glass which inevitably destroys “Misunderstood Taylor” who is immediately reviled to be a robot. This is highly representative of the effect constant public scrutiny often fueled by the media and peers can have on a person. Taylor is saying no more, she is reclaiming her power and reframing her reputation

“THEY’RE BURNING ALL THE WITCHES”

In the brightest scene of the video, Prison Taylor walks up an escalator. She is free from the box that she was in, she is rising up. There is a scene where the robots are chasing after Misunderstood Taylor, the graffiti under her reads “They’re Burning All The Witches”. This is a clear reference to witch trials where young women were burned at the stake for being accused of witchcraft.  They were never really witches. They were most likely just highly misunderstood, women.

Misunderstood Taylor is being struck by lightning, chased by robots, and “They’re Burning All The Witches” is literally written right beneath them. This is a great visual representation of the media and certain peers of Taylor, who take the time to accuse her of things and add to the often negative conversations about her.  People accuse her of things that she might not have done, as though she is a witch in the witch trials. Taylor may be trying to convey the feeling of being highly misunderstood, especially in the public eye. False Accusations can most times seem as though everyone is ganging up on you.

TAKING BACK CONTROL

In one of the last scenes, Taylor sings  “Are You Ready For It?”. The actual Taylor Swift, the one who was highly misunderstood and put onto a box is finally standing up for herself and saying, “This is enough”, She is asking “Are you ready for it?“. If they want to play games with her than she will play along with them too. The last scene is Taylor looking into the camera with glowing blue eyes. She has taken all of the power from “Misunderstood Taylor” and claimed it for herself. She is reclaiming her reputation and reinventing herself.

TAKE-AWAY

Taylor Swift’s new music video for “Ready for it?” directed by Joseph Kahn is all about reinvention.  Often times Taylor Swift can get a bad reputation in the eyes of the media. When it comes to past relationships,  she has been called a snake more times than I can count. In this video, she is basically saying that those false accusations have caused her to have a bad reputation but, no more. She is going to paint her own portrait of herself for the world to see. No longer will her reputation be controlled by the media.

The music video for “Ready For It?” is also about self-discovery and finding that inner fight inside of yourself. When everyone is treating you wrong, gossiping, and mocking you, you have to find that strength, no matter how many times they get you down, you have to find the strength somewhere inside of you to fight back.

 

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