Armed with a prosthetic makeover and an extremely convincing wig, Taylor Swift has upped the ante for feminists in the newly released music video for The Man, her latest single and directorial debut.
The Swift-written, produced and performed video dropped on Thursday morning and reflects the lyrics for the 2019 female-empowering anthem, which says that men in the entertainment industry have it easier than women.
In the video, the 30-year-old pop icon is transformed into a dark-haired and bearded man who seems not to have a care in the world, or The Man, is voiced by Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson.
Throughout the short, the wealthy, selfish and privileged character is seemingly able to get away with anything he pleases, including an act of public indecency, man-spreading on the subway and erupting into a senseless and over-the-top tantrum after losing a game of tennis.
Swift often calls for action on inequity between genders. It seems with The Man, she is hoping to remind people of this social issue and provide a better understanding of how men and women are generally perceived differently in not just the media, but everyday life as well.
Recounting the struggles of her own tumultuous career as a young female musician, Swift sings in the synth-pop song: “They paint me out to be bad / So it’s OK that I’m mad / I’m so sick of running as fast I can / Wondering if I’d get there quicker If I was a man.”
Additionally, the musician uses a scene where The Man is urinating on a wall in the middle of a street to subtly throw shade at Scooter Braun, the famed music entrepreneur.
Because the 38-year-old bought Swift’s former record label, Big Machine Records, last June, he became the owner of the rights to her music catalogue, excluding her newest album, Lover — which features The Man. The deal resulted in a mass amount of controversy.
In response, the video for The Man includes a brick wall with her previous album titles spray-painted on it next to a sign that reads, “If found, return to Taylor Swift.”
At the end of the video, Swift — who is seated in a director’s chair — is approached by The Man, who asks if his last take was good enough for her liking.
Taking aim at misogynistic entertainment moguls and gender inequality, she replies, “Pretty good. Could you try to be sexier? Maybe more likable this time?”
Along with the credits, Swift’s female-to-male transformation is shown in a number of images that reveal the heavy amount of prosthetics and makeup used to turn her into The Man.
In a tweet following the video’s debut, Swift revealed that the “unimpressed umpire” in The Man was played by her father.
“My dad making his acting debut is a memory I’ll always cherish,” she wrote. “Thank you to the entire cast and crew for helping me become the man I always knew I could be.”
After discovering at the end of the music video that The Man was actually Swift in disguise, many Swifties were left in shock.
Here’s what some other Twitter users had to say about The Man:
Another fan tweeted: “Taylor Swift continues to raise the bar. I love her so much and I love The Man even more. The message is phenomenal. Her mind is everything.”
Additionally, a live performance of The Man was recorded in Paris, France last year is now available digitally worldwide.
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