Badass Taylor Swift Is Reclaiming The Snake Emoji

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift on seemingly friendly terms with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian before 'Famous' (Getty Images)

Reputation. Out 10 November. First single dropping tonight (or early Friday morning, UK time). Just us losing our heads over the news that Taylor Swift is finally re-entering our lives in an explosion of social media-fuelled drama, fierce black lipstick and general badassery? Thought not. TS6 is coming and it’s already shedding drama in its glorious wake.

Excitement for the Tay’s sixth album and first solo release since 2014’s 1989 began building last Friday when her Twitter and Instagram feeds were mysteriously (and quite horrifyingly, for this is our nightmare) wiped totally clean of everything from posts to profile photos. In brief, she had a blank space baby: it was time to reinvent herself and come back stronger than ever.

Come Monday, a series of cryptic teasers showing a snake creepily writhing in the darkness before jumping at the camera and terrifying the life out of us (we just want a new Saturday night bop, take pity Tay) began appearing. They certainly caught our attention, but what did they mean?

If you’re up to date on Tay’s long-running, on and off feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, you might have a pretty good idea. If not, make sure you’re sitting comfortably, because it’s quite some story and no, we aren’t about to recall 2009 when Kanye grabbed her MTV gong out of her hands live on stage and said it should have gone to Beyoncé.

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In brief, last year, Kanye decided it was a great idea to include the lyrics “I think me and Taylor might still have sex, I made that bitch famous” in his song “Famous”.

Tay rightly hit back at being called a bitch by one of the world’s most famous rappers, only for Kim to share a Snapchat video of a secretly recorded phone call between Kanye and Tay, seemingly proving that Tay gave him the all-clear and even liked the lyric, and therefore “exposing” her as a liar in front of millions.

In fact, the misogynistic “bitch” line that Tay took offence to was never mentioned, and she swiftly (sorry) took to Instagram to post a statement clarifying that fact and asking to be “excluded from this narrative”.

Then came National Snake Day, which Kim seized as an opportunity to throw some serious shade Tay’s way by using too many snake emojis to count (OK, they’re countable, but we aren’t volunteering) in a post that racked up nearly 230,000 retweets.

Soon enough, thousands of snake emojis began appearing in Tay’s Instagram comments. It was all a bit gross, really.

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Eventually, Instagram introduced a filter to block out certain words and emojis in a bid to prevent harassment, which Tay used to rid her platform of snakes.

It seems Kim has employed the same tactic today to rid her own comments box of snakes (this Buzzfeed reporter tried posting a snake emoji under a recent photo but it was only visible to him) while Tay gets busy reclaiming the emoji for herself and slaying hard in the process.

So there you go, that’s where the snakes come in, or at least it does if the popular theory that her first single will be a fiery, thinly-veiled Kimye diss proves accurate.

Then, of course, there is the title of the album, Reputation, and its cover art, which shows Tay in a patched-up ripped sweater overlayed onto newspaper cuttings with her name in the headlines. The medieval-style font bears mega similarities with that used to promote Kanye’s Life of Pablo merchandise, too.

See you to fully decode the first single, naturally.

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