Taylor Swift quietly edited out the ‘fat scale’ scene in her ‘Antihero’ music video

Taylor Swift released the music video for “Antihero” last Friday. That’s her first single from Midnights, and… it’s not my favorite song, nor is it my favorite Swift music video. The idea behind the song and music video is to show all of the crazy late-night thoughts Taylor has when she can’t sleep, the midnight hours where all of her neuroses come out to play. In one scene, Taylor steps on a scale and, instead of showing a number, the scale reads “fat.” There was pushback online, and Taylor ended up having that small part edited out:

Taylor Swift’s music video for “Midnights” lead single “Anti-Hero” has been edited to remove a scene that shows her stepping on a bathroom scale that read “fat.”

Variety can confirm the music video on Apple Music no longer shows the scale, instead, Swift’s anti-hero clone just looks at her with a face of disappointment. The music video on YouTube still features the scale displaying “fat.”

Contacted by Variety, reps for Swift and Apple Music did not immediately have a comment.

Speculation surrounding the reasoning behind the removal of those frames comes from online debate over the scene, which has since been labeled by some as “anti-fat” because of the indication that being fat is a negative thing.

In an Instagram post promoting the release of the music video (which she wrote and directed), Swift says the visual treatment was reflective of her own “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts [playing] out in real time.” Within that context, the video matches the song’s introspective and analytical lyrics, which include lines such as “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby / And I’m a monster on the hill.”

Swift has talked about struggling with an eating disorder in the past, most extensively in her 2020 Netflix documentary “Miss Americana.” In the film, Swift admits there have been times in the past (“It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it”) when she’s seen “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.”

[From Variety]

Conceptually, I understand what Taylor was trying to do and say, and I suspect most women have those thoughts late at night, the thoughts of “I’m the problem, I’m fundamentally unloveable, I’m too this/I’m too that/he doesn’t like my body” etc. Taylor was being honest about her body dysmorphia, so I understand why she put that in the video. I also understand why she edited it out, because it’s difficult to argue “no, I’m not anti-fat, this is speaking to my own neurosis and my own body dysmorphia!”

Additionally, singer/artist Manuela accused Taylor of copying some of the imagery from her music video for “Glimmer.”

Photos courtesy of Taylor Swift’s ‘Antihero’ music video.

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96 Responses to “Taylor Swift quietly edited out the ‘fat scale’ scene in her ‘Antihero’ music video”

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  1. Red says:

    I’m really frustrated with the pushback of her correction of the video. I get Taylor has an ED and her feelings are valid, but having an ED does not allow you to be fatphobic. And imagine being a young fan that is overweight and seeing that your favorite pop star’s nightmare is to be fat. She could have used a different word there and the idea would have been the same.

    • Colby says:

      I want to be clear that I am asking this with no snark whatsoever.

      Isn’t body dysmorphia (in this case) and her ED by definition internalized fatphobia?

      Though it’s upsetting, to me, she was accurately visualizing what it’s like to have body dysmorphia when it comes to your weight.

      • T3PO says:

        My thought as well. When I had an ED I was afraid of being fat. Obviously it’s because I thought being fat was bad, but that was because society programs us that way and I had a disorder that made me hate myself. That is accurately depicting what you feel. And while I had an ED I had and have fat friends and never thought they were less than. I just personally hated myself and my appearance.

      • KFG says:

        ED is rarely about fatphobia, it’s about having control over something in your life. It’s not a fear of fatness, because we already think we’re fat, it’s constantly viewing yourself as less and trying to achieve nothingness.

      • Colby says:

        @KFG – I totally understand what you’re saying about the control, and I agree. But isn’t the “control” specifically over your weight in an ED?

        To me, saying it’s all about control and in no way fatphobia is the same logical error as saying “the civil war was about states rights not slavery” when the right there were fighting about was slavery.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        That is what I was thinking too.

        I’m an ex anorexic who got hospitalised after 10 years of starvation and being severely underweight, I never regained a ‘healthy’ mindset concerning my body.

