This is going to sound like old news, but stay with me. Taylor Swift just jumped to the top of the charts with her single, “Lavender Haze.”
If you know anything about Swift, you know that this song came out with her tenth studio album, Midnights, back in October of 2022. So why is this track just now reaching the top?
Well, because of the music video.
On Jan. 27, 2022, Swift dropped the visual that paired with her previous track, and fans are eating it up. So much so that it had over 13 million views in less than five days. That’s a lot. And while it offers plenty of the expected Swift creativity–the kind that finds her tapping into her “sultry sleepless 70s fever dream,” as she tells Billboard–it also shows plenty of unexpected skin as she pushes away rumors of marriage and embraces herself as the modern woman.
Plugged In writer Kennedy Unthank tells us that this track finds Swift ignoring outside influences that might distract her from loving a partner well (“I’ve been under scrutiny/You handle it beautifully/…Talk your talk and go viral/I just need this love spiral”).
While it’s true that Swift wants to concentrate on this lover, it’s also clear that she’s not quite interested in a one-night stand, or in marriage (“No deal, the 1950s s— they want from me”/…The only kind of girl they see/Is a one night or a wife”). In fact, she’d rather drift somewhere in between, in something she calls a “lavender haze.” And she sings so, pointedly, with plenty of profanity, including the words “s—” and “d–n.”
Imagine That 70s Show. Now, enter Taylor Swift. OK, not the actual show, but imagine a 70s vibe and you’ve got the trippy set for Taylor Swift’s new visual pairing to “Lavender Haze.”
This video embraces all things psychedelic as Taylor burns incense and lies in bed in an oversized t-shirt and underwear with a shirtless, trans man known as actor Laith Ashley. Throughout the video’s three minutes and thirty seconds, Taylor dances with, cozies up to and caresses Ashley’s face. In addition, she swims “naked” in a murky pool of lavender where we see her bare upper chest, as well as glimpse the side of her breast in one shot.
To summarize, viewers see more of Swift than they’ve ever seen in any music video so far. And these visuals are, obviously, paired with lyrics that reject traditional ideas of marriage, as well as one-night stands, and let listeners know that she’s happy with her relationship just the way it is.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).