Taylor Swift’s “Better Than Revenge” Has Long Been Rumored to Be About Camilla Belle

Taylor Swift changed the “Better Than Revenge” lyrics after years of a problematic reputation. Who is the song about? Here’s what we know.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Jul. 7 2023, Published 11:40 a.m. ET

(l-r): Taylor Swift and Camilla Bell
Source: Getty Images

After over a decade in the music business, Taylor Swift is taking charge of her past career setbacks. In 2021, the Grammy winner began re-recording all the hits from her first six albums with her former label, Big Machine Records, after losing her masters to music manager Scooter Braun.

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Taylor released the first “Taylor’s Version” album, “Fearless,” in April 2021, which was also the singer’s debut project. In 2023, Taylor announced that she would continue her re-recording journey with her 2010 album “Speak Now.” The revamped version was Taylor’s opportunity to right some of the wrongs she made when she wrote the songs for the album as a rising musician.

The “Speak Now” resurgence has reminded Swifties everywhere about one of the singer’s tracks from that album, “Better Than Revenge.” In the song, Taylor said some harsh things about a mystery woman who stole her man.

So, who is “Better Than Revenge” really about? Scroll down for the 4-1-1!

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Taylor Swift perforning at the Eras Tour
Source: Getty Images

Who is Taylor Swift’s “Better Than Revenge” about?

“Better Than Revenge” debuted for the first time in 2010. The song is about a girl who stole Taylor’s boyfriend a few years prior and seemingly believed Taylor didn’t know anything about it. But Taylor’s lyrics during the song share that she knew all about the girl’s treachery.

“She's not a saint, and she's not what you think / she's an actress, whoa / She's better known for the things that she does / On the mattress, whoa," Taylor’s original lyrics to the song read.

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Taylor’s “mattress” lyric on “Better Than Revenge” has long followed the singer. In 2014, Taylor admitted to The Guardian that she wrote the line when she was 18 and wouldn’t have shamed the girl if she had a chance to write the song over.

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In July 2023, Taylor confirmed that she changed the lyrics in "Better Than Revenge." She changed the “mattress” lyric to "He was a moth to the flame / She was holding the matches, whoa."

While Taylor changed the track’s lyrics, the “actress” she referred to in the song remains a mystery. The “Karma” artist has never explicitly said who “Better Than Revenge” is about, but it has been on her fans’ minds for quite some time. Rumors have swirled for years that the song is about actor Camilla Belle.

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Camilla Belle at a premiere in 2020
Source: Getty Images

Camilla Belle dated one of Taylor Swift’s exes before “Better Than Revenge” dropped.

It’s understandable why many people in Taylor’s fan base believe “Better Than Revenge” is about Camilla. A former child star, Camilla is best known for her roles in Practical Magic, Rip Girls, and Prada to Nada. The actor also dated one of Taylor’s exes — Joe Jonas.

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According to Entertainment Weekly, Joe and Camilla dated in 2008. Before they got together, Taylor and Joe dated for several months during the same year. Then, in 2010, she wrote “Better Than Revenge,” which Taylor has said reflected her past relationships.

(l-r): Camilla Belle and Joe Jonas talking at an event
Source: Getty Images
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Taylor’s song resulted in a lengthy feud between her and Camilla. On various occasions, Camilla has reportedly clapped back at Taylor on social media. In 2016, she posted a quote on Instagram and Twitter that had many fans think she took a dig at Taylor.

“No need for revenge. Just sit back and wait," Camilla posted then. "Those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves and if you're lucky, God will let you watch."

Despite the shady post, Camilla hasn’t discussed her and Taylor’s rivalry much in public. She’s still acting these days, and there’s no word if she has listened to Taylor’s Version of “Better Than Revenge” for herself.

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