Taylor Swift accused of fatphobia in ‘Anti-Hero’ music video

On Friday, Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album called Midnights. The 32-year-old singer-songwriter also released a music video for the song ‘Anti-Hero’, the same day. As it gathered over 21 million views and over 1.5 million likes on YouTube, many pointed out the ‘subtle fatphobia’ in one of the scenes in the five-minute-long video.

In ‘Anti-Hero’, Taylor Swift Grapples with topics like self-loathing and the fear of being unlovable. In the now-controversial scene, Swift steps on a weighing scale and, instead of her weight, the scale shows the word “Fat”.

Many people took to Twitter to explain how being fearful of being fat shows internalized fatphobia. They argued that struggles like eating disorders stem from socially mandated norms which dictate that being overweight equals to being unattractive.

Criticising Swift, a Twitter user wrote, “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? Fatphobic”.

However, others defended the Love Story singer and argued that accusing her of fatphobia is an overreach as she was merely expressing how her body dysmorphia made her feel irrationally bad about gaining weight. Echoing this view, a Twitter user said, “Taylor at no point said being a certain size was bad. She didn’t say being fat was a problem. She literally said that she views herself as bigger than she clearly is due to her body dismorphia. Regardless of what that scale said she would always see herself as fat…”.

Previously, Swift has spoken about her struggles with body image issues. In the 2020 documentary film ‘Miss Americana’, Swift talked about how her eating habits were affected by how people view her. The multiple Grammy-winning star said, “I saw a picture of me where I feel like I looked like my tummy was too big, or someone said that I looked pregnant and that’ll just trigger me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating.”

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