What's The Real Meaning Of Anti-Hero By Taylor Swift? Here's What We Think

Taylor Swift singlehandedly saved our 2022 with this album announcement ... but she's calling herself the anti-hero? What's that about?

The clock has finally struck midnight and we have enough Easter eggs to last us until morning. Ever since Taylor Swift took to TikTok and announced the track title "Anti-Hero," fans have speculated what the ominous song could bring. Some eagle-eyed Swifties noticed that the video for this announcement was one of two in which Swift held her phone upside-down, with one fan predicting that this signaled upcoming music videos for those tracks. Others questioned Swift's choices in describing the song: "the way she described antihero ... there's going to be a challenge? like what is it going to be about? who cries the most?" 

Before the track was even released, a "Taylor Swift Facts" account declared, "#AntiHero isn't just a song, it's a cultural reset, it's the oxygen you breathe, it's a lifestyle." Finally, the "cultural reset" has arrived and we just have one thing to say: We can't wait for that music video. 

Anti-Hero revisits themes from the Reputation era

"Anti-Hero" seems to draw on messages Taylor Swift previously explored in her "Reputation" era. Throughout the lyrics, she declares herself to be the "anti-hero" and shares the dark side of her career. In a video posted to her Instagram, the singer shared that this song is "a real guided tour" through the things she "[tends] to hate about [herself]." 

The song kicks off with the 32-year-old declaring (via Genius), "I have this thing where I get older / But just never wiser." She goes on to croon, "When my depression works / The graveyard shift, all of the people / I've ghosted stand there in the room." While the wordplay there is begging for this to become our new Halloween anthem, it also cleverly acknowledges the relationships that can be pushed to the side when you struggle with mental health.

In the chorus, Swift officially introduces herself as the anti-hero: "It's me, hi, I'm the problem." She explores the struggles of being perceived as genuine when she's achieved so much fame. It seems as though the singer-songwriter normally feels like her career is in her grasp: "I wake up screaming from dreaming / One day I'll watch as you're leaving / Cuz you got tired of my scheming / For the last time." Despite the sad tone, Swift said this is one of her favorite songs she's ever written ... and we have a feeling she's not done scheming just yet. 

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.