Clara Bow’s Great-Granddaughters React to Taylor Swift’s ’The Tortured Poets Department' Song Named After the Famous Actress

They “couldn’t believe” Swift named a song after the 1920s star.

Clara Bow’s Great-Granddaughters React to Taylor Swift’s ’The Tortured Poets Department” Song Named After the Famous Actress
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Clara Bow's descendants are weighing in on Taylor Swift's new album The Tortured Poets Department and the singer's new song named after the 1920s actress.

In an exclusive interview with People, Bow's great-granddaughters Nicole Sisneros and Brittany Grace Bell told the publication that instantly had "chills" after listening to Swift's track, aptly titled "Clara Bow," adding that the song “poetically draws parallels between Clara Bow and Taylor.”

Sisneros said both women are "raw and amazingly talented artists," adding that "my family and I love the song and are thankful for Taylor connecting with Clara's legacy through her songwriting."

For the uninitiated, Clara Bow was a silent film star who managed to survive a difficult childhood at the hands of her violent father and mentally ill mother.

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In Bow's 1927 silent film It, the actress cemented her Hollywood legacy, coining the term "It Girl." Author David Stenn, who wrote the biography Clara Bow: Running Wild, described Bow as "the first American sex symbol" in The Washington Post.

Bow's great-granddaughter Bell said one lyric in particular resonated with her and reminded her of her great-grandmother: "This town is fake, but you're the real thing."

Bell told People that she believes the "Eras Tour" singer is alluding to "how Clara 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.

Bell also said that “Clara was a ‘rose’ that was picked by the men of Hollywood who capitalized on her fame and talent," adding that Swift's lyrics "All your life, did you know / You'd be picked like a rose?" is a direct reference to the scrutiny Bow faced as a Hollywood star.

"I think it perfectly encapsulates how she would feel as the ‘It’ girl of Hollywood," Bell continued.

Clara Bow (1905-1965) in the Fox Film "Call Her Savage", 1932

Clara Bow (1905-1965) in the Fox Film 'Call Her Savage,' 1932.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The great-granddaughters also weighed in on Swift's teaser trailer for an upcoming music video to accompany her newly released album.

“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.”

The proud family members did say that they “haven’t heard or been able to successfully connect” with Swift or anyone from her team, but are hopeful that Bow inspiring Swift will lead to a host of generations learning more about the iconic actress.

“It’s really remarkable for Clara to be back in the media attention, 100 years later,” Bell said. “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.”

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, celebrity, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.