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Everything You Missed From Taylor Swift’s “The Man” Music Video

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

If you haven’t already seen Taylor Swift’s “The Man” music video, you are missing out BIG time. “The Man” has become one of Taylor’s greatest hits not only off her latest album, “Lover”, but of her whole career. Throughout the video, Swift effortlessly captures the ridiculousness of the double standards between men and women in society. She not only directs and stars in her video, but she does it all while transformed into an obnoxious man who gets rewarded for everything he does.

But would it really be a Taylor Swift music video without some symbolism? As you were distracted trying to figure out how the hair and makeup team completely turned Taylor into a whole ass MAN, you may have missed a couple Easter eggs she dropped throughout the whole video. Here’s a breakdown of the little details I spotted that have some pretty big meanings…

The Newspaper on the Subway

After Taylor or “Tyler Swift” carelessly sprinkles his cigarette ash over the woman next to him he whips out a newspaper with some major shots at gender hypocrisy. In big bolded text, the newspaper states “What MAN won the year in celebrity dating” on the front cover.

Taylor is open about the major backlash she consistently gets for being open with her past relationships. People are not shy about making remarks about her dating life, but it’s clear that this mistreatment is not equally distributed to the men of Hollywood. Taylor clearly communicates that the flourishing dating life of men in Hollywood has become synonymous with success and a “win”, not something we can say about the comments that their women counterparts receive. The cover graces us with other obnoxious subtitles like “It’s Men Against Boys and No Ladies Around” and “Men We Love in Sports”. What struck out most to me was that the only time I saw a woman on the cover was in the style section- and for having no words on it, it really says a lot. Taylor has so effortlessly highlighted how women so often are only mentioned in the media when someone has something to say about what they’re wearing. GENIUS.

The Miss Americana Sweatshirt

As I was analyzing the newspaper cover I noticed the girl one passenger down from Tyler is wearing a Miss Americana Sweatshirt. If you don’t already know, Miss Americana is the name of one of the other songs on Taylor’s album, “Lover”. Could this be the next single to get a music video?? 

The Subway Stop

As Taylor’s alter ego gets off the subway, the camera pans to him relieving himself onto the wall of 13th Street Station. One of the more obvious Easter eggs is the reference to the number “13”. If you are a true Swiftie, you would know that this is actually her favorite number. Apart from that, all around the wall are the titles of Taylor’s past albums in graffiti: 1989, Red, Speak Now, Reputation, Fearless.

In the mid-left we see a poster that says “MISSING, If Found Return to Taylor Swift”. To top it all off, she includes a poster banning scooters… wait, Scooter Braun, is that you? Last year was the infamous feud between Taylor and Scooter Braun regarding the ownership, or lack thereof, of her past albums. The combination of the posters and album titles all allude to this incident.


The Hallway of High Fives

Later in the video after hooking up with a booty call, we see Tyler running down a hallway with mysterious colorful hands sticking out to high five him. Now this is just a hunch, but I think this could be a shot at Kanye/Kim West. As I was watching this scene I couldn’t help but notice how similar this hallway looked to me and I had a hard time remembering where I had seen it before…then it hit me- Keeping Up With the Kardashians!! The construction seems pretty similar to the style of Kim and Kanye’s modern house and maybe just maybe Taylor is subtly poking fun at Kanye.


The Tennis Court Scene

After losing the match, we witness Tyler completely lose his cool and throw a full-on tantrum. This is a pretty big reference to the Serena Williams incident. In 2018, Serena got in a disagreement with an official of the game, leading her to be penalized. The outrage in response to how Serena was so wrongly treated from this event was pretty fair. It’s no doubt that we’ve seen some men on the court act in very childish ways and not receive the appropriate punishment.

The Finale

The video closes with Tyler leaving the court to greet Taylor and in this moment there’s some major inception. It appears that Taylor was directing her video and has casted Tyler as the lead. In this alternate universe it seems that the treatment between the men and women are reversed. Upon Tyler asking Taylor “Was that last take more of what you had in mind?”, Taylor responds with “Could you try to be sexier, maybe more likeable next time?” Sexier? More likeable? Oh my God, after his performance in that whole music video that’s all that he gets?

If you noticed in the tennis court scene, we got a cameo from influencer Loren Gray. You may have not noticed her though because all she does is roll her eyes in that one scene but that’s precisely the point!! But in this reality, Taylor praises Loren and finds her one eye roll to be “astonishing”. That’s satire, folks!! It’s crazy how when the roles are flipped that people begin to notice how sexist our society really is. 


If you haven’t already watched the video, do yourself a favor and check it out…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqAJLh9wuZ0