Clara Bow's Glamorous Hollywood Life Looks Similar to Taylor Swift's

a person singing on stage
Clara Bow and Taylor Swift Are Shockingly SimilarGetty Images/Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
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When the track list for Taylor Swift's latest album, The Tortured Poet's Department, was released a few weeks ago, there were certainly some questions. While "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart" and "So Long, London" got fans scrambling to connect the dots to Swift's split from long-time boyfriend Joe Alwyn, one track had fans turning to Google instead. "Clara Bow," the 16th track on Tortured Poets, we now know is named for the silent film star and 1920s It Girl. Bow appeared in more than 50 silent films and even a few "talkies" later on in her career. However, she split from the Hollywood scene as her career was peaking, choosing to reside in Nevada and give up acting altogether.

So why does Swift feel such a kinship with Bow? Their lives, career trajectories, and even tastes in design are shockingly similar, despite being decades and industries apart. We break it down below.

The Similarities Between Clara Bow and Taylor Swift

Like Swift, Bow's fame wasn't garnered overnight. Bow first appeared on the New York City acting scene in 1922, when she won a nationwide acting contest that led her to Hollywood. In a 1928 interview with Photoplay, Bow reflects on her career beginnings and how there was always something that prevented her from moving forward. "I wore myself out trying to find work, going from studio to studio, from agency to agency, applying for every possible part. But there was always something. I was too young, or too little, or too fat." From early critics insisting that Swift didn't write her own songs to the Kanye West feud that began in 2008 (and also gets a nod on the new album in the song "thanK you aIMee," referencing Kim Kardashian), Swift's journey to pop megastar hasn't been a smooth ride, either.

Once Bow signed a contract with Preferred Pictures, she suddenly made 31 films in just three years (a staggering number when you consider how actors today work on one or maybe two films a year). Swift had a similar switch in 2018, when she signed to Universal Music Group after starting her career at Big Machine Records in Nashville.

After the film It debuted in 1927, Bow's fame skyrocketed, and she became the face for what was in fashion during the era. 1927 was also the year Bow released her first talking movie. After only four years, however, the freedom, budding gossip columns, and industry pressure got the best of Bow, and the actress decided to leave Hollywood behind in favor of a farm in Nevada with her new husband, actor Rex Bell.

Swift too abandoned the limelight in 2015 in favor of a simpler life. In her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, Swift recalls how no one physically saw her for a year (a true feat in this digital age) and says that instead of churning out chart-topping singles and touring the world, she was falling in love. Just like Bow, Swift chose the country and quiet— but unlike the 1930s star, the limelight called Swift back. And thank goodness it did.

A Look at Clara Bow's Style

The lifestyle isn't where the similarities between these two iconic women stop. Bow and Swift seem to share a love of luxurious interior design. Scroll through below for a look at Bow's interior design aesthetic.

a child sitting on a couch reading a book
Bow in her home. A patterned sofa, very in tune with the time, genuinely looks like it would fit in Swift’s vintage-filled living room in New York, complete with the velvet throw pillows and peacock lamp.Gallery Stock

Bow's patterned sofa, very in tune with the time, would fit right into Swift's vintage-filled New York living room, complete with the velvet throw pillows and peacock lamp.

circa 1930 american silent film star and it girl clara bow with her wireless set in the hall of her hollywood home photo by margaret chutegetty images
Margaret Chute

Clearly a music fan as well, Bow sits in front of her wireless radio set (which was cutting-edge technology at the time) in the hall of her Hollywood home. The Persian rugs are also very Taylor Swift, whose New York pad is covered in them.

a girl sitting on a chair
Gallery Stock

Bow's entryway is full of eclectic treasures, like a stunning wrought-iron table and throne-like chair, which is not dissimilar to Swift's throne in her Reputation album era.

circa 1930 american actress clara bow, the it girl, at home in hollywood photo by hulton archivegetty images
Hulton Archive

Plaster walls, a signature of the Spanish-style homes built in L.A. in the 1920s, including the one Bow lived in, mirrors Swift's love for all things vintage—her real estate portfolio is full of antique treasures.

Love knowing what your favorite stars are up to? Same. Let’s keep up with them together.

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