This Is Taylor Swift’s ‘Favorite Metaphor’ From the ‘Lover’ Music Video

As always, Taylor Swift’s latest music has brought with it elaborate fan theories and speculation. But unlike with Reputation, Swift is happy to address some of these ideas. Here’s what she’s saying about the symbolism in the “Lover” music video.

Taylor Swift’s new album is here

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift poses in front of a mural introducing her latest album Lover on August 23, 2019, in in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. | Gotham/GC Images

Now that Lover is here, there’s so much to talk about. Swift’s seventh album (and the first in which she owns the rights to all of the music) is a whopping 18 tracks, and it’s a major deviation from her last album Reputation, which she had a much darker vibe than the light tones of Lover.

Before the album release, Swift debuted four singles: The kitschy anthem “ME!” featuring Brandon Urie of Panic! At the Disco, her tribute to the LGBTQ+ community “You Need to Calm Down,” a soulful hit “The Archer,” and the effortlessly romantic title track, “Lover.”

She dropped the ‘Lover’ music video the day before the album

As the release date of Aug. 23 loomed closer, Swift continued to surprise her fans with incredible content. And the eve of the release, Aug. 22, she gave them the biggest gift yet: The music video for “Lover.”

Watch for yourself, but it’s hard to deny the beauty that is this color-blocked vision of, well, love. Featuring plenty of costume changes, a dollhouse that any child would kill for, and a St. Elsewhere-esque twist, there’s a lot to unpack.

Swift says this is her ‘favorite metaphor’ in the video

In the days after the release, Swift continued to talk about her new content, sharing her personal thoughts on what fans have been reacting to. She took to Instagram to share part of the “Lover” music video, which she referred to as “the fishbowl scene,” calling it her “favorite metaphor” from the video.

Swift also mentions her co-star, Christian Owens. The “unbelievably talented” performer is a dancer and a singer himself, having spent time with Swift during the Reputation album tour. You may also recognize him from the music video from Normani’s “Motivation” — you know, where she bounces a basketball off her knee and then her backside?

What is the metaphor?

So what metaphor is Swift referring to here? Though Swift is known for her very subtle digs, this is an obvious one, according to writer Katie Collins. The owner of the “part-time Taylor Swift stan account” wrote that Swift is “fully immersed,” and so her love interest shows he’s “all in” by lowering himself into her world.

BuzzFeed writer Ellie Bate builds on this theory with another popular one that’s been going around. She writes that each of the rooms in the dollhouse symbolism a different album or Swift era and this one represents the time around 1989, in which the artist “finds herself trapped in a fishbowl, visible to the outside world but unable to escape herself.”

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