Lessons from Taylor Swift videos
Don’t lie: whether you love her or hate her, you’ve probably seen at least one — or 10 — Taylor Swift music videos. No matter how many times you’ve watched them, however, you may be missing out on some of the valuable life lessons Swift espouses throughout these videos. Here are four pieces of wisdom we can garner from her sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always entertaining videos.
1. Don’t date a guy who drives a “stupid old pickup truck”: As a wannabe country girl myself, I’ve always imagined dating a guy who drives a pickup truck, riding through the back roads together, blasting country music. Thanks to T-Swift, however, I have come to the conclusion that this may not be the wisest idea. In Swift’s 2008 video “Picture to Burn,” she laments an ex-boyfriend’s “stupid old pickup truck he never let [her] drive” as she watches the same boyfriend’s new girlfriend drive around in the very same truck. This of course inspires her to take action in true Swift fashion — by breaking into his house with her posse and burning his photographs, throwing toilet paper everywhere and spitting in his mouthwash. The “bad boy in a pickup truck” theme seems to be a trend in Swift’s videos. Last year’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” — insert goat noise here — features her love interest driving around a desert town in a beat up old truck, while eventually abandoning her for other girls. Long story short: find a guy who drives another kind of car.
2. Losers win: Who can forget Swift’s 2009 “You Belong With Me” video, in which the glasses-wearing girl in the marching band who spends her evenings dancing in her room steals her dream guy from his overbearing short skirt and high heels-sporting cheerleader girlfriend? Swift cements this point in 2011’s “Mean,” which features a montage of characters being bullied, including a boy reading a fashion magazine being teased by a group of jocks, a girl wearing an unfortunate looking costume to advertise a fast-food store and Swift herself. The conclusion of the video reveals that the young man is now a fashion designer, the fast-food employee is now a big shot executive and Swift herself is now a successful performer. So underdogs take heart: according to Swift, you’ll come out on top in the end.
3. Blondes have more fun: In “You Belong With Me”, Swift plays both herself and the object of her affection’s girlfriend. But it’s Swift’s blonde character — not the brunette alter-ego — who ends up winning the boy. In the only other video where Swift rocks a darker look (“I Knew You Were Trouble”), she winds up “lying on the cold hard ground” as her boyfriend cheats on her. The only logical conclusion from this, then, is that blondes do in fact have more fun.
4. Use caution when dating Taylor Swift: This is perhaps the most important lesson to garner from her music videos. As if Swift’s rampage in “Picture to Burn” isn’t warning enough, she is well known for calling out badly behaved exes. See 2012’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” video, which is full of digs at a particular ex who is constantly picking fights and doesn’t appreciate Swift’s music. The video ends with Swift slamming the door in the ex’s face — cold, but surely deserved. Moral of the story? If you don’t want to have a vengeful video aimed at you, treat Taylor right. Or you will never ever get back together. Like ever.