Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

Swifties Are Explaining Why Taylor Swift’s “Clara Bow” Is *Definitely* About Olivia Rodrigo

Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department has only been out for a few days since its release on April 19, but Swifties already have tons of theories about who/what the tracks are about. While I’m a firm believer that TTPD is heavily influenced by Swift’s relationship with Matty Healy (which is very layered), other fans think that Swift drew inspiration from other artists in the industry, particularly Olivia Rodrigo for track 16 “Clara Bow.” 

It’s no surprise that Swift titled a track after the OG “It Girl” Clara Bow, but, fans have a theory about who the song could be about, and it’s none other than everybody’s favorite “all-american b*tch,” Rodrigo. 

If you’re confused about this theory, allow me to explain. In “Clara Bow,” Swift brings attention to Clara Bow, an American actress best known for her work during the silent film era of the 1920s. She also name-dropped another one of the music industry’s most coveted singers, Stevie Nicks. 

Now, I’m not going to lie, I don’t know how to feel about this O-Rod theory, but the internet now has me second-guessing. 

Some Swifties believe that when Swift is singing about Bow, she’s actually referencing Rodrigo. This could also be because Rodrigo is one of the more up-and-coming “It Girls” and there is an immense amount of pressure that comes with that. 


My opinions on Clara bow #ttpd #swiftietiktok #clarabow #clarabowtaylorswift #taylorswift @Olivia Rodrigo @Sabrina Carpenter @Taylor Swift

♬ original sound – Taisha 🥂

At the end of “Clara Bow,” Swift breaks the fourth wall and name-drops herself in the track. She sings, “You look like Taylor Swift/ In this light, we’re loving it/ You’ve got edge, she never did/The future’s bright, dazzling.” 

It’s those last lyrics that have fans thinking the track could be about/referencing Rodrigo, and here’s why. 

Bow’s name was in the press constantly, similar to that of Swift today. Reporters would write any and every detail they could find about her dating history, romantic partners, and other personal details. Swift, is no stranger to this same type of reporting — anytime she’s been rumored to be with a new partner, the internet’s gone crazy. 

According to fans, the end of the song is Swift passing the torch to Rodrigo, letting her know what lies ahead as her fame continues to rapidly grow. 

I still don’t know how to feel about this theory, but it definitely is interesting. 

Eileen is a senior at Fairfield University who is studying Communications with minors in English, Professional Writing, and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. She has a passion for magazine writing and hopes to pursue a career in the field. Eileen is the Entertainment & Culture Intern at Her Campus where she covers all things pop culture, entertainment, and internet trends. Eileen was formerly a National Writer for Her Campus from April 2023 - January 2024. Eileen is one of the Campus Correspondents (CCs) at Her Campus' Fairfield University chapter. She oversees the entire chapter and works with her other CC to curate ideas and events for HCFU. She also mentors and trains the editorial team and helps create content and boost engagement alongside the social media team. In her free time, you can find Eileen creating new Spotify playlists, getting a sweet treat with friends, or obsessing over Taylor Swift. If she isn’t doing that, you’ll likely find Eileen with her six best friends from school talking about their “Big Three”: "Normal People," their favorite "Dancing With The Stars" performances, and Greta Gerwig's "Little Women."