There are a million explanations and references in each of her music videos but I find that one to three references are the main focus in each of the videos. They are quick and easy to miss but very clear if paying attention to detail. So let's dive in, shall we?
Shake It Off
Basically, this was just Taylor Swift's personal anthem. She hit back at all of the haters and showed that she can be herself and have fun without needing anyone's approval. However, she of course made sure to make fun of herself in good fun while throwing in a ton of cultural references. So here they are : Black Swan, Step Up To The Streets, Mine by Beyoncé, Daft Punk Robots, Miley Cyrus Twerk, Audrey Hepburn Funny Face Dance Scene, Mickey by Toni Basil, and Sister Act 2 Ending Credit. If anything, Taylor Swift mocks herself and names off all of the most common things that people say about her. This is the ultimate revenge against all of her haters.
Swift has a billion outfit changes throughout the music video. But there's one scene that is very particular. You notice at one point that the man's shirt has been cut with openings showing his nipples and his pants are slit. This is a reference to Katy Perry and Mean Girls because Perry subtweeted Swift by writing, "Watch out for Regina George in sheep's clothing...". Perry confirmed the tweet was about Swift so Swift bounced back with it. We also notice that Swift pokes fun at herself since every boyfriend she's broken up with has called her crazy and insane. She also ignores gender roles as her character in the music video is the owner of the mansion, where she is actually trying to court the male instead of it being traditionally done the other way around. Many have pointed to Swift using parts of Beyoncé's "Partition" as inspiration. And she also has reinvented the use of horses in her videos. Horses in a music video are no longer to be symbolic of heroin or wild behavior, she has turned them into majestic and glamorous. This video is not your typical music video which is why it's the fastest music video to ever hit 1 BILLION views.
She dated Harry Styles, broke up, wrote a song about him, and then titled her song Style. All she did was remove the 's'. This song is an ode to Harry Styles and Swift had no way to lie so she confirmed it. She references him in the lyric "two airplanes flying, flying" referring to the paper airplane necklace she received from him. The same necklace is in her music video. She also shows insight into the song "Out Of The Woods" as she has said in multiple interviews, she never knew if she was okay or not in her relationship with Styles. When the music video pans over to a man on the beach, it shows an uncanny resemblance to when Styles was singing in his video with One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful". At the end of the video, her date in the music video drives an old vintage car which is funny because Styles drives one in real life...coincidence? I think not. Oh...and this is the first video where people thought Taylor was entering the Illuminati due to constant imagery of the "All-Seeing Eye".
Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar
Well, It's official. Taylor Swift is in the Illuminati. She becomes the "All-Seeing Eye" in her final walk with her triangle shaped earrings. Listen people, she's in. Also she has an amazing group of friends in her music video : Selena Gomez, Karlie Kloss, Kendrick Lamar, Martha Hunt, Jessica Alba, Serayah, Lena Dunham, Hailee Steinfeld, Ellie Goulding, Hayley Williams, Zendaya, Lily Aldridge, Mariska Hargitay, Cara Delevinge, and Cindy Crawford. WOW. This song is also about Katy Perry with Selena Gomez playing her character. Gomez wears a Perry inspired wig as well as Swift saying that someone did something so hurtful to her career that she could never forgive the artists. Reports revealed that Perry stole dancers from under Swift to sabotage her tour. Gomez also had said that she called Perry to make sure there were no hard feelings. Lots of cattiness. Lastly, we see an unbelievable amount of movies referenced in the video : Kill Bill 1 & 2, The Matrix, Sin City, Daredevil, The Fifth Element, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Aeon Flux, Rio, Quantum of Solace, Prometheus, Tron, Sucker Punch, Kingsman, and Jem. Swift is pulling all the stops on her stardom path.