        I still see myself as incredibly very fat no matter what people/Drs say. However, I don’t go around judging other people’s weight 🤔

      • sparrow says:

        This is a tough one. As a fully recovered anorexic of many years (it is possible) I can remember feeling I wanted to have control over something in my life, which was at that time messy and upsetting and something I blamed myself for. The one thing I could control and blame and punish for everything was my body. I knew I was thin, I could feel my bones, but I wanted even more thin, even more bones, if that makes sense. It was about learning to live with hunger and wanting to almost disappear (for me). I have a heavy body, thin or bigger, and so I measured my plunging weight by how much my bones were sticking out or how cold I was or how hard it was to sit on a hard surface. Scales were not part of my anorexia, partly because I knew they wouldn’t reflect my “progress”. I have a fear of them but not a feared use of them.

        TS having “fat” on her weighing scales is quite simplistic and she may be using it as a simplistic communication of how she felt/feels within her own ED mind; everyone is different. What worries me is this – I don’t know what this song is about, but I wouldn’t want my daughter seeing a video of someone of a relatable age looking down at the word fat. We don’t even have scales in our house. I don’t want my kids, boys and girls, equating FAT to body weight, which often has no relation. I am glad she took it out for her fans’ sake, even if it diminishes what she wanted to say. Some youngster watching it (her fans are mainly teenagers up), will see a glamourous and successful singer standing on scales against a colourful background and poppy beat. The connection of lip gloss video to weight issues is not a good one. It makes it seem shiny and it’s not.

    • Emily says:

      Eating disorders aren’t fatphobia, they are often about control and self punishment. They are an external focus on an internal issue. I personally think a lot of the criticism Taylor received missed that point, and in doing so dismissed what people who struggle with EDs experience. As someone who had an ED in the past I felt seen by this video. This isn’t the who has it worse Olympics.

      The video was depicting how negative and not real her self talk was. It’s showing that fatphobia and her past ED are a bad thing.

      With that said, Taylor could have gotten her point across without the word.

    • SophieJara says:

      I agree with Red. For me the issue is partly that she doesn’t then show why she’s wrong – is it because being fat is not actually the end of the world or because she’s not actually even a tiny bit fat? It would have been nice if she contrasted it with full or fed…

      I think it also has to do with the way these things harm us. My mom is orthorexic and it is a form of self harm that is resulting in serious health issues as she gets older. And I’m not saying being very very fat can’t also be that, but a lot of fatphobia’s harm is external – being paid less, hired less, given poorer health care. When my thyroid and pancreas stopped working right and I gained 100 pounds in a year it was honestly horrifying to talk to doctors and see how fat people experience medical care. It took four years for someone to take me seriously as a patient again and that’s something people die from. That wide, society wide, relationship to fatness is why I think contrasting with with fed would have been nice.

    • Elle says:

      When I was in my twenties I felt fat. I was not. A friend that weighted more than me told me off. I did understand her struggles. In her mind if I was seeing myself as fat, then I was seeing her as enormous. It was not at all like that. In my mind there was no comparison because I couldn’t see beyond how uncomfortable I was in my body. Now I understand how the gap between how I looked and how uncomfortably and ugly I felt translated to others. However, at the time I just felt not understood. Dysphoria is not translated to how you look. It is rooted deep in your soul. It does not have anything to do with being fatphobic. Not allowing people the space to express that is not okay.
      Also, I am not talking about girls that humble brag. I cannot stand them too. I am talking solely about mental health issues.

      • Lee says:

        I don’t know, this hits home with me. She got on the scale and if it said 126 pounds instead of 125, then her day was ruined. I’m using those numbers because those were always my goals. So while I think it’s easy to criticize Taylor over this, she’s also speaking her truth.

      • Chicken says:

        @Lee, this is so true. When I was dealing with my ED, my goal was to be under 120 pounds, and if I got on the scale and it said 122 and not 119, it literally ruined my day. I HATED myself and was ashamed and didn’t want to do anything or see anyone the rest of the day. My god, I’m glad I’m not there anymore, it was such a miserable existence.

      • Kate says:

        @Lee yes, it hit home for me too, basically any number would be “too high” in my brain and so I just can’t weigh myself at all.

