24 October 2022, 17:28
Taylor Swift references her struggles with an eating disorder in her ‘Anti-Hero’ music video.
CONTENT WARNING: This article contains details about eating disorders that some readers may find triggering.
Taylor Swift fans are tweeting in defense of the singer after people have accused her of “fatphobia” in her ‘Anti-Hero’ video.
Last week (Oct 21), Taylor Swift released ‘Anti-Hero’ as the lead single from her new album Midnights. Describing ‘Anti-Hero’ on Instagram, Taylor said: “This song is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself.” The music video sees Taylor confront physical manifestations of her inner demons and it’s received widespread praise from fans.
In recent years, Taylor has opened up about struggling with an eating disorder. In her Miss Americana documentary, Taylor explains that she used to starve herself. Taylor makes a clear reference to this in the ‘Anti-Hero’ video. In one scene, she stands on a pair of scales and the word “fat” appears. Another version of Taylor then shakes her head behind her.
Shortly after the video came out people accused Taylor of being “fatphobic” and now Taylor’s fans are sticking up for her.
READ MORE: Taylor Swift Midnights easter eggs: The biggest references you might’ve missed
Following the release of Taylor’s ‘Anti-Hero’ video, eating disorder therapist Shira Rose tweeted: “Taylor Swift’s music video, where she looks down at the scale where it says fat, is a shitty way to describe her body image struggles. Fat people don’t need to have it reiterated yet again that it’s everyone’s worst nightmare to look like us.”
Elsewhere, another person stated: “As an actual fat person genuinely how are we supposed to feel seeing this? Watching a thin person remind the whole world that one of their biggest fears is being fat is looking like me. Demonizing the word fat while never having the experience of living in a fat body?
Both tweets quickly went viral sparking conversation as to whether Taylor was being fatphobic in the video or not.
Having an eating disorder doesn’t excuse fatphobia.
It’s not hard to say, “I’m struggling with my body image today” instead of I’m a fat, disgusting pig.
— Shira Rose (@theshirarose) October 21, 2022
I understand having an eating disorder and body issues. but specifically using the word “fat” in such a derogatory context explicitly sends the message that being fat is a bad thing. it villianizes fatness.
i’m disappointed that this is the message taylor swift chose to send.
— ♀️ (@fatfabfeminist) October 21, 2022
Yeah the Taylor “fat” thing sucks, and that isn’t me belittling or demonizing her experience with an eating disorder. It’s how she did it: the imagery implies that few things are worse/scarier to her than having a fat body, especially as a woman who’s never existed in a fat body.
— Alicia Lutes (@alicialutes) October 23, 2022
In response to the backlash, fans have rallied around Taylor and pointed out that the scene is based on her own body image issues. One person tweeted: “If you have a problem with Taylor depicting her own eating disorders and body dysmorphia in a video about how much she hates herself I might suggest realizing that not everything is about you.”
Another added: “Fat person with past ED issues here… an ED is a distorted view of one’s body & crucially, a consuming terror of fatness. Showing Taylor being terrified of fatness is depicting her past distorted ED mindset… not promoting it.” She’s highlighting the fact that it is distorted.”
A fan also wrote: “Do you know how anorexia works?? Is Taylor not allowed to talk about her experience with her body image struggles ????? The fuck?”
If you have a problem with Taylor depicting her own eating disorders and body dysmorphia in a video about how much she hates herself might i suggest realizing that not everything is about you.
— right where you left me warrior (@dontblameklara) October 21, 2022
Fat person with past ED issues here… an ED is a distorted view of one’s body & crucially, a consuming terror of fatness.
Showing Taylor being terrified of fatness is depicting her past distorted ED mindset… not promoting it. She’s highlighting the fact that it is distorted.
— ã (@a18217635) October 21, 2022
im sorry but the discourse around the “fat” bit in the MV… do you know what it’s like to struggle with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia?? do you know how anorexia works??? is taylor not allowed to talk about her experience with her body image struggles ????? the fuck?
— rachael (taylor’s version) (@expiredthrills) October 21, 2022
Discussing her body image issues with Variety in 2019, Taylor said: “I remember how, when I was 18, that was the first time I was on the cover of a magazine. And the headline was like ‘Pregnant at 18?’ And it was because I had worn something that made my lower stomach look not flat. So I just registered that as a punishment.”
She added: “And then I’d walk into a photo shoot and be in the dressing room and somebody who worked at a magazine would say, ‘Oh, wow, this is so amazing that you can fit into the sample sizes. Usually, we have to make alterations to the dresses, but we can take them right off the runway and put them on you!’ And I looked at that as a pat on the head.”
Taylor ended by saying: “You register that enough times, and you just start to accommodate everything towards praise and punishment, including your own body.”
As it stands, Taylor is yet to address the conversation surrounding the ‘Anti-Hero’ video. We shall update you if she does.