Singer plays up anti-bullying message in her video.
By Jocelyn Vena
Taylor Swift’s video for “Mean” (from last year’s Speak Now) is the latest entry in an avalanche of empowering clips, which we’ve seen from artists like Katy Perry (“Firework”) and Pink (“Raise Your Glass”).
Swift’s clip, directed by Declan Whitebloom, was shot over two days in Los Angeles, with the Orpheum Theatre serving as its backdrop. It opens with Swift and her band in the theater. She plays the banjo, and they’re all dressed in vintage-inspired clothes (as seen during her ACM performance). The stage is set up like a front yard of a farmhouse.
The video cuts to a boy reading a fashion magazine in a locker room being bullied by the football team. The video is back on that stage, where Swift is throwing a jubilant honky tonk.
Now, Swift is dressed in a little white ’20s-style dress and is being tied to the tracks by an old-timey villain. (This image was also used for the single art.) He and his friends laugh as she sits there helpless. But Swift and the others are hardly the only victims in the clip. Viewers are back in modern time, where a girl, wearing a fast-food uniform, is being made fun of by her peers.
Another girl is being teased in school and can’t sit with “the cool girls” at lunch and is forced to eat in the school bathroom. All the while, Swift is plucking away at her banjo. Her words are empowering the young people affected by their bullies.
All that playing does eventually pay off for Swift. The stage is now transformed into a ritzy nightclub, with the singer all dazzled up in a sparkly flapper gown performing in the big leagues. What about the others? They’ve also found themselves as well. The boy reading the fashion magazine is now a famous fashion designer. The fast food worker saved up for college and is a big-time executive. The other girl? Well, she’s in the audience watching Swift perform, cheering her on just liked Swift’s song cheered her on.
What did you think of Taylor’s new video? Let us know in the comments!