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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Criticism: Taylor Swift’s ‘Bejeweled’

Following+the+re-release+of+Taylor+Swifts+Red%2C+opinion+writer+Abbie+Beckley+comments+on+both+the+accusations+and+the+accomplishments+surrounding+the+album.%26%23160%3B
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Following the re-release of Taylor Swift’s “Red,” opinion writer Abbie Beckley comments on both the accusations and the accomplishments surrounding the album. 

Taylor Swift’s second “Midnights” (2022) music video, “Bejeweled,” is the ultimate Cinderella story for the pop star and the essence of fairy tales for her fans. 

While appearing on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon on Oct. 24, Swift announced that the new music video for her song “Bejeweled” would be premiering at midnight that night, and it would be her own twist on everyone’s favorite rags-to-riches fairy tale, Cinderella. Not only is the cast impressively star-studded with names like Dita Von Teese, Laura Dern, Pat McGrath, Jack Antonoff and the HAIM sisters, but the video itself is also a treasure trove for fans of the pop star’s signature Easter eggs, which are as transparent as they are numerous in this glitzy new music video. 

Conceptually, “Bejeweled” takes viewers through Swift’s transition from her alternative music era to her re-introduction to pop. Shedding her understated “folklore” (2020) skin, and stepping back into the glamor of the pop music scene, Swift’s style in “Bejeweled” is what could best be described as the glittering showgirl love-child of “reputation” (2017) and “Lover” (2019). While the flamboyant aesthetic of the music video is admittedly over the top, this appears to be part of Swift’s message as a self-proclaimed “geriatric pop star,” that women can still shine in the music industry past the age of 25.

This is emphasized further with “Queen of Burlesque” Dita Von Teese’s cameo and iconic martini glass dance performance, which has made its reemergence into public discourse for the second time this year after its inclusion in Olivia Wilde’s fall thriller, “Don’t Worry Darling” (2022). Von Teese’s casting as the fairy “goddess,” as well as Este, Danielle and Alana Haim as the evil-stepsisters and Jack Antonoff as the prince, not only highlights Swift’s knack for directorial elements, but also her general desire to produce projects with her closest friends. 

In regard to the obscene amount of Easter eggs in the “Bejeweled” music video, it’s obvious  Swift knows how to cater to an audience. Creating a video meticulously tailor-made for her fan base, the pop star creatively — but not so secretly — references what is assumed to be her third re-recorded album, “Speak Now” (2010), countless times, featuring instrumental versions of the album’s hits “Enchanted” and “Long Live,” as well as an iconic line from Laura Dern as Swift’s evil stepmother where she tells the pop star to “speak not.”

While numerous other Easter eggs and sly references to past albums — particularly “reputation” (2017) — are made throughout the music video, going over “Bejeweled” with a fine-toothed comb would most likely result in something closer to a master’s thesis than an article therefore, unfortunately, the line must be drawn somewhere. 

After the dark undertones of the first “Midnights” music video “Anti-Hero,” “Bejeweled” is a fun and lighthearted breath of fresh air for Swift’s fans. Not only does the Cinderella concept work perfectly with the framework for the “Midnights” album, but it is also a witty and entertaining take on a fairytale that appears to never fade in terms of reinvention. With “Bejeweled,” Swift’s sparkle, sharpness and attention to detail leaves her in possession of the kingdom keys once again. It is a strong reminder for audiences of her pure and undeniable talent.

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