Taylor Swift just dropped a star-studded music video
for the second single off her upcoming album.
"You Need to Calm Down" shows a playful
yet political side of the pop star,
and in classic T-Swift fashion, both the song and video
are filled with hidden details, references, and meanings.
Here's everything you missed in the lyrics
and video for "You Need to Calm Down."
The video begins with an overhead shot
of Taylor wearing an eye mask and lingerie.
The outfit references one of the most memorable looks
from her "Blank Space" music video.
We see table spreads with several seemingly random objects.
But this is Taylor we're talking about,
so let's take a closer look.
The dice on the left here add up to 13,
Taylor's known lucky number.
The next table has six pieces of candy on it,
which could be referencing the month of June.
June, of course, is Pride Month
and something Taylor's celebrating
in her new song and video.
And when you combine the six with the 13
from the dice, you get 6/13, or June 13,
the day Taylor announced her upcoming video and album dates.
On the wall, there's a framed quote
from a Cher interview from 1996.
Cher: "You know, sweetheart, one day you
should settle down and marry a rich man."
And I said, "Mom, I am a rich man."
[Narrator] The quote is in line
with feminist themes Taylor's song explores,
which we'll get to.
Taylor looks down at a watch as she sings,
Swift: It's 7 a.m.
[Narrator] We see the time set to 7 a.m.,
another nod to her seventh album,
as well as the face of her newest kitten, Benjamin Button.
On the watch, the number 1 is replaced
with Taylor's lucky number 13.
When Taylor throws her phone to the bed,
we see her case has the word "Lover" written out
in the same font as the album's artwork.
The sparkly case also matches the outfit Taylor wore
to the iHeartRadio Awards, her first red carpet
of the "Lover" era.
The phone sparks into flames,
hinting that Taylor's finally over all the drama
that her phone's caused her, aka her recorded phone call
with Kim and Kanye.
On the wall to the right of Taylor
there's a butterfly picture.
Butterflies are another image Taylor's been using
to promote her new era.
Next, we see Taylor outside of the trailer.
We catch a glimpse of the back tattoo
from the song's artwork, a snake surrounded
by lots of butterflies.
The tattoo also matches the opening image
of the video for "Me."
Taylor's wearing heart-shaped earrings.
If they look familiar, it's because Katy Perry
wore a nearly identical pair in October 2018,
but more on Katy later.
And, of course, there are exactly 13 rhinestones
on top of Taylor's sunglasses.
When Taylor walks away, we can see
that her trailer is on fire.
This could symbolize Taylor setting fire
to her "Blank Space"-era persona,
when she was at the height of her media visibility.
As the inside of her trailer burns, Taylor sings,
Swift: And snakes and stones never broke my bones so.
[Narrator] a reference to the people
who tried to bring Taylor down by calling her a snake.
We then see Taylor floating in a pool,
which is covered in roses.
At her 2019 Wango Tango performance,
Taylor said that she brought an Easter egg
on stage with her.
The stage was decorated with, you guessed it, roses.
The video goes on to reveal the rest of the trailer park.
If you look closely, you'll see a sign
that says 16th Avenue, which could be a nod
to Nashville's 16th Avenue, also known as Music Row.
We see the first of the song's many LGBTQ nods,
with the entrance decorated with Pride flags.
The song's overall pro-LGBTQ message
could be aimed at President Trump
and his administration's anti-LGBTQ policies,
as the song "You Need to Calm Down"
was released on Trump's birthday.
We get our first celebrity cameo with Dexter Mayfield,
a queer, plus-size model.
YouTube comedian Hannah Hart can also be seen
in the background holding up a boom box.
There's a mailbox labeled "love letters only"
in Taylor's handwriting.
At the next trailer, we finally find out
what Taylor's mysterious orange-fence post was about.
All the fences in the video could be another dig
at Trump, whose platform for immigration
involves building fences and walls.
There are more Pride flags hanging behind the orange trailer
and the word "rent" in a window,
which could be referencing the iconic musical
of the same name, best known for dealing with queer issues.
The next cameo is Laverne Cox,
a transgender actress and activist.
Chester Lockhart, a gay actor and singer,
swoons at the sight of her.
We then see Taylor in a blue-toned wig
that ombrés to match the colors of the bisexual flag.
Taylor's jacket is decorated with stars,
another popular motif in her album promo.
She's also wearing her lucky number 13 on her necklace.
Taylor walks up with her longtime BFF
and the video's coproducer Todrick Hall,
who's a gay singer, dancer, and actor.
Todrick's robe is covered in glittery hearts,
similar to the ones from Taylor's album cover
and in the "Mean" music video.
Gay pop star Hayley Kiyoko is the next cameo.
She's shooting an arrow aimed
at a target labeled with the number 5.
Five could be a reference to Taylor's fan-loved track fives.
"Track 5" was also written on a button Taylor wore
on her Entertainment Weekly cover back in May,
all of which she confirmed were Easter eggs.
Could "Track 5" be Taylor's next single?
The video goes on to reveal protesters
holding up anti-LGBTQ signs,
leaning in to the political tones of the song.
The first protest sign we see says "Homasekuality
is a sin," with "homosexuality" spelled wrong.
This might be Taylor's way of saying
that homophobic people need to educate themselves.
We get to a celebration of gay love
with a wedding between actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson
and his real-life husband, Justin Mikita.
The wedding is officiated by Ciara.
We see another protest sign that says
"Adam + Eve not Adam + Steve,"
which is a saying frequently used by conservative Christians
and could be Taylor calling out religious conservatives.
Our first "Queer Eye" cameo comes from Tan France,
who walks by with a teapot and dramatically sips tea.
The video pans over to Taylor sipping tea
with Todrick and the rest of the "Queer Eye" cast.
