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Swifties Trying to Rewrite History and Make Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ About Matty Healy May Have Lost the Plot

Swifties Who Are Trying to Rewrite History to Make Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ About Matty Healy May Have Lost the Plot
Matty Healy, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles. Getty Images(3)

Following the release of The Tortured Poets Department, some Taylor Swift fans are speculating that her sixth studio album, 1989, may actually be about Matty Healy  — and we’re afraid they may have lost the plot entirely.

Beloved Swifties, we appreciate your prowess, but 1989 has and always will be dedicated to Mr. Harry Styles (allegedly). Although it’s understandable that TTPD has caused many to reevaluate some of Swift’s more recent work, including 2022’s Midnights, rewriting history to make a record so specific to Styles about someone else simply doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Before we dive into the reasons it’s a no, here are the three things fans are attempting to harp on when it comes to 1989. Many believe lyrics in “Style,” particularly “You’ve got that long hair slicked back / White T-shirt” apply to Healy’s 2014 performance vibe, while others think Swift’s silhouette being featured in both the “Style” and “Fortnight” — a TTPD song rumored to be about Healy — music videos is a deliberate parallel. On a bigger scale, some Swifties think because 1989 is about a delicate, on-and-off relationship — described in “OOTW,” “I Wish You Would” and “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” for example — it must trace back to Healy, since the Swift and The 1975 frontman met the same year the record was released.

Back to why this is wrong. Starting with the most obvious of evidence, Swift and Healy didn’t even meet until one month after 1989 was released. The twosome first crossed paths in November 2014 when Swift attended a The 1975 show alongside pals Ellie Goulding and Selena Gomez. Healy later opened up about being introduced to the pop star while on the Australian radio program Shazam Top 20, where he admitted the duo exchanged numbers.

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If how time works isn’t enough proof, there’s always the fact that one of Swift’s singles on the album is literally titled Style, using wordplay to compare the duo’s on-and-off romance, which lasted from 2012 to 2014, to clothing and fashion that “never goes out of style.”

Although Swift never actually names names in her songs — except she kind of does in this one, right? — she also didn’t try to hide her inspiration for “Style”  when discussing it in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, telling the outlet, “We should have just called [the song], ‘I’m Not Even Sorry.'”

Styles, for his part, wrote “Two Ghosts” in 2017, which many believe is a response to Swift’s track. “Same lips red / Same eyes blue / Same white shirt / Couple more tattoos,” he sings in the first verse, likely in response to Swift’s “I got that red lip classic thing that you like” and “You got that long hair, slicked back, white T-shirt” lyrics.

Swifties Who Are Trying to Rewrite History to Make Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ About Matty Healy May Have Lost the Plot
David Krieger/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

“Out of the Woods” is another 1989 track that clearly belongs to Styles, as it references his and Swift’s infamous snowmobile accident that resulted in both of them going to the hospital, with Styles getting “20 stitches.”

Though she didn’t name Styles at the time, Swift later confirmed to Rolling Stone that the song was about the crash, telling the outlet she wasn’t hurt in the incident before correcting herself, saying, ”Not as hurt.’” When asked why nobody has ever leaked information about the accident, she added: ”You know what I’ve found works even better than an NDA? Looking someone in the eye and saying, ‘Please don’t tell anyone about this.'”

When the music video for “OOTW” dropped in 2015, Swift was featured lost in a snowy woods in a blue dress. The garment was a callback to her and Styles’ breakup in January 2013, when they called it quits while vacationing in the Virgin Islands following a “heated argument.” Swift reportedly cut her trip short and headed home to Nashville to begin rehearsing for her Red tour and was photographed leaving the resort on a boat while donning a blue dress.

Swift can also be seen wearing the necklace of a paper airplane gifted to her by Styles in both the “OOTW” and “Style” videos. The jewelry is referenced in the “OOTW” lyric, “Two paper airplanes flying.”

Swift and Styles’ beachside breakup also came back into play for Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version), which she released in October 2023 with a series of bonus Vault Tracks. In “Is It Over Now?” Swift calls back to multiple other 1989 songs, singing, “Blue Dress / On a boat.” The snowmobile accident also ties in, with the lyrics, “Red blood / White snow.”

“Now That We Don’t Talk,” another track off 1989 (Taylor’s Version), also seems to Styles hanging out on boats with his One Direction bandmates following their breakup with the line, “Now I don’t have to pretend I like acid rock / Or that I like to be on a mega yacht / With important men who think important thoughts.”

“Slut!,” meanwhile, touches on the idea of being judged for a public romance as a woman while the man skates by. Swift and Styles were infamously photographed together everywhere they went, with Swift taking a lot of heat from One Direction fans.

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“Send the code, he’s waiting there / The sticks and stones they throw froze mid-air,” she sings in the second verse. “Everyone wants him, that was my crime / The wrong place at the right time.”

Swifties Who Are Trying to Rewrite History to Make Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ About Matty Healy May Have Lost the Plot
Robert Kamau/GC Images

If Healy was an on-and-off love for Swift since 2014, they certainly kept it under wraps, but Swift has all but confirmed that was the case when it came to Styles. During an interview onThe Morning Show in December 2014, Swift confessed that much of 1989, but “Style” in particular, is about a romance you can’t seem to get over. (While there could be something to Swift having similar feelings about Healy since they rekindled things in 2023, she’d have to have a look into the future to be speaking about Healy then.)

“‘Style’ is actually about those relationships that are never really done,” she explained. “You always kind of have that one person who you feel like might interrupt your wedding and be like, ‘Don’t do it, we’re not over yet.’ I think everybody has that one person who kind of floats in and out of their life and the narrative is never truly over.”

Swift has touched on this concept with her other records, most notably Folklore’s “The 1” and Midnights’ “Question,” which directly samples from “OOTW.” While Swift did perform “Question” while dating Healy at her May 2023 Eras Tour show, the song likely was originally penned with Styles in mind. Swift sings about a time when her ex saw her in a “crowded room” with “some meathead guy,” which could callback to Styles standing on stage at the 2017 Billboard Awards and seeing Swift kiss then-boyfriend Calvin Harris.

As for Styles himself, the musician has all but confirmed many of Swift’s 1989 tracks are about him. When asked his feelings on being the rumored subject of her music during a 2014 Google hangout, he said, “We always say that we write from personal experience, and I think everyone does. So, it would be hypocritical to say ‘Oh, you can’t write songs.’ And she’s really good, so, they’re good songs. I’m really lucky in that sense.”

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During a Rolling Stone interview three years later, Styles expanded on his thoughts, but did note that he can’t be sure the songs are 100 percent about him.

“I’m lucky if everything [we went through] helped create those songs,” he said. “That’s what hits your heart. That’s the stuff that’s hardest to say, and it’s the stuff I talk least about. That’s the part that’s about the two people.”

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