The second single in Taylor Swift's upcoming Reputation album finally got its own music video on Thursday night. Just a week after releasing her third single, "Gorgeous," Taylor Swift dropped a huge — and I really mean massive — video for fans to digest. Watching a Taylor Swift music video without an encyclopedia of Swifty References might as well mean you didn't watch the video at all, but there is one reference fans don't even need to look up in Taylor Swift's "...Ready For It" video, the white horse, because let's be honest, we all know the white horse and its reference. Nice try, Taylor.
While I will admit I am a mild-to-medium consumer of Taylor Swift knowledge, the density of the white horse image was impossible to ignore. It's as if that metaphoric elephant in the room magically transformed into a white horse with a robotic Swift atop, because it was a) not a subtle clue (which I'm fine with — we have enough of those in the video), and b) the perfect nod to fans who have been following Swift's career since, oh, I don't know, 2008 or earlier?
While a white horse has made a few appearances in Taylor Swift's career, there is no doubt that the choice of the solid-hoofed friend was a deliberate callback to "the old Taylor Swift." In 2008, Taylor Swift released the song, "White Horse," which besides the image in "...Ready For It," you've got to assume that Swift is pointing towards her past and the literal upgrade she is currently working with since Fearless came out. (The new horse is a magical creature, trust me.)
In familiar Swift fashion, "White Horse" was about a girl who was let down by a guy. Below is a verse of the song, for context.
That I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale. I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet, Lead her up the stairwell. This ain't Hollywood, this is a small town. I was a dreamer before you went and let me down. Now it's too late for you And your white horse, to come around.
Many Twitter users have theorized that the song's white horse is truly an image of Swift no longer waiting around for someone to come and sweep her off her feet, as the song suggests. As one Twitter user pointed out, "She got sick of waiting for his white horse to come around, so she went and got her own." Say what you want about Taylor Swift's often criticized take on feminism, but that right there is a strong, power move.
Other Twitter fans were quick to note that while the song "White Horse" may seem like the obvious choice for callbacks, there were also two white horses in the "Blank Space" video attached to Swift's 1989 album. From the looks of things, however, it appears that Swift is currently working with the upgraded and shiny new model in "...Ready For It," versus the 2014 one. (Plus, the visual of her bionic body suit certainly sells home the point that this is not the woman that was once standing on a horse's back while galavanting at a castle in Long Island.)
The white horse has always meant something to Taylor Swift fans, so it is pretty exciting for them to see callbacks to the star's earlier days, especially when the Reputation album sits firmly on the idea that the old Taylor is "dead." The first single off the album, "Look What You Made Me Do," was chalk-full of "Old Taylor" imagery, so it seems very possible that Swift's "reputation" is only just starting to make a reappearance.