        I think maybe the intersection between an ED and fatphobia is too nuanced for an internet discussion though, so I can understand why she removed it. Especially as she is hypersensitive to criticism, and that is a vulnerable thing to share about yourself in the first place.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      “seeing that your favorite pop star’s nightmare is to be fat” — and yet, isn’t that the truth? To many celebrities, especially female, that is their biggest nightmare. Their whole self-worth is based on how they look, and particularly how thin they are. I haven’t seen the video so I can’t say whether it would have addressed that issue in an appropriate manner, but it IS a reality. Pretending a bad reality doesn’t exist, doesn’t help either.

  2. thatgworl says:

    I understand that she has an ED. And that manifests itself by negative talk — the problem is thinking fat is the worst thing you can be and having that be the message. Any other word or “not good enough” could’ve been substituted. Fat was used as a pejorative here and to what end?

    • NCWoman says:

      I’m shamelessly quoting from a tumblr post here: “A thin person finally made seeing fatness as a bad thing as the problem in their artistic expression of their eating disorder and that is NOT a bad thing, it is decidedly GOOD.”

      • Lucy says:

        Huh…that’s a really interesting way to look at it @NCWOMAN. Will be thinking about this a lot today, I’m sure. Thank you for sharing it.

      • Emily says:

        Exactly! Taylor wasn’t saying being fat is a bad thing. She was saying the negative self talk that made her think it was bad, is the enemy.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I still think that being fat is the worst thing that could have happened to me, I nearly killed myself for it. I was indoctrinated by my mum as she was bullied and abused because of her weight, even by her husband.

      However, the phobia/hate always went inwards and I never judged others (for some reason I only saw myself fat, not others).

      EDs are awful and they mentally scar you for life.

      • sparrow says:

        I’m really sorry to hear this, AlpineWitch. I got over my anorexia. It took years but it is over. My daughter came home from school last year and told me her male science teacher had decided to weigh some of the pupils to illustrate “mass” or something, and that she had been one of the chosen kids. She was too shy to say no. Like me, she is heavy when she is slim, it’s just the way we are. The teacher announced her weight in front of the whole class and said “wow, you’re as heavy as the boys”. I wanted to scream when she told me. It really upset her. My anorexia wasn’t about weight or fat as such. I’ve written about it above. But I can see how an experience like my daughter’s could kick start it, and I am still furious as an ex ED sufferer. I want to complain to the school but my partner and daughter don’t want any fuss. BTW I mention that he was male because he is an older male teacher, father of boys who are also quite old. I think this made him particularly tone deaf to what he was doing in relation to young girls and young boys, when EDs are becoming more prevalent within the latter group and even higher in the already high former group.

      • TeamMeg says:

        That teacher needs a warning and an intervention. Very sorry this happened to your daughter in school @sparrow. And I’m glad she told you about it. Shows you have a great relationship, which will reap so much benefit. Down with diet culture.

  3. Lucy says:

    Good. Glad to hear this.

  4. taris says:

    sometimes i wish people could just let somebody speak for themselves and how they feel about their body etc without projecting their own shit.
    every day on the internet there’s always people going “how can i make this thing about *me*, so i can get angry about it”. it’s really unhealthy and so f-cking irritating.

    • Neners says:

      Exactly. Because the context in this case is clear.

    • Lucy says:

      It’s irritating that that’s all you got out of this. Having difficult conversations about fatphobia (and how it manifests) in our culture is really important and I’m grateful that TS is willing to engage in it, especially for her very young fans.

      • taris says:

        the intention of this video isn’t fatphobia – it’s the insecurity that *she* feels about *her* body.
        i’m a petite girl who sometimes struggles with her body, and i can’t even say that out loud without getting looks ’cause we have people who’ve essentially taken ownership of the body positivity discussion, and think only certain people (ie, the fat ones) are allowed to feel insecure. the rest of us should just shut up and be grateful for our privilege of not being fat, do i have that right? because apparently the only real body struggle there can ever be is being fat?

        stop this nonsense.

