I'm the problem, how many times have we thought that? Taylor Swift shows a vulnerable side in her new music video for "Anti-Hero" – that's the message behind the lead single from her new album "Midnight".
On 20 October 2022 at midnight, Taylor Swift's long-awaited new album "Midnights" was finally released. For months, the singer has been talking about the album: it is the most personal she has ever recorded. And especially about the lead single "Anti-Hero": In interviews, she describes the third song on the new album as one of her favourite she has ever written. Because it is so personal and addresses her struggle with Imposter Syndrome (self-doubt about one's own performance). The song is about things she regrets, her depression, her darkest fears and her future.
This is what Taylor Swift's song "Anti-Hero" from the new album "Midnights" is about
The song "Anti-Hero" is about one thing above all: Taylor Swift. To her fans, she has always been very cool about her age, celebrating the fact that she is 30. But it seems age does concern her: "I got this quirk that I'm just getting older, but I'm not getting any wiser." She goes on to sing that she is haunted by all the ghosts she has ghosted. And that is not the problem of our society, not the problem of others, but: "It's me. I'm the problem." A sentiment many can identify with: It's nobody else's fault that we're doing badly – only our own. A destructive way to think about the world, but sometimes you just can't control your feelings. But who would have thought that megastar Taylor Swift also thinks like that?
Taylor Swift sings in "Anti-Hero" about how she always feels wrong around people: "Too big to hang out with." It would feel like everyone else was just "sexy babies" and she alone was the monster way up on the mountain. And according to Taylor Swift, everyone agrees with her, "I'm the problem. And everyone else thinks so too." A clear expression of the Imposter Syndrome. This means that the perception of others and one's own perception are very far apart and one thinks one does not belong – although in her case there is objectively a reason why she has made it so far. So the eleven-time Grammy winner also sometimes feels like she doesn't have something – somehow reassuring for everyone who knows this feeling.
This is what the music video for "Anti-Hero" from Taylor Swift's album "Midnights" means
The premiere of Taylor Swift's music video for "Anti-Hero" took place live via YouTube on the afternoon of 21 October 2022 in Germany. Taylor Swift is seen in a house running away from ghosts (which she has ghosted), getting on her own nerves and finally being a guest at her own funeral. She presents the three main problems through three different characters, all played by herself. One Taylor Swift has to face her depression. Another Taylor Swift is her pop persona who is sure she can't trust anyone. The third is a Taylor Swift who feels out of place because she is too big for the room. She stands on the scales and instead of a number there is only the writing "fat".
Above all, the persona that is too big for the room and doesn't know what to do with herself shows an unusually insecure side of Taylor Swift. "Have you heard that I hide my underlying narcissism through altruism?" she sings. A thought some of us have had at one time or another: Am I just being nice because it makes me come across better to people? Taylor Swift answers us: "Can we ever really know?"
The video ends with a scene that briefly interrupts the song. Taylor Swift sings about a dream in which her daughter-in-law kills her so she can get her money. The scene quickly turns dramatic as they all argue about her inheritance and soon start fighting each other. Taylor Swift stands between the fighting people, still singing, "It's me. I'm the problem." But is she really?
The music video ends with all three Taylor Swifts supporting each other, realising that sometimes you simply have no control over how others perceive you. Only you can determine how you perceive yourself. Maybe sometimes it's just other people's problem.
Written by Michael Zippo
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