Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
taylor swift at the 2023 mtv vmas
taylor swift at the 2023 mtv vmas
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Culture > Entertainment

Uh, Is Taylor Swift’s VMAs Outfit A Hint At ‘Reputation (Taylor’s Version)’?

It’s music’s biggest night, and it wouldn’t be complete without (mother) Taylor Swift in attendance. Up for 11 nominations, Swift came to the event ready to break records. But it wouldn’t be a Taylor Swift appearance without a Reputation easter egg, now would it?

Swift shocked the red carpet at the 2023 VMAs ceremony in a dress that is oddly reminiscent of her 2017 smash hit album Reputation. She’s dressed fiercely in a black long-trimmed Versace dress with a slit in the center, which she accessorizes with silver and gold beaded necklaces.

Fans were reminded of her scene in the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video by the jewelry. In the well-known bathtub scene, Swift can be seen in the bathtub with jewels encrusted from head to toe. In the scene, she was also seen wearing silver beaded necklaces. The parallels between Swift’s appearance and her hints at a Reputation (Taylor’s Version) were amplified even more during Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Pop for her song “Anti-Hero,” which she accepted after the award was revealed by the legendary NSYNC.

taylor swift at the 2023 mtv vmas
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

In her speech, she says that she loves making pop music and music videos while also loving country music and “slinking around different genres.” The latter half of her comment made fans’ heads turn as it seemed to be an interesting play on words. ICYMI, slinking is described as “moving smoothly and quietly with gliding steps, in a stealthy or sensuous manner,” and the term is frequently used to describe how snakes move.

To refresh your memory, snakes were a long-standing symbol during Swift’s Reputation Era. Swift’s whole Reputation album was inspired by the media’s portrayal of her in a negative light following her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. West released the rap song “Famous” from his album The Life of Pablo in 2016, and a particular lyric was, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why?” asked one sentence. In response yells, “I made that b*tch famous.”

Swift objected to the lyrics and scolded West for exploiting her name in the song, but the Kardashian-Wests retaliated by revealing a video of West and Swift discussing the song over the phone and Swift being aware of the lyrics. Kardashian fans then began to circulate snake emojis on Swift’s social media. Swift has previously performed with snake imagery after the release of Reputation, and snakes became synonymous with that era.

Twitter has an opinion on her iconic VMAs style and has showcased their excitement online. 

Taylor Swift has been feeding fans well as she has released Taylor Versions of her popular albums such as Red and most recently, Speak Now back in July. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is also on its way, which is slated to be published on Oct. 27. So with a Taylor Version of Reputation being what’s left, I can’t wait to hear “Look What You Made Do” (hopefully) so soon!

Siobhan Robinson is a member of the Her Campus national writing program. She works on the Entertainment and Culture team, covering the most recent pop culture events, trends, and entertainment releases. Previously, she worked as an Entertainment and Culture intern during the Spring 2023 semester, where she was supervised in writing breaking news verticals, live coverage of events such as the Grammys and Met Gala, and interviewing emerging Gen Z talent for Her Campus's "Next Questions" segment. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in Spring 2024 with a B.A. in Communication Studies from San Jose State University and received communication honors for completing a graduate-level course during her undergraduate studies. While in college, she was an active member of the SJSU chapter of Her Campus, serving on the executive board as Editor-In-Chief. In this role, she supervised a team of writers, senior editors, and copy editors, and assessed their articles for the site. Previously, she served as a senior editor, supervising a team of 4-5 writers, and also worked as a campus correspondent for the entire chapter. Additionally, she contributed to the school's publication magazine, Access, and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. In her free time, Siobhan enjoys scrapbooking, hanging out with friends, going to concerts, and, of course, writing for fun! A die-hard fangirl, she loves sharing everything she knows about her favorite boy bands, even if you don't ask. If you need her, you'll likely find her binge-watching the latest K-drama or catching up on pop-culture social commentaries on YouTube.