Taylor Swift should know better than to rile up the Beyhive. Just after she finally ended her long-standing feud with Katy Perry, Taylor’s latest music video has some people wondering if she’s trying to start a beef with Beyonce.

Taylor Swift
Cosmopolitan

“Mayochella” Strikes Again

This isn’t the first time that Taylor has been accused of copying Queen Bey. She seemed to be “heavily inspired” by Beyonce with the pink-clad drumline that accompanied her to the Billboard Music Awards in May.

It looked A LOT like Beyonce’s iconic 2018 Coachella performance, only dipped in Pepto Bismol. Twitter critics labeled Taylor’s pale imitation “Mayochella,” and the name stuck.

Now, it looks like Taylor might have been inspired by Beyonce’s 2011 video for “Party.” Here’s the rundown of the biggest similarities:

  • Both videos are set in a trailer park that’s styled with a vintage-kitsch look.
  • In both videos, the leading lady wears a neon-colored fur coat over a bathing suit.
  • And both feature an overhead shot of a round, above-ground pool with the singers floating on an inflatable raft.

Is that enough for legal action against Taylor for intellectual property theft? Nah. But maybe Taylor should stick to telling her own stories rather than borrowing other people’s.

Cultural Appropriation?

There’s a larger issue at play here than one artist borrowing from another. That’s been going on since people first started painting pictures on cave walls. But in this case, imitation might not be the sincerest form of flattery.

Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande have both come under fire recently for videos that appear to rip off minority artists. Back in February, Ariana’s “7 Rings” seemed to borrow heavily from Black artists Princess Nokia, Soulja Boy, and 2 Chainz–including the Pink Trap House that 2 Chainz set up to provide free HIV testing to people in Atlanta.

In “You Need to Calm Down,” Taylor does appear to borrow quite a few images from Beyonce’s “Party” video. Sort of like how her video for “Delicate” ripped off the Kenzo perfume ad directed by Spike Jonze.

But even if that was an honest mistake, she cheerfully donned Camp, Queer, and Drag culture like a kid playing dress-up despite not identifying with those marginalized groups. You know, sort of like how she was accused of using twerking Black women as props.

Both Taylor and Ariana (among many others) are happy enough to borrow the culture of minority groups when it sells albums, but critics will continue to point out that cultural appropriation isn’t okay.