As a huge, unabashed Taylor Swift fan, I'm used to defending her from people who "just don't get it." Whenever someone's complained that her songs are annoying, and she's everywhere you look, and she dates way too many guys, I'm always the one to jump in with a reason why they're wrong (they're not annoying, she's just really popular, and how about we don't slut-shame, okay?). But for the first, and hopefully last, time, I have a bone to pick with the singer: I don't like the music video for "Style." At all.
When I saw the previews for the video earlier this week, I had high hopes; it looked visually stunning, and unlike anything Swift had done for her songs before. Yet when the actual video was released Friday morning, I was quickly let down. Sure, it's gorgeously shot, and yeah, Dominic Sherwood isn't bad on the eyes, but the exciting, profound, action-packed video I was expecting? It's just not there. Instead, we get Swift looking moody, a bunch of cracked mirrors, and a guy trying really, really hard to look like James Dean.
The dullness of the video is especially disappointing considering how much else Swift could've done with the song. "Style" is rife with opportunity, and it's a shame the singer missed out on her chance to make a worthwhile video for one of 1989's best songs. Here's what I would've wanted to see from "Style:"
Something That Actually Has to Do With the Song
I get that the cracked mirrors are supposed to represent their tumultuous relationship, and of course there's the red lips and slicked back hair Swift mentions in the song. Otherwise, though, there's not much about the "Style" music video that screams, well, "Style" music video. It's just your typical "relationships are hard, nothing's what it seems" clip, with nothing distinguishing it from any of Swift's other videos. Why no cars driving down a dark street? Why no flames or visions of paradise? I wanted a "Style" video, dammit, not this generic clip.
Way More References to Harry Styles
We all know this song is about Harry Styles. Taylor Swift knows we know this song is about Harry Styles. Harry Styles knows this song is about Harry Styles. Since no one's hiding anything, why couldn't the video have had more references to the inspiration himself? The airplane necklace is good, but there was so much potential for "one direction" signs or a British flag waving in the distance. Fans would eat it up, and it'd make the song feel much more personal.
A 50 Shades of Grey Shout-Out
"Style" was released on 50 Shades of Grey day, so it would've been fitting if Swift had made her video an ode to the movie and its... themes. I wouldn't have expected her to walk around a playroom or bring out handcuffs, of course, but more subtle nods to the movie could definitely have worked.
A Four-Minute Long Grease Parody
"You got that long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt and I got that good girl faith and a tight little skirt." "Style" is basically the plot of Grease, and the video totally could've showed that.
A Music Video for "Bad Blood"
"Style" is a good song and all, but how great would a "Bad Blood" music video have been? I'm imagining a Katy Perry lookalike running away in fear from a knife-wielding Swift. Like "Blank Space," but with pop singers. And then Perry could do her own video in retaliation, and we could have the world's first ever celebrity feud told solely in music videos. Maybe next time?
Images: Getty Images (2); Universal; Paramount