Taylor Swift just released the music video for “You Need To Calm Down” and after waking up after 7am and getting a nice calm sleep, let’s dive into the video!
First things first, if you have not yet seen the video…. why haven’t you? Here’s your chance! Watch below then join us again to discuss!
Swift teased earlier there would be lots of stars in the video plus more! So who is who in the video and why are some stars involved? If you haven’t yet read our article on the song, go ahead and check that out!
The scene opens with Swift in her trailer bed and shows a sign that says “I am a rich man” which Swift probably painted herself. She is quite the artist after all! Some people speculate that it could be an upcoming song title, but we are more inclined to believe that it is a nod to Cher’s quote about not needing a man when her mother tells her she needs to settle down and marry a rich man, to which Cher replies, “I am a rich man.” Cher also has a trans son, Chaz so her inclusion of a Cher quote seems to fit the theme of the video well. Cher also posted a photo of the painting to which Swift replied she cannot calm down about. So we are now convinced this was the meaning behind the painting.
When you have a song about being calm and the video has a Cher quote in it and she posts it so henceforth you are not able to be calm anymore 😆 https://t.co/YGG0LyY4Kw— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 17, 2019
Some might be confused by her inclusion of this quote as Swift has been in a relationship for the past 2.5 years with actor Joe Alwyn. However, we tend to think it was included because Swift got so much hate for her relationships over the years, which included her using men for song material and not being able to be alone. Cher goes on to express that she loves men, she thinks they are great, but that she doesn’t need a man. That is an important point to make because our partners should compliment us and make us better, but we should also be confident in who we are and be able to stand on our own two feet. So, although we may not need them in our life, we still want them. This seems like a nod to the haters that Swift doesn’t actually need to be in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be in one.
Swift also has new merch that’s out now and it is all throughout the music video, from the phone Swift uses in the beginning with the album title Lover, which could also be a title track, to the sunnies she wears and the shirts that many of the guest actors are wearing!
Swift’s trailer then begins to burn. The exact meaning is left up to interpretation, our best guess is that even when there is all this negativity around her, she is now unphased and is then seen lounging in her pool as her “former world” burns around her. She then goes out, gets her hair dyed to the colors of the Bi flag and joins her LGBTQ friends, fighting along side them for equal rights, instead of staying in her safe cotton candy land where everyone is taking shots. It’s her turn to speak up.
We do want to stress that although this song is fighting for the LGBTQ community, it also includes other aspects of haters, people being too loud and needing to calm down about things (such as pitting women against each other and spewing hate online). Swift shared about writing the song on a Spotify panel saying:
I wrote this song about the energy that some people put into spreading negativity. With all the trolling, cancel culture, telling people how to live their lives of pitting women against each other… you’re being too loud. This is a song where I’m just saying ‘You Need To Calm Down.” Go outside. It’s the summer.
Most of the guests who appear in the video identify with the LGBTQ community. There are a few who do not, which made us wonder why they were chosen to be involved. Sure, Swift is good pals with Ryan Reynolds, but in a video and song promoting LGBTQ, there had to be a deeper meaning. That lead to some investigating and although Reynolds himself does not identify within the LGBTQ community, he is still a strong advocate and supporter of the community, even going so far as to help create the first superhero movie where the superhero, aka Deadpool, appears pansexual.
In an article with Vanity Fair, the Deadpool comic co-creator, Fabian Nicieza, has been asked about the character’s sexuality and says all are accurate, because the character is constantly in flux. “He can be gay one minute, hetero the next, etc. ALL ARE VALID.”
Reynolds has also voiced his support for years for same sex marriage. He appears in the “You Need To Calm Down” video as a painter, he also paints in a teaser trailer for Deadpool 3. Reynolds is constantly promoting his movie in the strangest places, even showing up on stage in heels with Celine Dion! In the video, he is not just painting something random, he is painting The Stonewall Inn, where Swift just gave a surprise performance at Jesse Tyler Ferguson‘s show, commemorating it’s 50th anniversary.
The numbers 5 and 0 also appear in the video. The Stonewall Inn is a landmark and birthplace of the Gay Rights Movement. Also to those wondering about the dice that appear in the video. Some speculate they also lead up to the number 50. We’ve seen other numbers, but it depends on how you count the dice based on how they are angled.
Ferguson also appears in the video with his real-life husband, Justin Mikita. In the video they are getting married and the one officiating the wedding is none other than Ciara. Although she has a strong LGBTQ fanbase, we had to do a little more digging to see why she was included in the video as well. What we found was mind blowing. Did you know that Ciara was planning on getting married in North Carolina but moved her wedding location after they passed the House Bill 2, which bans transgender people from using the restroom of the gender they identify with? So now here she is officiating a gay wedding! Talk about a full circle moment!
Who else was in the video? Many of the Queer Eye Cast, along with RuPaul and many of those who have been on his show Drag Race.
One of the most iconic moments of the video is when the alumni of RuPauls’ Drag Race stand on stage for the “Pop Queen Pageant,” each representing a lady in current pop music. Tatiaana was portraying Ariana Grande, while Trinity “The Tuck” Taylor was Lady Gaga, Delta Work was Adele, Trinity K Bonet was Cardi B, Jade Jolie was Taylor Swift (and even sung along to the song as if she was truly Swift herself), Riley Knoxx was Beyonce, Adore Delano played Katy Perry, (who later made a real life cameo) and Akeria C Davenport played Nicki Minaj.
