The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's Giant New Back Tattoo

Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Images/Getty Images.
We knew Taylor Swift was revamping her image for her seventh album, but a full-on back tattoo? Damn, girl.
Late last week, Swift debuted the single art for her latest song "You Need To Calm Down," from her forthcoming album, Lover. In it, Swift appears as we've never seen her before: Wearing a baby-pink bikini with her back turned to the camera, the "Me!" singer reveals a truly enormous tattoo that winds from just below her bra strap all the way up to her neck. The back tat briefly resurfaced again today in her "You Need To Calm Down" music video — right before she covers it with a giant, hot-pink fur coat to lounge in the pool (naturally).
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Swift's Instagram caption matched ours and most fans reactions: "Gxgjxkhdkdkydkhdkhfjvjfj."
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Gxgjxkhdkdkydkhdkhfjvjfj

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

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The ink features a motif we've come to associate with Swift's new era: a snake transforming into a swarm of butterflies. The same imagery is also reflected in the very beginning of her "Me!" music video, which shows a snake erupting into butterflies. Fans have already concluded that it likely symbolises Swift's own metamorphosis from the darker, snake themes of her Reputation era (when the "Old Taylor was dead") to a place of being reborn and happy. With her latest album reportedly all about love, it makes sense. Another interesting layer to the butterfly-and-heart motif: A group of butterflies is often referred to as a "kaleidoscope," which could bring new meaning to the famous lyric she referenced in her "Me!" video: "Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats."
As you can probably imagine, fans are losing their minds over this one.
While we are guessing this tattoo is most likely a fake, that isn't stopping fans from wanting to copy the look — either temporarily or permanently.
Not since Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember have we seen a fake butterfly back tattoo make such a splash among the youth, and if Swift is strategic about it, we smell a great merch opportunity (along with glitter heart makeup and blue-and-pink hair chalk) in her future.
Get a better look at Swift's back tattoo in her "You Need To Calm Down" music video below.
This story has been updated.

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