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Top 3 References You Missed in Taylor Swift's “…Ready for It?

VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa
Script written by Emily Brayton

Did you catch these references in Taylor Swift's newest music video "...Ready for It?". The video looks just like Ghost in the Shell, and might be about Taytay's beefs with Kanye West and Calvin Harris. What do the Chinese characters in the background mean? Why are there TWO Taylors?
Transcript

Top 3 References You Missed in Taylor Swift’s “…Ready for It?”


We were “ready for it,” and man, did she deliver. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 3 References You Missed in Taylor Swift’s “…Ready for It?”

For this list, we’re breaking down every scene in the video to look for hidden meanings and references you may have missed the first time around. And while there are definitely plenty of interpretations, we’ll be looking at the things we noticed specifically.

#3: Shot for Shot

If anyone thought Taylor was done referencing— and possibly destroying — her previous “selves” in “Look What You Made Me Do,” think again. As Swift’s sixth time teaming up with director Joseph Kahn, it’s no surprise that shots from other collaborations like “Out of the Woods” and “Bad Blood” seem to get callbacks in “…Ready for It?” Other things like the white horse that one Taylor mounts is possibly an allusion to “Blank Space,” and, well, “White Horse.” As for subtler details, there are also plenty of snakes slithering around. The Chinese characters in the background aren’t just for show; they actually mean “future” and “year of the snake,” which — hold onto your hats — was 1989, the year TayTay was born. People may also have noticed a snake crawling over Taylor’s face.

#2: Not-So-Fresh Beef

Alright, let’s dial the clock back to 2016 when Kanye West dropped his controversial video for “Famous.” Though there was a question about whether or not Swift had pre-approved the lyric mentioning her, she was reportedly not happy to see a nude Taylor lookalike in the music video. In “…Ready for It?”, Taylor seems to be reclaiming ownership of the whole thing by having herself nearly nude on her own terms. It’s also worth noting that she may not be done with Calvin Harris, since that whole sequence where Taylor creates a lightning storm looks like the cover for the single “This Is What You Came For,” which Swift had of course helped co-write with ex Harris. Kahn also tweeted referencing Swift’s pseudonym for the single, which makes us think this theory has some legs.

#1: Fighting Her “Reputation”

Leading up to “…Ready for It?”’s release, Kahn noted on Twitter that the video had homages to the sci-fi and anime genres. “…Ready for It?” is pretty cinematic, seemingly borrowing a lot from “Ghost in the Shell.” We got serious “Ex Machina” vibes at the very end when one Taylor seems free to explore the real world. But… hold up, there were multiple Taylors. Was there a “real” one? Who is the Taylor in black? Does she represent the media — or better yet, a physical version of her reputation — controlling Taylor’s every move? Considering the name of Swift’s upcoming album, this could totally make sense. As for the Taylor in the box, she’s obviously done with being contained and manipulated. We’re ready for this “new” Taylor.
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