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Clara Bow’s Family Calls Taylor Swift Song a ‘Testament’ to Actress’ ‘Legacy’

The great-grandchildren of Clara Bow are feeling the love after Taylor Swift named a song after the iconic 1920s actress on The Tortured Poets Department.

In a new interview with People, Nicole Sisneros and Brittany Grace Bell — the granddaughters of Bow’s son Rex Bell Jr. — shared that they felt “chills” after listening to Swift’s song dedicated to the iconic actress, calling both Swift and Bow “it girls.” Track 16, “Clara Bow,” serves as the closing track of the standard edition of Tortured Poets.

“[They’re] both raw and amazingly talented artists,” Sisneros told the outlet, calling the song “hauntingly beautiful.” “My family and I love the song and are thankful for Taylor connecting with Clara’s legacy through her songwriting.”

Bow was a film actress in the 1920s and is the true, first “it girl,” thanks to her Hollywood sex symbol status and, well, starring in the 1927 film, It. She received 35,000 letters per month from fans while at her peak, according to her biographer. Bow also starred in films such as 1927’s Wings, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Mantrap in 1926.

Bell shared that she loved Swift’s lyric “This town is fake, but you’re the real thing” and how it referred to how “Bow was unapologetically herself despite the media noise in Hollywood and societal norms of the 1920s and 1930s.”

“The song to me feels ethereal and somewhat melancholy,” Bell added.

Swift also seemingly references Bow in the upcoming “Fortnight” video. A teaser of the visual showed Swift with razor-thin eyebrows and dark lipstick, similar to Bow’s style in the 1920s. “She has the same sultry stare that was signature of Clara Bow,” Sisneros said. “And there’s no denying the precise application of the lipstick.” 

“It’s really remarkable for Clara to be back in the media attention, 100 years later,” Bell added. “That’s a testament to her legacy. I hope this inspires the younger generation to learn about Clara’s story and feel inspired by her perseverance.”


Swift first released a 16-song version of Tortured Poets at midnight Friday before following it up with the album’s extended Anthology edition two hours later. The full project features 31 songs, including “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can),” “The Alchemy,” The Black Dog,” and “The Albatross.” It also includes collaborations with Florence + the Machine and Post Malone, along with a poem written by Stevie Nicks.

A review by Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield described the LP as her “most personal album yet,” lauding it for combining “the intimacy of Folklore and Evermore with the synth-pop gloss of Midnights to create music that’s wildly ambitious and gloriously chaotic.”

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