      • RandomPerson says:

        What Taylor’s psyche learned here–once again–was that she can’t express herself publicly with honesty. People will judge her without making an effort to understand where she comes from (her very own personal context). So, she needs to keep hiding her true self/feelings, even if her very own personal issues have nothing to do with the ppl who take it personally.

        It is exhausting–for both parties–when either of them can’t see or chooses to ignore the interpersonal dynamic taking place, over and over and over again. Exhausting.

      • Lucy says:

        @Taris – you do not “have that right” – that’s not what I said. At all. I literally said I am glad that TS is willing to engage in difficult conversation about fatphobia and how it shows up for people.

      • taris says:

        @lucy darling, taylor has not “engaged” with anyone or anything here by quietly editing a part of a music video that caused some backlash.
        celebs nowadays will simply erase/edit stuff after some uproar, or put out some statement or apology, then lay low so they can just get past the drama. i guarantee you most of them won’t ever really understand why or how what they did was so “controversial” to some.

        i obvs can’t speak for taylor and what she may or may not have learned from this, but let’s be real, there was no actual conversation that went on here – just a gazillion tweets and op-eds admonishing her for daring to speak about *her* insecurity…

      • Lucy says:

        @Taris – We obviously view this differently – the gazillion tweets *are* the conversation and TS changing it *is* engaging. That said, I think we are done here.

    • MaryContrary says:

      I totally agree with you. Things taken out of context, one line that might not be pc, and yes, people making it about them, instead of letting people comment on their own experiences.

    • Bearcat says:

      I agree with you, Taris. I don’t get the backlash. You don’t get to bully people into not feeling their feelings.

      This is like telling someone they aren’t allowed to say they had a bad day, because someone somewhere has had a worse day.

      • taris says:

        i swear to god these movements that begin with good intentions (eg body positivity) get slowly hijacked by narrow-minded, self-righteous preachers, who manufacture outrage whenever somebody doesn’t do or say exactly what they want them to, then they pat themselves on the back when said offender walks their “error” back, and pretend they’ve had an actual conversation.

        nothing is actually changed by taylor editing her music video to make the sensitives calm tf down. if you’re so worried about fatphobia, guess what, fatphobia will still exist tomorrow. taylor was never the problem. instead of empathising with her, the body positivity activists made *her* the problem, and i bet they feel pretty good about themselves after having forced her to alter *her* art to protect their feelings.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Taris, with you all the way here, agree with everything you said above.

      • Mcali says:

        Taris – well said!

      • Misa says:

        For some reason I can’t answer Tari’s comment directly, but I wanted to say that she is so right.
        I am conventionally pretty and even though I come from a Latino country, I am white. I also suffer from BD and CPTSD. They don’t manifest outwardly because I am high functioning.
        I once found myself in a work environment (a corporate-like company, but with requirements towards high intensity socializing) that wouldn’t allow me any kind of expression of my feelings or mental health struggles.
        To some of my colleagues (the ‘preachers’ Tari mentions in her comment) I clearly belonged to the “higher echelons of society” (mind you, I’m a first generation middle class person), and therefore I had to shut up and accept to be bullied in retaliation for my privilege.
        I know it sound crazy because it was.
        I cried about the situation with one of these people, someone I had until then considered a friend but who belonged to the ‘preachers’ group, I was devastated, and she accused me of using my conventional femininity as a weapon to damage her. I had to isolate myself completely from everyone, until I could finally remove myself from that environment, but my mental health worsened significantly.
        It’s time to rediscover the value empathy and being able to treat people as persons, especially when coming from ‘good intentions’ positions.

    • Luna17 says:

      Yes Taris! Forcing artists to censor their art for fear of someone might be offended is so ridiculously dangerous in my opinion. Taylor was trying to share her experience which she did and other people decided to make it about them.

      Also if you exist online or in the real world, you’re gonna see things that might come across as hurtful or offensive to you even though they have nothing to do with you. Not every negative thing you internalize is trauma or something you need to get someone else to fix. People really need to work on themselves to be able to exist in society where people can talk about their own experiences without trying to force them to change it for their comfort.

