Taylor Swift; an icon, a legend, a story-teller and now a happy, care-free woman.
After Swift released her album reputation in November, there was a lot of hype about track number five, titled "Delicate." We all knew that this song was one of the biggest anticipations off of the record but what we didn't know was the meaning behind the song and after Swift released the music video for it at the iHeart Music Awards show, we now can all go to bed knowing that Ms. Swift is happy with life.
The video starts out with Taylor on the red carpet with a beautiful gown and of course, red lipstick. Her facial expressions at the beginning make it seem like she doesn't want to be there, same old same old things that she is sick and tired of. Being interviewed by hundreds of press people and paparazzi on her every move. Knowing Taylor, she is not a fan of all the press being on her all the time.
After she gets through all of the paparazzi and press, she is handed a note (Hold on tight! The note becomes important later on). Taylor is then seen walking through the hotel with hotel body guards surrounding her, almost like they are keeping her away from her fans and all of the other things around her. The next part of this video is a big shoutout to her fans, as she is shown taking a selfie with a group of girls, Taylor's face is lit up and happy as ever but is then ruined by the body guards who take her away from that. We all know that Taylor adores her fans more than anything in the world and they are the ones who keep her sane.
Taylor just wants to be able to connect with the people that keep her going and the media won't let her do that, because one wrong move and Taylor's reputation could be ruined, again. After being torn away from her fans, she's shown in a dressing room in front of mirror looking at herself wondering what she's doing wrong and why people need to treat her in ways she doesn't want to be treated. Now, for the part that made every Swiftie's heart explode with happiness, Taylor decides to be herself for once and makes goofy faces into the mirror but when other people walk into the room and she waves at them and they don't see her she finally realizes something. Looking into the mirror once again, she doesn't see her reflection and becomes invisible to the world.
After she realizes that she's become invisible to the world and everyone around her she starts to become herself and dances around the hotel like nobody is watching, with her facial expressions becoming happy once again.
After her dancing moments in the hotel, Taylor gets into the elevator with a woman and they are face-to-face with each other and the woman smiles at Taylor and this is the moment when Taylor think somebody finally notices her for being herself but in the end the woman was smiling at the mirror in the elevator fixing her lipstick and once again Taylor realizes that she's still invisible to everyone.
Taylor then gets caught up in the moment and finds herself in a subway station, still dancing around however she wants and without a care in the world, she gets on the subway, gets off and finds herself in an alley way dancing in the rain.
FEARLESS ERA ALERT!
Taylor is dancing in the rain. Now we all know how much Taylor enjoys dancing in the rain, ever since her first album she's had a thing for water. Now, this scene specifically screams out the Fearless era because of the line in the song "Fearless" that goes, "in a storm in my best dress, fearless." Swifties immediately got emotional, because that same dream that 12 year old Taylor had about dancing in the rain and being herself still exists 16 years later.
Going back to the video, you'll notice that Taylor looks the happiest in this part. She doesn't give a care in the world and doesn't care what anybody thinks of her because she has come to the point where she just wants to be herself and not succumb to what the media makes her out to be. The video ends with Taylor going to a dive bar (possibly on the East side?) This is where the note comes back into play, she goes into the bar looking for the guy who gave her the note. She gets into the bar, everyone is looking at her, but she ignores all of them looking for the one who likes her for her.
Once she sees who she's looking for (Joe?!) she realizes that she can just be herself with him and can let the rest of the world just pass her by.
Taylor's message in this video is truly beautiful. Something that no one has ever done in the music world, taking a song and making the meaning of it something that nobody expected out of her. She is truly done with what the media perceives her to be and has officially "cleaned" (1989 ERA!!) her reputation and can be herself once again.
Watch the official music video here:
Luckily, music can help put us back on a more productive track.
Studies out of the University of Birmingham, England, show that music is effective in raising efficiency in repetitive work — so if you're mindlessly checking email or filling out a spreadsheet, adding some tunes will make your task go by that much faster.
But when it comes to tasks that require more brainpower, finding that perfect playlist is not so easy.
Luckily, we have science at our disposal to help.
Based on some of what we know about how music affects productivity, you should try funneling this kind of music through your headphones the next time you're feeling unproductive:
Songs that include sounds of nature.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently discovered that adding a natural element could boost moods and focus.
Sounds of nature can mask intelligible speech just as well as white noise while also enhancing cognitive functioning, optimizing the ability to concentrate, and increasing overall worker satisfaction, the researchers found. The mountain stream sound researchers used in their study also possessed enough randomness that it didn't distract test subjects.
You could try simply listeining to recordings of nature sounds, or check out this tranquil background music that incorporates sounds of water:
Songs you enjoy.
Listening to music you like can make you feel better.
Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, found that personal choice in music is important, especially in those who are moderately skilled at their jobs. Generally participants in her studies who listened to music they enjoyed completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn't because the music improved their mood.
"When you're stressed, you might make a decision more hastily; you have a very narrow focus of attention," she told the New York Times. "When you're in a positive mood, you're able to take in more options."
Songs you don't really care about.
Different research suggests, however, that music you're ambivalent about could be best.
Researchers from Fu Jen Catholic University in Xinzhuang City, Taiwan, studied how listener's fondness for music affected their concentration. They found when workers strongly liked or disliked the music they heard in the background they became more distracted by it.
Songs without lyrics.
Words are distracting.
According to research from Cambridge Sound Management, noise in general isn't to blame when it comes to lost productivity — it's how intelligible the words are that forces us to shift focus from our work to figuring out what someone is saying. Speech distracts about 48% of office workers according to Cambridge's 2008 study.
When masking your neighbor's conversation with music, it follows then that you not do so with music that has lyrics — your focus would simply shift from the conversation to the words in a song.
This playlist of lyric-less music may provide the productivity boost you need:
Songs with a specific tempo.
Music tempo can have varying affects on your arousal.
One study by Canadian researchers found subjects performed better on IQ tests while listening to up-tempo music. If your work requires you to be more upbeat, you could try listening to music that matches this tempo. Baroque music, for example, is a popular choice for many needing to get work done.
In fact in a small study by researchers at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, and the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, the radiologists they studied reported an improvement in their work and mood when they listened to baroque music. This playlist offers a nice sampling:
Another study by researchers from BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore, Malaysia, saw subjects report a dramatic reduction in feelings of stress and an increased sense of physical relaxation when they listened to music that played around 60 beats per minute. In classical music terms, you would refer this as "larghetto," which translates to not very fast or somewhat slowly.
If you prefer to feel more relaxed while you work, you could try one of Focus @ Will's playlists dedicated to concentration:
Songs played at medium volume.
Noise level matters.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, found that moderate noise levels are just right for creative thinking.
While both high and moderate noise levels have been found to open people's minds to more abstract thinking, high noise levels decrease the brain's ability to process information.