Who Is Taylor Swift’s “Ready For It” About? There’s a Real Debate About the Sexy Track

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Taylor Swift‘s song “Ready For It” has been a fan favorite ever since it was released on her 2017 album “Reputation.” As fans pile into theaters to see the Eras Tour movie and anxiously await the release of “Reputation (Taylor’s Version),” the song is getting renewed attention. As one of Swift’s sexiest tracks ever, “Ready For It” has a prime spot in the Eras Tour setlist, and we can’t help but sing along every time. But the song also has some fans wondering which of Swift’s exes she was thinking about when she wrote it.

Most of the love songs on “Reputation” were about Swift’s then-boyfriend Joe Alwyn, so some fans think the song is about him. They were together from 2016 to 2023. However, some other fans have dug through the lyrics and think a much more likely candidate is Swift’s other ex, Harry Styles, whom she briefly connected with in late 2012 before splitting in early 2013. We break down both theories ahead.

Is Taylor Swift’s “Ready For It” About Joe Alwyn?

“Knew he was a killer first time that I saw him,” Swift sings at the start of the song, which seems to allude to when she and Alwyn reportedly met at the Met Gala in 2016. “Wonder how many girls he had loved and left haunted.” Themes of envy come back in other Swift songs about Alwyn like fellow “Reputation” track “Delicate” (“Do the girls back home touch you like I do?”) and the “Evermore” track “Gold Rush” (“Everybody wants you / Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you”).

Swift also sings, “Younger than my exes but he act like such a man.” Alwyn is seven years younger than Calvin Harris and 10 years younger than Tom Hiddleston, who were Swift’s most recent exes at the time. Swift also sings in the “Lover” track “I Think He Knows” (also about Alwyn), “He got that boyish look that I like in a man,” so it’s also an idea she revisits. Swift also calls herself a “robber” and “a thief” in “Ready For It,” which hints at the “bad reputation” she had during the era before “Reputation” came out. Much of that album is about how Alwyn loved her despite all the rumors. All in all, if you want to believe “Ready For It” is about Alwyn, there’s quite a bit of evidence.

Is Taylor Swift’s “Ready For It” About Harry Styles?

There’s also a lot of evidence that points to the song being about Styles. When Swift sings, “Knew he was a killer first time that I saw him / Wonder how many girls he had loved and left haunted / But if he’s a ghost then I can be a phantom,” she alludes to her song “I Knew You Were Trouble” from “Red,” which fans associate with Styles. And the ghosts call back to Styles’s own song “Two Ghosts,” which was released earlier in 2017 and many fans thought that was about Swift. As for the lyrics about him being young, Styles is one of the youngest people Swift has publicly dated.

Later in the song, Swift sings, “Island breeze and lights down low / No one has to know / In the middle of the night, in my dreams / You should see the things we do, baby.” Those lyrics echo ones in “Wildest Dreams” from “1989,” another song some fans think is about Styles (though there’s debate on the topic). Her lyric about him being the “Burton to this Taylor” also seems to allude to the music video for “Wildest Dreams” in which Swift dons an Elizabeth Taylor-esque brown wig.

Swift’s reference to running away to an “island” actually makes more sense when it’s about her relationship with Styles. In January 2013, the two took a romantic vacation to the British Virgin Islands. However, it didn’t end well, as Swift was later spotted leaving the island alone following their breakup.

Swift will probably never confirm who her exact inspiration was for “Ready For It,” but she’s the mastermind of leaving clues and we’ll always try to decode them.

Additional reporting by Victoria Edel

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