Cardi B. quoted tweeted this moment, adding “Sooo cute.”
Soooo cute https://t.co/Qzt2XwbwRZ— iamcardib (@iamcardib) June 17, 2019
The cool thing about this moment is while all these ladies are on stage, one of the best lines from the song is sung and reminds everyone that these ladies aren’t out here trying to fight each other or be pitted against one another. There’s not just one winner or as in a pageant, one crown to be won amongst them, but every single one of them has their own crown. They do not need to fight each other for it, they all shine.
And we see you over there on the Internet
Comparing all the girls who are killing it,
But we figured you out.
We all know now.
We all got crowns.
You need to calm down
There are some other noticeable cameos in the video, such as YouTube star Hannah Hart, who is a lesbian chef and a big Swift fan! Laverne Cox, who is the first openly trans person to be nominated for a Prime-time Emmy and back in 2015 presented Swift with a BMA Award!
One of Swift’s BFFs, whom also happened to executive produce the video, Todrick Hall, also appeared in her “Look What You Made Me Do” video. One of Hall’s friends, Chester Lockhart, also appeared in the video and is also a singer and actor. Pop artist, Hayley Kiyoko, who Swift brought out during the Rep Tour to perform and Swift also made a surprise appearance at one of her shows! Adam Rippon, who is the first openly gay American athlete (Olympic Figure Skater) to medal at the Winter Olympics and is also an avid Swift fan!
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OKAY SO the YNTCD video is officially out!! First things first, I want to say that my co-stars in this video are AMAZING. Please celebrate this video by supporting their work, following them, and going to see them perform. I’m SO grateful to everyone who lent their time to this video and SO EXCITED I ACTUALLY DO NEED TO CALM DOWN. 🍹 #YNTCDmusicvideo
Adam Lambert and Ellen DeGeneres also appear in the video in which Lambert is giving Ellen a tattoo that reads “Cruel Summer.” A possible upcoming song title? Or nod to the song itself by Bananarama.
Lambert revealed he ran into Swift while filming for The Ellen Show and she asked if he would like to be in her video with Ellen. Swift also revealed on her appearance on The Ellen Show that she had left a “clue” during their interview, and in fact she did! Ellen had the tattoo during their sit down!
Billy Porter of the show Pose also appears serving some looks!
Then of course the moment that has been widely spoken about, Katy Perry shows up wearing her Met Gala after-party costume of a cheeseburger. Apparently Swift had already reached out to her about being in the video and going public with their reconnected friendship after having “beef” for several years. Perry posted a picture saying this meal was “beef-free.” Pun intended!
Todrick Hall spoke to Access about this moment and said that he thought it was a great idea to invite Perry because Swift has always spoken through her music. He went on to say that they were so genuine on set, laughing and having a good time. He also thought it was important to show that you can have beef with someone and then get over it and move on and become friends with people that you were once enemeies with.
Swift told Beats 1:
“Well, we have been on really good terms for awhile, like, she sent this beautiful note and an olive branch to me the opening night of the Reputation Stadium Tour awhile ago. And from then on, we’ve been on good terms and we hadn’t seen each other, though. So the first time we saw each other was at this party and when we saw each other, it was just very clear to both of us that everything was different. That we had grown up. That we had grown past allowing ourselves to sort of be pitted against each other. It just was really, really clear that we remembered how much we had in common. So both of us have been in a really good place for awhile, but we didn’t – I don’t know if either of us knew if we were gonna talk about it publicly. So when I thought of this concept for the video and I wrote the treatment, I thought of this idea, and I thought, you know, I’m just gonna ask her if she’d be interested in this, but I would be totally fine if she’d rather keep it private and keep it between us. But I sent it to her and, you know, she was like, I would love for us to be a symbol of redemption and forgiveness! And I felt the same way about it… [About the text she sent to Katy] Basically, it was like a long synopsis of the entire video. And I didn’t think of the burger and fries costume until she wore the burger–she wore that Jeremy burger to the Met Gala after party, and I was like ‘that is amazing’. It felt very punk-rock to me, like her wearing that, like that’s really, really cool and funny. I kept thinking, you know, we are gonna have this moment in the video and if it’s too on the nose, if it’s too us wearing normal clothes and hugging, it won’t really fit into this video because this video is very wacky and very surreal and fun and playful. So I was like, can we do a burger and fries as like a metaphor for two people who belong together? And people who are like a a perfect pair? And she thought it was really funny! So we did it. And I think that the metaphor of us being like, you know, searching for someone you have something in common with and seeing them having it be originally represented is funny.”
Some other iconic moments? When the protestors decide they are in fact being too loud, calm down and stop protesting. Swift also used a real life sign with an incorrect spelling, just like an actual sign that was used in protest.
The words “Love Letter Only” also appear in the video, which may hint at a possible upcoming song as well.
There were so many things in the video, we could be here all day! Have a question about the video? Let us know