"Reputation" is Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album and dropped in early November 2017 through Big Machine Records. Nearly an hour in length, the pop album sprinted to the top of the charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and others, selling more than a million copies in the first week to become the best-sold album of 2017.

A theme becomes immediately apparent. "Reputation" is all about… well, reputations. Swift has been widely criticized for her long list of past romantic partners, and her music tells us that she hasn’t given up in her search for love.

According to the first tracks of the album, she encounters people who want to change her; to save her from her reputation when all she wants is someone who will love her for the person she really is.


In "Delicate," the fifth track of the album, Swift has begun a fresh relationship and is clearly apprehensive. Like all new relationships, hers is fragile, and she doesn’t want to end it before it truly begins. “My reputation’s never been worse, so/you must like me for me,” she says repeatedly. There’s a tiredness in her voice, as well as the excitement that she may have finally found something authentic.

In the opening moments of the music Video for "Delicate," released on March 13, Swift enters a hotel, alone in a crowd of flashing cameras and clamoring fans.

As she pauses to respond to a journalist, a tired smile on her lips, a faceless stranger presses a folded note into her hands. Hotel guests make way as Swift and her bodyguards continue down the regal hotel foyer. The superstar pauses for a selfie with a group of admirers is accosted by a bellboy and finds herself in her green room.

Finally alone, Swift relaxes into her own skin, making silly faces in the mirror until she is interrupted by newcomers to the green room, and realizes she has no reflection. She is invisible, and her initial alarm turns to excitement as she abandons her Christian Louboutin pumps, the lower half of her resplendent blue Naeem Khan dress, and finally her entourage.

She dances her way from the hotel to the rain-swept street, her movements carefree, sexy, and silly. We are privy to a humorous, carefree side of Swift; it’s a side that one that shies away from accidental spotlights, splashes in puddles, and delights in being unseen for once.

As she sweeps through the subway, twirls through the rain, and slides across cars, we see a woman, a stranger, and a simple human like ourselves. For a frozen moment, she could be anyone, and her reputation is a mystery we may never solve.

We weren’t expecting the second video for "Delicate," but we're not complaining. The second video, released at midnight on Friday (March 30) as a Spotify exclusive, is no less beautiful than the first, though it couldn’t be more different.

None of the cinematic-feel that characterized the first video is present; it’s a single take, naturally lit, selfie-style piece filmed outdoors. Swift is just… dancing. There’s no hidden messages, subtle imagery, or skillful light work. It doesn’t look like an official video; it looks lighthearted and beautiful.

Swift wears a gorgeous Shearling jacket and a familiar Tiffany & Co. necklace with the letter J for her boyfriend Joe Alwyn. Reminiscent of "Call It What You Want," the second-to-last track of the album, she wears Alwyn’s initial “Not because he owns me/but because he really knows me.” It seems that, even if it’s still in a delicate stage, Swift has found the authenticity she’s searched for, despite her reputation.

Reviewing the two 'Delicate' videos

The videos for "Delicate" are different, but a common thread (other than the fabulous style) exists in Swift’s carefree attitude. In the first video she is invisible, and in the second she is alone; both times we see a strong woman who is more concerned with caring for herself than she is with what others think. In keeping with the rest of the Reputation album, "Delicate" encourages all of us not to let our pasts keep us from finding love and happiness.