"Tea" has become a popular reference to throwing shade,
and the phrase "spilling tea" comes from black drag culture,
another aspect of the LGBTQ community Taylor celebrates
in her video.
Both the tea set and Jonathan's dress
were teased on Taylor's Instagram
before the video release.
The tea set also looks identical
to one Taylor used in a sketch
on "Ellen" in 2012, which could be an Easter egg
for Ellen's soon-to-be scene cameo.
Our next cameo
is Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon serving snow cones.
Rippon is one of the few openly gay Olympic athletes.
Ellen DeGeneres makes her brief appearance
while getting a tattoo from Adam Lambert.
The tattoo looks like it spells out "Cruel Summer,"
which could be a reference to the 1984 self-love anthem
by Bananarama, or one last dig at Kanye West,
who released a compilation album of the same name.
Ellen secretly sported the tattoo under her jacket
during her recent interview with Taylor on her show.
The video goes on to show Taylor tanning
while wearing heart-shaped sunglasses,
which were featured in her lyric video,
and the straw in the cup next to her says "Lover."
We see the protesters again.
One of the protesters' signs says "Get a brain, morans!"
with "morons" spelled wrong, reiterating the idea
that protesters need to educate themselves.
The iconic Billy Porter walks in front of the protesters
as Taylor sings, "Don't step on his gown,"
which could be a reference
to when Billy faced homophobic backlash
for wearing a gown to the Oscars.
On the song's bridge, Taylor shifts
from LGBTQ pride to feminist pride, singing,
Swift: And we see you over there on the internet,
comparing all the girls who are killing it.
[Narrator] The video's accompanying scene
is a pop-queen pageant.
Stars from "RuPaul's Drag Race" play iconic pop queens
that the media constantly compares each other to.
Let's take a closer look at each star in the lineup.
First, we see Tatianna as Ariana Grande.
Grande and Swift are two of music's biggest record-breakers,
and the media loves comparing the singers to one another.
Trinity The Tuck is Lady Gaga.
In a 2014 interview with Howard Stern,
Gaga commented that she used to think Taylor was full of...
but instantly changed her mind
once she met Taylor.
However, the quote was spun into a feud between the stars.
Delta Work is Adele, another musician whose awards
and records the media constantly keeps score of
Trinity K. Bonet is Cardi B.
In 2017, Cardi's "Bodak Yellow"
knocked Taylor's "Look What You Made Me Do"
from the top of the charts.
Taylor was quick to knock down any rumors
of bad blood and sent the rapper flowers,
congratulating her for the song's success.
There's Jade Jolie as Taylor,
and the next is Riley Knoxx as Beyoncé.
Taylor was most recently compared to Beyoncé
after her performance of "Me"
at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards,
which many people called out
as copying Beyoncé's "Beychella" performance.
Not to mention Beyoncé was one
of the first female entertainers Taylor
was ever pitted against, by Kanye West,
during the infamous VMAs acceptance speech.
Adore Delano is Katy Perry.
The singer is the subject of one
of Taylor's most well-known feuds,
but the pair reconciled last year
with a literal olive branch.
Still, there's a constant media cycle devoted
to their feud and reconciliation.
Last, we have A'keria C. Davenport as Nicki Minaj.
Taylor and Nicki butted heads on Twitter
when Taylor thought Nicki was shading her
in a tweet before the VMAs.
But they quickly made up with a joint performance.
In her tweets, Taylor brought up the idea
of pitting women against women,
which relates to the lyrics during this scene.
It's also worth noting that the lineup here
draws parallels to the lineup of old Taylors
from the "Look What You Made Me Do" music video,
each representing a version of Taylor
that was criticized by the media.
RuPaul enters the pageant with a crown,
one of the video teasers from Taylor's Instagram.
He tosses it into the air, and no one reaches for it,
representing the lyrics
Swift: We all got crowns.
[Narrator] This line is also a reference
to Taylor's "Reputation" track "Call It What You Want,"
on which she sings,
Swift: They took the crown, but it's all right.
[Narrator] in reference to her crumbling reputation.
Here, Taylor's realizing there's space
for everyone at the top.
Rather than fight for the crown,
the pop queens all dance together
with the trailer-park residents.
They're dancing in a colorful mess of cake,
similar to how Taylor danced through a rainbow mess
at the end of the video for "Me."
But here, Taylor isn't dancing.
Instead, she's dressed as french fries
and appears to be searching for someone in the crowd.
The image looks like a scene
from her music video for "I Knew You Were Trouble,"
where she's searching through a dancing crowd
for a guy, sporting similar pink-dyed hair.
But Taylor doesn't really need a man anymore.
Instead, who she finds is none other than Katy Perry.
Katy's dressed as a burger,
the perfect pair to Taylor's fries.
Fans had hoped that Katy would make an appearance
in the video, after spotting those heart-shaped earrings
in the song's cover art.
Katy's burger dress is the same one she wore
to the Met Gala in May.
While Katy and Taylor hug and the other characters dance,
we see Ryan Reynolds painting a picture
of the Stonewall Inn,
where Taylor gave a surprise performance the weekend
before the video dropped.
The NYC landmark is known as the place
where the gay-rights movement began in 1969.
Ryan's inspiration board also includes images
from Pride parades.
The video closes out with a call to action
to support the Equality Act, a bill currently in Congress
that, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act
to prohibit discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Taylor previously referenced the act
in the lyric video for "You Need to Calm Down"
and publicly shared the letter she penned
to her Tennessee state senator about the act.
"You Need to Calm Down" is Taylor's first musical effort
Although Taylor has described "Lover"
as a very romantic album in both content and sound,
so far her new music seems to be about empowerment
and spreading positivity.
Did we miss anything in the lyrics or music video?
Let us know in the comments below.