      Weird how Brendan Fraser apparently is winning all these awards for playing a super fat character in a movie that’s about his weight but again a woman dares share her experience about her own body and everyone loses their shit. Women are just expected to please everyone while men just live their lives.

      • Lucy says:

        How was she forced? She wasn’t. She chose to change it- she did not have to. To paraphrase Taylor herself, she’s focussing on doing whatever the hell she wants.

    • Susan says:

      I do think we are living in an era of “outrage” and “offense” and it’s affecting our creative output. I am curious to see where this leads. I read once that claiming someone has offended you gives YOU power over them and for some people that is a rush. It worries me, because if you look at history, we swing in opposite directions to overcorrect previous beliefs/perceptions/mistakes. If we are overly careful and cautious right now about being offensive….what is the next step? Blatantly offensive for the sake of being irreverent?

    • taris says:

      thanks to everybody who’s commented with their take on here. glad to see i’m not the only one who sees today’s outrage economy for the absurd menace that it is.
      so, in conclusion – i think we all wanna live in a kinder, more inclusive world; but life’s not kindergarten, people. there’s plenty out there that will upset you if you let it, but not everything’s about *you*. and screaming at people to change or remove what you don’t like is not having a “conversation”.

    • C says:

      People speaking for themselves about their own lives and viewpoints is one thing. Creating an album they want other people to buy is another. If Taylor felt she needed to edit it then that’s on her. Personally, I didn’t hear of this until she did.
      “Outrage economy” sounds a little bit like the “snowflake” thing. People can react as freely as you do.

  5. Noki says:

    In terms of the Glimmer video who is to blame? I am guessing Taylor has a team unless she wrote the concept herself. This happens with Beyonce a lot ,does someone on their team pretend its an original idea and the artist is the one that looks like they copied later?

    • KansasGal says:

      Yeah, I’d like to see more commentary on her obviously “borrowing” the entire video concept from another artist. But what can be said. Typical.

  6. Neners says:

    So Taylor openly acknowledges that she has an eating disorder and then shows a moment in her video that clearly depicts the mental distortions and false equivalences stemming from said disorder….and people are angry that this is fat phobic? I would argue anorexia is inherently fatphobic. Sorry is this reply doesn’t make sense. I just….yeah, I’m struggling with this one.

    • Colby says:

      It made sense. By the comments here, it looks like a few of us are confused by the controversy as well.

    • Mash says:

      And also I am very confused about what removing the word even does. Without the word we still have a skinny woman on a scale with her alter ego shaking her head disapprovingly – what else are we to take from the scene? How is the same idea not getting across? Maybe (as some suggested) if the word was changed to “not good enough” it would work but with no word – its the same.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Are those her feet?

  8. CROWHOOD says:

    This really pisses me off. The whole thing with ED and BDD is that you don’t see yourself the way you are. People underplayed mine for years, because it was “pretty” and “skinny” until I was Caught cutting myself and it clicked.

    I cant Even articulate how furious I am That people thought because she’s Taylor swift (successful, pretty, skinny) she shouldn’t be able say her own feelings. Hopefully somebody more clearheaded than me will be able to better explain.

    • MaryContrary says:

      You articulated it perfectly. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life-so I completely get what you’re saying. (And what she was saying.)

    • Lucy says:

      Of course she can say her own feelings! She *chose* to make the change after listening to the feedback. She’s Taylor Swift and has a HUGE platform. Nuance can be lost in a seconds long image and can be harmful to others, especially her very young fans – a 10 year old may not be as thoughtful about it as some of these comments. I truly hope she continues the conversation beyond making this change.

    • Susan says:

      @crowhood, I agree. watching Taylor act this out in this video—as someone that has been on a diet since I can remember being alive (thanks mother!)—was oddly reassuring, that everyone has those irrational thoughts and fears that come out—yep—often after midnight. It was not triggering at all, in fact, it was the opposite effect.

  9. CROWHOOD says:

    But being afraid of being fat is the crux of eating disorders? And I’m all for calling society as a whole to take for our need for perfection, the wild fat phobia we have etc. but she can’t show the word fat in reference to the fact that no matter what the number said that’s how she felt ?

