How Taylor Swift’s Makeup Artist Turned Her Into ‘The Man’

Photo: Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images.
Out of all the songs on Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ album, ‘The Man’ is the most outwardly feminist. Swift doesn't mince words as she sings about male privilege, specifically throwing shade directly at men in Hollywood who are given a pass for the same behaviour that's weaponised against her.
Today, Swift released the official music video for 'The Man,' and the star of the narrative is, fittingly, a man. But what many viewers don't realise until the credits roll is that the man is actually Swift — in full drag.
The entire four-minute video is an Easter-egg hunt of sorts — you'll pick up on the not-so-subtle symbolism, including shade directed at label exec Scooter Braun, Kanye West, and Leonardo DiCaprio on a yacht in Saint Tropez — but you have to watch until the very end for the real shock factor.
When the music stops, the video cuts to a hyper-lapse of Swift showing her full transformation through layers and layers of thick prosthetics. After she spends what is likely hours in the hair-and-makeup chair — and covers her blazing blue eyes with dark coloured contacts — Swift is completely unrecognisable with her new masculine nose and jawline, airbrushed bushy brows, and scarily-realistic facial hair.
On Twitter, Swift credited the team responsible for her dramatic physical transformation. "Alongside every great (the) man is a team of hardworking creatives who made this thing happen," Swift tweeted. "Bill Corso & his incredible team and I have worked together before, turning me into a zombie... but convincing a significant amount of people I was a dude is our crowning achievement."
Corso — the Oscar-winning special effects artist also credited for Nicole Kidman's makeover in Bombshell — gave a bit more background on the prosthetics process on his own Instagram. According to his caption, creating the male Taylor Swift involved not just prosthetics, but also a muscle suit, facial sculptures, a beard, eyebrows, a wig — and more than six people to put it all together.
Not only did Swift fully commit to morphing herself into a male character (or a few specific men throughout the story arch), she also gave herself due credit for the creative vision in the video. Importantly, the closing scene attributes 'Taylor Swift' — bolded and capitalised — as the star, director, writer, and owner of the 'The Man.' Because that's how he'd do it.

More from Celebs & Influencers

R29 Original Series