For a girl who once stole an MTV VMA award from "one of the best videos of all time," Taylor Swift's music videos are getting kind of redundant. Today, she released the video for the (immensely catchy) song "22" on Good Morning America, and it's oddly familiar. Yes, building off her well-documented and complicated relationship with a breed of people some of us like to call "hipsters," Swift brings us another video with ironic hats and glasses, animal ears, and wild-ish parties.
But in mocking what she perceives as "hipster" culture, Swift walks a fine line between condemning it and embracing it, and she loses points on all fronts for creativity. This is a girl whose videos have had elaborate concepts, but in an effort to mature, she's getting, well, a little boring.
Here, for instance, is the opening shot of "22."
Now compare that to this one from the video for "I Knew You Were Trouble"—an exercise that attempts to cast Swift as an edgy concert-goer who falls for a bad boy.
But what about the hipster glasses, you ask? Well, here's "22," in which she and her friends purport to "dress up like hipsters" in the lyrics:
Matched with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together":
In order to go to a party in "22" Swift and friends don cat ears:
Which brings to mind the furry band in "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," because naturally, when Swift thinks of parties, she thinks of animal costumes.
And all three videos features wild parties, where our young innocent Swift is debauched, to a certain extent. In "22" she dances on tables with glitter:
In "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" she dances in a house with furries and glitter:
In the outlier here, "I Knew You Were Trouble," she dances with strobe lights:
All these videos attempt to push the image of Swift out of her good-girl comfort zone. "I Knew You Were Trouble" goes the farthest, casting her as a grunge girl; "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "22" stay relatively safe mixing adult-ish partying with characteristic quirk. (Of all the videos off of her latest album, Red, the Paris-set "Begin Again" is the most princess-y.)
Watch "22" in full here:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.