Full face prosthetics? A cameo from The Rock? It can only be the new music video for Taylor Swift‘s ‘The Man’, which features more Easter Eggs than a supermarket as soon as Christmas is over.
Swift is unrecognisable in heavy prosthetics that transform her into The Man; a sleazy businessman who enjoys manspreading on the subway and surrounding himself with female models. Throughout the video – which is also her official solo directorial debut – Swift turns gender expectations on their head and makes fun of toxic masculinity.
And as is Swift’s style, the new music video is also jam-packed with Easter Eggs. Didn’t manage to spot any? No worries – here’s the ultimate rundown of all its hidden messages.
‘No scooters’ and album graffiti
At the beginning of the video you see Taylor as The Man, having a piss against a wall in a subway station. Look closely and you’ll see the graffiti on the wall features the names of all of Swift’s albums.
But take a closer look still and you’ll spot a red traffic sign indicating no scooters allowed. This is a subtle but brutal reference to Swift’s ongoing dispute with music manager Scooter Braun, after he bought her back catalogue in a $300 million acquisition of her former label Big Machine Label Group. There’s also a sign that says ‘MISSING – Please return to Taylor Swift’, referencing the fact she’s still fighting to get the rights to her own music.
KARMA IS A BADASS BITCH named Taylor Swift ???
— Holly Armstrong (@HollyArmstr0ng) February 27, 2020
13th Street Station
The subway station The Man is seen in is 13th Street Station – a reference to Swift’s favourite number, 13.
Loren Grey makes a cameo
In one scene The Man has a paddy whilst playing tennis, referencing the fact that Serena Williams was recently disciplined for calling out an umpire, whilst tennis bad-boys like Nick Kyrgios easily get away with temper tantrums on court.
As he smashes up his racket and chucks a ball at the umpire, you see a disgruntled ballgirl, played by the most followed person on Tik Tok, Loren Grey, roll her eyes.
— Taylor Swift News | TSwiftinAsia (@TSwiftinAsia) February 27, 2020
Taylor’s IRL Dad
But Loren Grey isn’t the only cameo star in the video. The tennis umpire which The Man starts an argument with is played by Swift’s actual Dad. Aww.
— Julia (@WildestPlaces13) February 27, 2020
And The Rock is in it!
In a voice role only, the video also features a cameo from none other than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. At the end we see Taylor playing herself and directing the scene on the tennis court. When she offers some notes to The Man about his acting – requesting that he tries “to be sexier” and “more likeable” next time – it’s The Rock’s voice that responds.
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss it moment, we briefly see a poster for a documentary starring Tyler Swift, called Mr Americana – a reference to the artist’s recent Netflix documentary Miss Americana.
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) February 27, 2020
Miss Americana merch
When we see The Man man-spreading in a subway carriage, if you look closely you’ll spot that one of the other passengers is wearing some of Swift’s own merch – a yellow Miss Americana hoodie.
Miss Americana merch ? pic.twitter.com/BG4cEg88uj
— ????, N ? | TPWK. (@lavienrougee) February 27, 2020
And that’s not the only glimpse of Taylor merch, with a brief shot of the water bottle from her Stella McCartney collaboration appearing when The Man is on the tennis court.
— ????, ????? ? (@corneliaswift13) February 27, 2020
Also on the subway we see The Man reading a newspaper with the headline ‘What man won the year in celebrity dating?’ – referencing all the times the media have dragged Swift, and other female celebrities, for their dating lives.