Taylor Swift fans are coming to her defense over a split second shot of a scale reading “FAT” in her Anti-Hero music video.
Last week, Swift released the music video to commemorate the beginning of her Midnights era.
The track is all about her insecurities and anxieties. “I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before,” she said in reference to the album.
“This song really is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself,” she said. “We all hate things about ourselves.”
The video itself was described as a series of her “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts…in real time.”
The video shows Taylor coming face to face with her alternate versions, including the Anti-Hero, and gave a raw, honest visual to all of Taylor’s insecurities.
One scene, however, caused a lot of chaos online when the video went live. The clip featured Taylor standing on a scale that read “FAT” while the Anti-Hero shakes her head.
And then social media took the art in stride, understanding how–
Oh. No. Sorry. People were dicks.
“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,” one user on Twitter wrote. The tweet went viral.
The rest of the comments were equally stupid, but Swift wound up editing the video to remove the scale scene anyway.
Other fans noted that this criticism is incredibly stupid because Swift herself has been vocal about her own struggles with eating disorders.
In the 2020 documentary Miss Americana, Taylor talks about a time in her life when she “wasn’t eating” very much at all. She also overexercised and monitored every bite.
“I would have defended it to anybody who said, ‘I’m concerned about you,’” she said. She explains her reply would have been: “‘What are you talking about? Of course I eat. I exercise a lot.’ And I did exercise a lot. But I wasn’t eating.”
She says that the disorder took a toll on her. “I thought I was supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it,” she said.
“It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day,” Taylor said. “It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it. 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.”
“There’s always some standard of beauty that you’re not meeting. Because, if you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants. But if you have enough weight on you to have an ass, then your stomach isn’t flat enough. It’s all just fucking impossible,” she said.
Fans noted that the scale scene was not a representation of Taylor’s fat phobia, but that it represented her own struggles with eating and body image.
Rightly, people have argued that she shouldn’t have had to erase her own artistic representation of her problems because of other people’s reactions.
“Taylor wasn’t showing how being ‘fat’ is bad, she’s showing how body dysmorphia affects HER, and HER struggle with it, stop making it about yourselves,” one person wrote on Twitter.