Matt Healy opening for Taylor Swift during The Eras Tour

Does Taylor Swift’s ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived’ Take Aim At Matt Healy?

Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated album, The Tortured Poets Department, has arrived, and listeners are convinced one of the most scathing tracks in the album, “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” is directed at The 1975 frontman Matt Healy.

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Swift and Healy had a brief summer romance last year after she split from her long-time boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. Her relationship with Healy attracted criticism, given the singer’s numerous controversies. The relationship ended nearly as quickly as it had begun, with the attention swiftly turning to Swift’s current relationship with The Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce. Given how short her relationship with Healy was, many were expecting The Tortured Poets Department to be more about Alwyn than him. Hence, many were shocked when Swift’s album leaked ahead of time, and listeners claimed that the album seemed to be at least 80% about Healy.

Since the album was released, many support the claim that several songs appear to be directed at Healy. Meanwhile, there is one song in particular that seems to confirm Swift’s thoughts on Healy and their relationship.

Is “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” about Matt Healy?

Even before the album was released, many speculated “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” was about Healy, simply based on the title. After all, many could describe Healy as a small and scared man, given his past comments on how dating Swift would be “emasculating.” Additionally, he also has expressed insecurity about his height. In one interview, he bemoaned how people think he’s shorter than he actually is, simply because he appears smaller next to his bandmates, who he claims are about 6’4″. Later, he insisted to a fan that he’s a “big boy.” Hence, calling him “small” would be quite a sharp multi-layered insult.

Fans’ speculations were seemingly confirmed as, in the very first stanza, Swift sings, “Was any of it true? / Gazing at me starry-eyed / In your Jehovah’s Witness suit.” The mention of the “Jehovah’s Witness suit” appears to be a reference to Healy. While he isn’t a Jehovah’s Witness, it is well-known that he often wears a “close-cut suit and tie,” which is similar to the signature suits practicing members of the religion wear. Additionally, the next line mentions, “You tried to buy some pills / From a friend of friends of mine,” which could be a reference to his struggles with substance abuse.

Meanwhile, the lyrics, “They just ghosted you / Now you know what it feels like,” might reveal what happened during their brief romance, as Swift insinuates Healy “ghosted” her. The chorus reads:

And I don’t even want you back, I just want to know
If rusting my sparkling summer was the goal
And I don’t miss what we had, but could someone give
A message to the smallest man who ever lived?

Since her romance with Healy occurred during the summer of 2023, many believe the chorus references him ruining or “rusting” her summer. She also makes sure to emphasize that she doesn’t miss him or want him back. In verse 2, Swift again mentions substance abuse, writing, “In public, showed me off / Then sank in stoned oblivion.” The verse ends with another jab at his smallness, which seems to go deeper than height, “You didn’t measure up / In any measure of a man.”

Her words only grow more scathing in the bridge, where she relates her fear he was “sent by someone who wanted” her “dead.” Given that past songs have described how she has felt like her reputation has been killed, she may be expressing the fear that Healy only came into her life to further tarnish her reputation with his erratic and controversial antics. Swift concludes in the outro:

And in plain sight you hid
But you are what you did
And I’ll forget you, but I’ll never forgive
The smallest man who ever lived

It’s not confirmed that the song is about Healy, but there are multiple hints it’s about him. Either way, it’s easily the most scathing song about him on the album. She really doesn’t hold back or try to mask her abhorrence towards the subject of the song. It also suggests that whatever he did probably went beyond ghosting her. If anyone was concerned that The Tortured Poets Department was expressing regret for breaking up with Healy or idealizing their romance, “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” suggests Swift is doing the opposite. It remains to be seen, though, if the song will be enough for those to forgive her who distanced themselves from her for choosing to associate with such a controversial figure.

(featured image: Lisa Lake / TAS23 / Getty)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.