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

Taylor Swift is known for her incredible songwriting, brilliant voice, and her amazing music videos. Ever since Taylor has owned her music—starting in 2019 with Lover being her first self-owned album—she has had increasing creative liberty with her music videos. That’s not to say, of course, that we can’t still enjoy the horse-riding shots in “Blank Space” (2014) or the simplicity of the “Our Song” music video (2007). However, her freedom of expression has completely transformed how the world sees Taylor Swift. She is no longer just a singer. She is the music industry. Lavender Haze was her first music video of 2023 and the third off of the Midnights album, and if this is any indication of how the year will be for Swifties, let’s just say that I’m incredibly happy I got that ticket. So meet me at midnight and let’s decode every easter egg I’ve spotted in the 3 minutes and 30 seconds. 

The length of the video

This music video is exactly 3 minutes and 30 seconds. And yes, to the untrained, sane eye, this may not be a big deal at all. However, a budding fan theory that I buy into is that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is coming in March. On her 33rd birthday in December, Taylor posted a picture of her and Jack Antonoff in the studio, holding up a three on each hand. Many people theorize that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) could be coming on March 3rd, but what if it’s March 30th? March 30th, 2011, Taylor was on the Speak Now Tour in her now-home London, meeting fans backstage. What if this is her little nod to fans that they have always been her home, especially when she felt so alone during that era. Oh yes, and she released it the same day John Mayer was releasing music! Iconic move. 

0:00 Colors

With the opening shot, Taylor reminds us of her upcoming Eras tour, simply with her color scheme. From her 1989-blue bed sheets to the debut-style teal paint on her toes, Miss Swift is reminding us of all her previous albums and every upcoming rerecording. 

0:05 Clock

 The clock seen changing from 11:59 to midnight is the same one seen consistently on the Taylor Nation Instagram page before the drop of the video. 

0:08 The ‘Mastermind’ Vinyl Cover

Now this, this is an absolute gem. Not only is “Mastermind” the 13th song off of the Midnights album, but the constellations on its cover are none other than Sagittarius and Pisces (the star signs of Taylor and her beau, Joe Alwyn).

0:18 The Nightstand

The incense stick burning on her nightstand brings four last songs to mind. Firstly, and most obviously, the lyric from track two of Midnights, “Maroon” : “when the morning came we were cleaning incense off your vinyl shelf ‘cause we lost track of time again”. However, right next to the incense is a glass jar full of matches, sealed with a lid. Hoping that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is coming next, it reminded me of “I took your matches before fire could catch me” from “Dear John.” If this was a “Dear John” reference, Taylor may be implying that the ‘matches’ she once thought were so dangerous are what set her current love alight, and her perfect ‘match’ (aka Joe) is controlled and safe. It also could reference how their love has bloomed since 2017’s “phone lights up my nightstand in the black” from “Delicate.” It is now a warmer, more intimate love, less technology based, and is impacted less by the outside world. Next to the matches are a pile of books (“now I’ve read all of the books beside your bed”), but more interestingly, underneath it seems to be a black journal, eerily similar to the notebook seen back in February 2022, after she left Jack Antonoff’s studio in New York City. 

0:25 Laith Ashley

Harlem-born transgender model and activist stars as her love interest alongside Swift in this music video. This is an incredible step in terms of representation!

0:28 Bedding

Laith lays on top of a purple pillow and sheet set, with a blue comforter on it, maybe confirming that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is next and that 1989 TV is shortly after.

0:30 The Eiffel Tower Lamp

A direct reference to the 3AM track ‘Paris.’ 

0:35 The Cloud Above Her Head

While this may simply be foreshadowing the weatherman motif later in the video, it reminded me of the lyric “it rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong, it rains when you’re here and it rains when you’re gone.” In both of these visuals, there is an idea that “the rain is always gonna come when you’re standing with me,” that the dark weather seems to always have hung over her head. However, in this video, Taylor takes that dark cloud and turns it into something beautiful, which is a metaphor for how she has handled maturing, especially in the public eye.

0:47 “I struck a match and blew your mind”

This lyric from Reputation’s “Getaway Car” comes to mind as the rest of this video is incredibly psychedelic. It also puts Taylor in charge of her own imagination, and of her power, which I think is incredibly important to note.

0:50 The Lavender Haze begins…

The smoke that emerges from under her bed creates a physical element of the “Lavender Haze.” On an Instagram video in October, Taylor described that after watching Mad Men, she looked up the phrase, which meant “you were in that all-encompassing love glow.” It also may represent how the media is always trying to “smoke women out,” especially those who don’t fit the “one night or a wife” clause. This is even cleverer, though, as she is simultaneously dancing around happily in the lavender haze, while saying “no deal, the 1950s shit they want from me,” despite the term being at the height of popularity at that time. 

