Here’s All The Information Surrounding Taylor Swift’s Clara Bow & What Swifties Think It’s About

One of the most beloved songs from Taylor Swift‘s The Tortured Poets Department is the final track “Clara Bow”. But some folks aren’t truly aware of the Hollywood star who beholds the name Clara Bow.

When Taylor dropped the tracklist, many folks were left pondering what was seemingly her final song (sorry it’s no longer the final song since she decided to SURPRISE us with more), which is named after the Hollywood star Clara Bow.

So to get you up to speed, we’ve wrangled up a quickie explainer on Clara Bow, what Swifties believed the song was about and of course, what the reactions are to The Tortured Poets Department’s final song.

Side note: personally, this is one of the top three songs out of the whole album

So without further ado, here’s a brief explainer on Clara Bow.

Who is Clara Bow?

Clara Bow circa 1928. (Image source: Getty Images / John Kobal Foundation)

Clara Gordon Bow is a Hollywood actor who rose to stardom during the silent film era. According to her IMDB page, the 1927 film It was the project that catapulted her into stardom. The film was so popular that she copped the nickname — and is famously known — as the “It Girl”.

Of course, with the fame, Clara was the subject matter of many tabloids who would speculate on her love life, upbringing and all that kind of gossip.

Alongside the hardships of fame, Elaine Shepherd — who worked on a BBC4 documentary about the Clara in 2012 — mentioned that she was exploited by the industry and described the pressure placed upon Clara.

“The studios were working her to death,” Shepherd told BBC.

“She was on heaps of primitive pills to get her out of bed in the morning and to get her to sleep at night. Executives were trying to exploit her as much as possible, gossip magazines were writing the most awful lies about her, and she was dealing with all that on her own, as a woman in her twenties.”

Clara left the entertainment industry in 1933, Shepherd claimed it was a result of the treatment Clara had received.

“She just found it way too stressful. But it’s not true that she was thrown out of Hollywood. When sound came in, she was paid massive amounts of money to make a couple of talkies, and if she’d had more support early on, she could have carried on having a substantial career,” Shepherd added.

Clara married cowboy actor Rex Bell and the pair shared two sons — Tony Beldam and George Beldam Jr.

(Image source: Getty Images /

The beloved actor passed away at age 60 in 1945 due to a heart attack. Per BBC, prior to her death, Clara battled psychiatric illnesses.

Why is Clara Bow named in Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department?

Prior to the song’s release, Swifties came up with two main theories as to why the actor was name-dropped in the tracklist.

The first one was that Taylor could be hinting at Bow’s career as a silent film actress. A lot of fans reckon Swift could’ve felt silence by a potential ex *cough* Joe Alwyn *cough* or she had felt the need to be silent by society.

Some people also linked “Clara Bow” to Swift’s other track “But Daddy I Love Him”, which is a quote from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. For folks who are not familiar with the tale (hehe), Princess Ariel — a mermaid — trades her voice for a pair of legs to chase the man of her dreams.

The second theory as to why “Clara Bow” is a track on The Tortured Poets Department is that Swift is attempting to share how she copes with being famous as well as calling out the pressures of the entertainment industry.

One of the major similarities between Taylor and Clara is the tabloid’s obsession with their life beyond the lights, camera and action. The constant poking and prodding of their love life is something I believe Taylor and Clara can relate to.

What is “Clara Bow” by Taylor Swift about?

Now that The Tortured Poets Department is out, we can now put those theories to rest.

Thankfully, it’s not about Joe or Ratty Healy — but some fans have speculated that the lyrics are a self-reflection of her journey as an upcoming artist. So I guess the latter wins.

Again, Taylor — mother herself — has yet to confirm the meaning behind “Clara Bow”, but Redditors on r/TaylorSwift are convinced that it is about the industry and how it treats upcomers.

Some folks in the subreddit have speculated that the song is about Sabrina Carpenter who was a supporting act for Taylor during the Eras Tour.

One Redditor, u/Imaogian, described the song as a “warning and a foresight” into the entertainment industry.

“The whole song can serve as a warning and a foresight about the dirt with the industry of music and the crap that comes with fame. It can be beautiful and “dazzling” to be famous and powerful, but it can also be horrifying, draining, demanding, and traitorous,” one user wrote.

byu/aran130711 from discussion

Personally, I believe that it is indeed about the pressures of fame. Kinda like how the industry in general just chews people up and spits them out once they’re done with them.

How have Swifties reacted to “Clara Bow” by Taylor Swift?

A lot of folks have shared their thoughts on “Clara Bow”.

Most Swifties are taken back by the lyric where Taylor name-drops herself. Truly giving us a Swiftception moment.

“You look like Taylor Swift. In this light, we’re loving it. You’ve got edge, she never did. The future’s bright, dazzling,” Swift sang.

Anyways, the lyric has sent Swifties into a tizzy!

Again, Taylor has yet to come forward about the true meaning behind “Clara Bow”, but the best thing about art is that it’s subjective.

But still, I wanna hear what she has to say. Especially about that one track that’s allegedly about Kim Kardashian.

*slurps tea LOUDLY*