Popstars change up the image of themselves every so often; it comes with the territory. For years, Taylor Swift's version of this had been mild. Sure, as her music drifted away from country riffs, she left behind cowboy princess aesthetic that made her famous. Even in the Red and 1989 eras, she didn't shake things up that much, she just grew up. She experimented with slightly edgier themes in songs like "Blank Space," riffing on her boy-focused publicity and acknowledging the notion that sex exists. Still, she maintained that she was everyone's best, very famous friend who invites fans to her home(s) and loves cats.
Then Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian happened, and Swift found herself combating a narrative that painted her as a deceptive opportunist. So on 2017's Reputation, she tried to ditch the "nice girl" aesthetic she had preserved for over 10 years once and for all. On "Look What You Made Me Do," she cooed in a spoken word section -- she loves those! -- that the Old Taylor couldn't come to the phone now because she's dead. She embraced black, leather, and trendy streetwear, donning smokey eyes and a tough guise.
Now it seems that the Most Recent Taylor has been demolished in favor of the Old Taylor again. The Old Old Taylor. In the weeks leading up to the midnight release of her new single "ME!", Swift had flooded her Instagram with pastel-colored clues, ditching the gothic tones of the Reputation age for jewels, butterflies, and rainbows, teasing '4.26' as the date to watch. Fans dug through her hints in order to guess what was coming. One (fairly convincing) theory: She was going to come out as bisexual, confirming rumors that she had been in a relationship with her erstwhile BFF Karlie Kloss. That was not the case.