1:11 Her Purple Fur Coat

With the change of set, comes a change of costume. Taylor now wears the purple shag coat we had seen in the Spotify visual for the Lavender Haze song. The whole scene is very reminiscent of if Euphoria was set in the 1970s, and I am obsessed!

1:19 The Television Forecast

This is one of my favorite little easter eggs from this whole video. There are an infinite number of meanings and allusions to different lyrics or events in her life, so I’ll save you the time and delve into just a few for you. Laith Ashley is the weatherman, which may directly reference “Karma”’s “the guy on the screen coming straight home to me.” Almost as though, like many of us who turn to TV for escape, as a highly-publicized celeb, she can’t enjoy that simple pleasure. If you look closely, you can see a chance of 13-degree midnight rain over her hometown of Nashville. The only other 13 appears over what seems to be Michigan, Taylor Lautner’s home state, although there is no prediction for rain there. This simultaneously links to the lyric “he  was sunshine I was midnight rain” and hints at “Back to December” with Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) coming soon. 

1:22 The Smoke Clock

The lavender-colored smoke ring is in the shape of a clock, which also hints to the caterpillar Alice in Wonderland. As us Swifties know, that book was the main inspiration for 1989’s “Wonderland” and was also referenced in Evermore’s “Long Story Short”.

1:35 Wizard of Oz Parallel

Now, this may just be me, but as Taylor crawls through the lavender field sprouting in her living room, I can’t help but think of Dorothy in the poppy fields. 

1:42 “Willow”/”Cardigan” Parallel

As Taylor stands curiously in front of the television, her face is lit up, and it reminds me of both the “Cardigan” and “Willow” music videos, where she climbs through the set, illuminated beautifully. 

1:47 Koi Fish

During the Speak Now tour, one of Taylor’s guitars had koi fish on it! Just one more confirmation of the upcoming Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

1:50 God Is A Woman

This is my favorite look from the whole music video. The makeup, the wet hair, the flowers, the lighting, is just, ugh, chef’s kiss. When I first saw this, I couldn’t help but think back to Ariana Grande’s 2018 “God is a Woman” milk bath. I think Taylor may have taken inspiration from this as a way of linking to her “Karma” lyrics—“Karma is a god,” and therefore saying that God is a woman, and that she is not only the goddess of her own life, but she is karma. She is a divine force that is not to be messed with, something beautiful and dangerous all at once. And that? That is why she is a mastermind. 

2:18 The Sleeves of Laith’s Jacket

In this scene, Laith Ashley is wearing a brown varsity jacket, with yellow sun patches on the sleeves, another obvious but appreciated reference to the lyric “he was sunshine, I was midnight rain.” 

2:24 Red Wine 

Throughout this scene, there are a bunch of friends with glasses of red wine. Some are gossiping, some are not, but Taylor and Laith pay them no mind. This is a complete juxtaposition to the scene in All Too Well: The Short Film where Dylan’s friends are the ones with red wine and Sadie can’t help but react to their reaction to her. Red wine is a frequent motif, too, for Taylor. In “Clean,” Taylor says, “you’re all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore”, but in “Maroon” she has a much more nonchalant take “the burgundy on my t-shirt when you splashed your wine into me,”a hint that she has grown emotionally. That wine represents maturity, and that the spilled wine is something out of her control, she is much better at handling it now. 

2:29 The Table Seems All Too Familiar

It seems to be very similar to the corset Taylor wore in the “Bejeweled” music video.

2:38 The Lavender Haze is Infectious

It spreads and turns what seemed to be a group of people in mundane conversation to a group dancing, showing the viewer that love is overwhelming. 

3:08 “The Walls We Crashed Through”

As Taylor is breaking down the set with one simple push, this may mean many things. One of them is that these may have been self-imposed walls (“they told me all of my cages were mental”), or perhaps this room may have been the ‘Midnights room’ of the Taylor Swift dollhouse, but she destroyed it, because she wasn’t a barbie to be played with by others anymore. By taking down these walls, she is back in charge of her own fate. It is also an allusion to “Long Live,” yet another reference to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).

3:21 Taylor falls asleep in the clouds

This may suggest that she’s finally at peace. At the end of the music video, she doesn’t care about what the media has to say, she is comfortable with herself and with the life she has created for herself, no matter how fantastical it may be. 

Any easter eggs I missed? Let me know. And as we are counting down the days to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), keep streaming Midnights!

Hi there! My name is Ilana, I'm a sophomore at USF, studying elementary education. I am originally from London, and have a service dog! I write about chronic illness, Taylor Swift and some of my other favorite things. Happy reading :)