Taylor Swift has been conspicuously absent from the spotlight—her social media accounts, scrubbed of all the photos of her with her "squad" they used to contain, are now only used for promotion; she hasn't done press to talk about her latest album; the singer didn't even appear in person to accept her female artist of the year trophy at the iHeartRadio Music Awards Sunday night. She did, however, appear in a video message in which she introduced the new video for her latest single, "Delicate," and the Washington Post notes that the video itself could explain her absence. The song seems to acknowledge her bad reputation of late and focus on her relationship with a guy who doesn't seem to care; in the video, he gives her a note that allows her to become briefly invisible and, thus, act like her real self while no one can see her.
"And seeing that Swift was coincidentally photographed a couple of days ago with [boyfriend Joe] Alwyn, a rare sighting of the couple, it seems like she really wanted to drive this idea home: She may be gone from the spotlight, but she’s doing better than she ever was," writes Emily Yahr. But People notes that the "Delicate" video has its fair share of naysayers, with critics accusing it of copying a Spike Jonze-directed fragrance ad and/or Sia's music videos. Others were quick to defend Swift; Lena Dunham, for example, called the video "an amazing video- a pure artistic statement about constant scrutiny and the complexity of navigating public life. I’m so proud of her." Vulture notes that the dancing "invisible" Swift does in the video appears to be purposely cringe-worthy; Swift, it seems, wants the world to know she "now welcomes your disgust." (Read more Taylor Swift stories.)