At 7:04 a.m. ET today, I got the same text message every other Swiftie got: Did you see it? “It” is the video for “The Man.”
Those texts, like my alarm clock, went unanswered. Then at a more reasonable time, I woke up and watched Taylor Swift dressed in drag, looking like Tom Cruise. In fact, she could have a great future as a Tom Cruise body double for the next 15 iterations of Mission Impossible.
The video, like the song, captures Swift’s evolution from quiet young woman looking to please fans and executives to adult working to undo the tangled web of internalized patriarchy. She’s seen the evil of having predominantly men guide and dictate her career and, late though it may be, she is moving toward the light. There is one man she seems to have crowned the leader of the pack: Leonardo DiCaprio. Whether intentional or not, the video feels like a visual compilation of his life.
Here we have Leo in Wolf of Wall Street.
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Leo in Inception:
Leo playing tennis in his downtime (he enjoys tennis):
My personal favorite is this subtle homage to Leo’s dating life:
Maybe this is an easter egg to let fans know she’ll become an environmentalist in her next rebranding. But there’s a more blatant easter egg wherein Swift seems to reveal the title of her next album while taking a shot at her former record label, Big Machine Records.
On the wall are Swift’s past album titles—1989, Fearless, Red, Speak Now, Reputation, and her self-titled albums—which she no longer owns after the sale of her masters to Scooter Braun, which explains the “missing” poster on the left. She still wants her albums back. Above her head is the word “karma,” which is also spraypainted directly in front of her. Hello next album, it’s good to see you.