Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video was talked about well before it aired on the Billboard music awards in 2015 because of its rumored celebrities starring in it and its edgy theme. Swift fans were not disappointed proven by the amount of blog posts and tweets praising what they had just seen. Most fans loved what they saw and had nothing critical to say about Taylor or the video, but there are always going to be other opinions from people. The type of people who watch these videos aiming to pick them apart and deceipher the meaning of them. At first glance this video may seem like its main goal is to empower women, but there are underlying messages that portray women as jealous and competitive which allows for some to have more power than others.
Competitiveness Amongst Women
As Jessica Chou writes, this video stems from the classic stereotype that girls “can’t be trusted” because women aren’t supposed to be competitive in society’s eyes but, in reality, women compete in everything. The message in the video supports the idea that women can’t really be friends with this undeniable competitiveness. Chou points out that this fight between Selena and Taylor is much like any “catfight” in that it stems from jealousy and competitiveness between women. Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are set up to fight against each other which sends the message that women are always competing with each other. It is important in today’s society, especially with the changing view of the equality of women and men, that the idea of unity and support amongst women is not diminished. The idea that women are constantly trying to tear each other down gives the wrong idea and makes us as a whole look inferior.
This video suggests that Swift is undefeatable and if any other women tries to compete with her, she will fail. Everyone knows how much power Taylor Swift has, but this video shows that no other woman can compete with her. There are multiple examples in the video that illustrate that Taylor is on a different level than everyone else. At one point, Swift is pushed into a window by Selena Gomez and miraculously remains unscathed thus portraying her undefeatable persona. She is shown sitting in a car twirling her hair while her team trains for battle. In addition to having the more powerful team, Swift’s undefeatable persona is highlighted even more when she is too good for the training her team goes through. Swifts team is stacked with famous actresses and supermodels showing that she can get anyone she wants to support her and be on her team.
Emily Gordon of the Sunday Review says that women compete with each other due to evolutionary psychology. This is the theory that uses natural selection to explain our modern behaviors. Noam Shpancer explains this in Psychology Today, “As women come to consider being prized by men their ultimate source of strength, worth, achievement and identity, they are compelled to battle other women for the prize.” Women naturally find importance in men and feel the need to protect themselves from other women coming in between.
This video shows that Taylor Swift’s is undefeatable because she has her powerful squad of beautiful celebrities backing her up. While this video attempts to send the message of girl power and feminine unity, it is actually showing that girls are competitive with each other by nature.