Taylor Swift Says ‘Clean’ Helped Her Realize She Was Over Harry Styles
Taylor Swift is many things: Accomplished singer-songwriter, savvy businesswoman, bestie to the stars and of course, bona fide expert on all things breakup-related.
Taylor graces the cover of Elle magazine's June 'Women in Music' issue rocking a very '70s glam-rock gold lamé jumpsuit, holding her acoustic guitar over her head like a trophy. She spoke to 19-year-old actress and Rookie magazine editor-in-chief Tavi Gevinson — a self-professed Taylor stan who knows plenty about being precociously ambitious herself — about some of the lyrics on 1989. When asked about "Clean," she kind-of-sort-of-basically admits that yes, this is another song inspired by her breakup with Harry Styles. Specifically, it's about the moment she realized she was totally over him.
"'Clean' I wrote as I was walking out of Liberty in London. Someone I used to date—it hit me that I'd been in the same city as him for two weeks and I hadn't thought about it. When it did hit me, it was like, Oh, I hope he's doing well. And nothing else." Swift continues, "And you know how it is when you're going through heartbreak. A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It's this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it."
"Then time passes, and the more you live your life and create new habits, you get used to not having a text message every morning saying, "Hello, beautiful. Good morning." Whoa, did Harry really do that, Taylor? Can you please share a screen cap, like you did with your recent exchange with Ed Sheeran?
Taylor goes on to say, "You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was. You replace these old habits with new habits, like texting your friends in a group chat all day and planning fun dinner parties and going out on adventures with your girlfriends, and then all of a sudden one day you're in London and you realize you've been in the same place as your ex for two weeks and you're fine. And you hope he's fine. The first thought that came to my mind was, I'm finally clean."
Taylor also discusses her songwriting process, what Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff taught her about love, and the importance of having no regrets. Preach! The June issue of Elle hits the stands on May 19 — just two days after Taylor premieres her "Bad Blood" video live at the Billboard Music Awards.
Next: See Taylor Swift and More Celebrities' Advice to Their Past Selves