It’s been a few months since Taylor Swift released a new music video, but the visuals for her song “Delicate” were definitely worth the wait. The music video premiered during Sunday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, and of course Swifties were quick to start theorizing about the possible meaning behind every frame.
The song, off of her album Reputation, is rumored to be about her British blue-eyed boyfriend Joe Alwyn, and the evidence is in the lyrics. “Oh damn, never seen that color blue,” she sings. “Do the girls back home touch you like I do?”
Despite the romantic lyrics, much of the video focuses on Swift's tarnished reputation, which she addresses in the song. "This ain't for the best, my reputation's never been worse, so you must like me for me," she sings at the beginning of the song.
In the music video, it's clear that the poor media attention she got through her feud with Kanye West and a string of highly publicized breakups is getting to her. She looks upset and tired of the bad press at the start of the video as she stands on the red carpet being interviewed by a Ryan Seacrest look-alike.
She enters the event surrounded by body guards and everyone inside stops to stare at her. People gawk and take videos of her and ask for photos, but not everyone is happy that she's around. At one point, she's attacked and she is taken away by her body guards—but not before she delivers an epic eye roll. Swift is visibly annoyed with the attention and the fact that she can't go anywhere alone.
She eventually goes and hides in the bathroom, where she takes out a magic piece of paper, which ends up turning her invisible. The girls who entered the bathroom and seemed to be ignoring her due to her reputation in fact can't see her at all.
She leaves the bathroom and tests her newfound invisibility on her bodyguards, who can't see her either. As it's Swift, she obviously takes the opportunity to dance like no one is watching.
She revels in her anonymity, but there's still a bit of sadness in her demeanor. At one point, she thinks a woman smiles at her in the elevator, but she's really just looking at her own reflection. This makes the singer look forlorn, and from here she decides to leave the hotel and head to the subway and what we assume is "dive bar on the east side."
It's raining outside when she arrives outside the bar, but that doesn't mean her dance party is over. She sings and dances in the rain before deciding to go inside, where she takes out the piece of paper and becomes visible once more.
The people in the bar look at her but it's clear she has eyes for only one person in the bar. We don't get to see him, but one can probably assume that somewhere off camera her boyfriend Joe Alwyn is waiting for her.
Fans thought there was another reference to Alwyn in the video. Before she does into the bar, Joe's Deli can be seen in the background as she dances in the rain.
Another fan even thought he could be seen way in the background in the bar.
While the song is about a brand-new love affair, Swift’s longtime director Joseph Kahn made clear before the video even dropped that it wouldn’t be all pretty flowers and pink dresses. “Those are all the things you’d think you’d want in a video, but they wouldn’t fill what you need out of a song like that. So, I think I have a plan here to address that, but it’s completely unexpected,” he told E!.
Unexpected it definitely was. But don’t take our word for it: Watch Taylor Swift’s “Delicate” music video at top.