Both Taylor Swift and (especially) Katy Perry started off the year on the wrong foot. Swift thought she was doing a great thing by tweeting her support for the Women’s March, but it came across as insincere when she didn’t actually show up. For Katy Perry, it’s been a lot worse. The album campaign for Witness has been one PR disaster after another. As the Inquisitr reported yesterday, Perry’s hosting job at the VMAs was widely ridiculed.
Despite the bad press, both Katy Perry and Taylor keep moving on. Taylor Swift isn’t as affected commercially by the backlash as Katy Perry is. Despite the criticism Swift is getting for her video for “Look What You Made Me Do,” it is not only her most record-breaking, but also the most clever and self-depreciating music clip we’ve seen from her to date. Yes, Swift takes inspiration from Michael Jackson, Madonna and others, but she does so with a wink. And the whole video is really a wink to her critics, who desperately want to bring her down.
Last week, Buzzfeed reported that people were angry at Swift for ripping off Beyonce’s “Formation” with her new video. They made the inference from a very short clip. However, once the video finally aired, the accusations proved to be furthest from the truth. The big difference between Beyonce and Taylor Swift is that the former, who tries to control her image as much as possible, wouldn’t be caught dead in such a self-depreciating video.
From the moment Taylor Swift appears as a zombie coming out of the dirt in a cemetery to biting on diamonds in the bathtub, we know Swift is in for some unserious business. Throughout the video, Swift hilariously takes on her critics who say she’s fake, calculated, and mean. It’s as if Swift is saying, “So what!”
Some say that Swift can’t be the villain and victim at the same time, but she plays both roles brilliantly in the video. After she announces that the old Taylor Swift can’t come to the phone right now cause she’s dead, we see Taylor standing above multiple Swifts representing different eras in her decade-long career. The climax of the video, where all the Taylor incarnations repeat negative statements made about Swift throughout her career, is both hilarious and brilliant. There’s a reason why so many of Swift’s critics hate the video; it makes them look ridiculous.
Speaking of ridiculousness, Katy Perry provides more than enough of it in her new video for “Swish Swish.” Unlike Swift’s video, there’s not much of a plot to here. There is a basketball game between the Tigers and the Sheep. Katy Perry plays “Koby Perry,” who the announcers say is someone who keeps falling flat on her face. The rest of the video produces poor (but purposely so) slapstick comedy. We see Katy flying up into space, playing with drag queen cheerleaders, getting injected with Koby Bryant’s sweat, and a beautiful Nicki Minaj, who films from a different studio, but still adds to the video’s humor.
Sure, some may say that Perry is “appropriating” drag queens for a match between two heterosexuals, but come on — she is no Charlottesville KKK member. And Perry’s overdone facial expressions could be annoying to some, but they recall the ridiculous Katy Perry we used to love. Although this video may not bring Perry back to the same popularity of her glory days, it’s a welcome change of pace.
Which video do you like best out of these two — Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” or Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish”? Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain & Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]