A Deep Dive on Clara Bow and All Her Connections to Taylor Swift

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A Deep Dive on All Things Clara BowGetty Images

Expect to hear "Clara Bow" come up a lot in the coming days, because she's the (extremely iconic) namesake of track 16 on Taylor Swift's album The Tortured Poets Department. And if you're not already familiar with Clara Bow, the time has come for a fascinating history lesson full of Taylor parallels and Easter eggs you're simply not prepared for.

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John Kobal Foundation - Getty Images

But first, the obvious:

Clara Bow Was a Actor in the 1920s

Brooklyn-born Clara initially rose to stardom working in silent films but managed to successfully pivot once "talkies" became all the rage in the late 1920s—which was a pretty rare feat. Some of her most major movies? It, Mantrap, and Wings.

Clara and Taylor Have a Ton in Common

The parallels are...notable! Clara once "tore up her contract"when a producer tried to interfere in her life, and one ex-boyfriend described her as "the sweetest girl in the world, but you didn't cross her and you didn't do her wrong."

There was also a huge spotlight on Clara's love life (just like there is with Taylor Swift), and she struggled to maintain her privacy—to the point where Clara became "socially withdrawn" and eventually had a breakdown.

Taylor has also spoken candidly about needing to retreat from the spotlight, telling TIME (re: backlash following Kim/Kanye drama), "I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”

She Was the Original It Girl

No literally. The origin of the phrase "It Girl" comes—at least in part—from Clara's silent film It. She was the *literal* It girl! (Also, let's just take a minute to point out that the phrase was also popular in 20th century BRITISH society, ahem).

Taylor's Been Referencing Clara Bow for a Minute

Turns out Tay's entire photoshoot aesthetic from the Midnights era was seemingly based on photos of Clara Bow:

Taylor also recreated one of Clara's looks at the 2024 Grammys—which is where she announced The Tortured Poets Department.

And it looks like Taylor might have even referenced a Clara look during the premiere of Poor Things back in December 2023!

There Are Already a Ton of Clara Bow Easter Eggs

For starters, fans figured out that one of Clara's movies has a very specific reference to an albatross...which happens to be another song title on The Tortured Poets Department.

Coincidence? Maybe. But knowing Taylor, probably not.

There are also these moon-specific lyrics, which seem like they could be related to Clara due to her popularizing the moon manicure:

Clara Bow's Family Is Full of Swifties

Clara's great-granddaughters Nicole Sisneros and Brittany Grace Bell told People that they found out about Taylor's song the same way as everyone else: when she announced it on Instagram:

"We could not believe it. We were shocked and then the intrigue set in because no one from our family has been contacted or knew about this prior. We found out via the Instagram post like everybody else," Nicole said. "[I] took my oldest daughter to the [Eras Tour] concert and just to see it through her eyes and see this megastar who appeals to people of all ages...When we told her [about the new ‘Clara Bow’ song] she was excited and looking forward to telling her little friends."

Nicole then noted that Taylor is a modern day It Girl, saying, "I think Clara Bow would feel the same kinship and protectiveness over someone who's of the same level of fame as her in dealing with the media and how heavy the crown is to carry."

TRUUUUULY cannot wait for this song!

Taylor Swift Announces New Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

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Photo credit: Twitter

The Tortured Poets Department drops April 19!

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Photo credit: Twitter

"I've never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets."

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Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Okay, this kiiiiinda disputes breakup album theories.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Interesting timing!!!!!

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Joe Alwyn found shaking.

Fans Think 'Tortured Poets' Is a Sister Album to 'Midnights' Thanks to Taylor Swift's Visual Easter Eggs

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Photo credit: Twitter

Once you see these side-by-sides, you will not be the same.

Swifties Spiral Over Potential Joe Alwyn Refs in the Tracklist for 'The Tortured Poets Department!'

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Photo credit: Getty Images

"From 'london boy' to 'so long london'..."

Taylor Swift’s April 19 Album Release Date Makes So Much Sense Based on What Happened With Joe Alwyn That Day

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Joe Alwyn has everything to do with April 19.

Here’s Why Taylor Swift Fans Think Her New Album Is a Nod to Ex Joe Alwyn

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Photo credit: Getty Images

It has to do with a group chat Joe has... 👀

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