    • Kokiri says:

      No. ED has absolutely nothing to do with food.
      ED come from a need to control something, usually b/c of a past trauma.
      I’m bulimic. Bulimia isn’t about food, or wanting to eat & eat & not gain weight. It’s about the release of pressure that has been building inside. That release comes after a purge. It’s palatable. It’s like a complete reset on life.
      The you go along, mostly normally, until the pressure builds & builds again.
      It’s usually from childhood abuse.
      Nothing at all to do with food, food is just the vessel. I can now control mine, since excommunicating the main cause of my abuse from my life (mother). Took decades though.
      I don’t know about anorexia.
      As for body dysmorphia, again, nothing to do with food. It’s always about something else & food is just the vessel.
      Hope that helps.

      • Kokiri says:

        Please note:

        You can have Disordered Eating, & that’s not an Eating Disorder.
        2 different things.

        I suspect TS has disordered eating. But not a true ED, which, as mentioned above, is not about being fat or about food at all.

        DE means your relationship with food is unhealthy. Starve days, binge days, hiding food, etc.
        That’s not an ED.

      • CROWHOOD says:

        You must have missed my first comment where I expressed that this is something I too Am deeply familiar with. Hope that helps.

  10. Christine says:

    I’ve seen comments about this on other sites and the only people quoted with their outrage are skinny white women. Maybe there are others out there who are/were triggered, but that’s not what is being reported as evidence. As for the Glimmer video, there are similarities but I feel like some of the comparisons are a stretch? But she was also accused of copying the video for Delicate so who knows.

    • Goldie says:

      I follow several eating disorder therapists and body image experts, many of whom are fat. Many of them were unhappy with Taylor’s video. That was actually how I first heard about the music video. So it’s definitely not just skinny women who are upset. Some of the therapists I follow have been quoted in major publications.

      • Concern Fae says:

        This. The issue isn’t grown women who have dealt with this issue or Taylor Swift speaking her truth about her lived experience with an eating disorder.

        It’s that Taylor Swift has very young fans who look up to her. What does this say to an 8 or 9 year old who is processing all the issues surrounding weight and how it changes what people think of you. Or a young girl who is overweight and now sees Taylor being disgusted by the idea of being fat.

        It’s easy to say that eating disorders aren’t about fatphobia, but about control. But where does the idea that one’s weight needs to be controlled come from? How can you possibly separate that from the constant messages that bombard us about restricting food, even in schools?

      • Kokiri says:

        Nothing is easy about ED.

        And it’s not control of food. It’s control of life, your very life.

        Read about it before making comments like “it’s easy to say it a about control “.
        You have absolutely no idea the pain that kind of flippant response can cause.

      • sparrow says:

        Thank you, Concern Fae. Something like 1 in 5 girls who have anorexia die because of it. I am conflicted because I believe in artistic freedom. But as a mum who had anorexia for years when I was younger, the knee jerk reaction to this is I’m glad she edited it. Is that being selfish and over sensitive? At one level I don’t care. My control was about thinness as a bodily feeling (how much could I feel my bones through my skin etc) rather than my weight on weighing scales. “It’s all about control” covers it and doesn’t cover it at the same time. Control comes out all the same in the wash – you are getting smaller and dangerously so, and your brain is wrapped around hunger all day long. My concern isn’t my memories but that my daughter or son or someone else’s kids could start down the same track. I’m sure it’ll be harder for a kid/teenager to pull apart the nuances of the image. They’ll see a glamourous young woman on scales worried about weight.

  11. AmelieOriginal says:

    When you have body dysmorphia/an ED, isn’t the cause rooted in an often irrational fear of being overweight/fat? That word constantly plays in the heads of people who suffer from it and is a very realistic depiction of what people with an ED would see on the scale. I know there’s been a certain reclamation around the word fat in recent years and the body positivity movement and people can argue all they want, but there comes a certain point where being very overweight becomes a danger to one’s health. And the reverse is true, there comes a certain point when being too underweight/thin becomes a danger to one’s health (the Youtuber Eugenia Cooney being a very extreme example of this, but I give a heavy trigger warning for those who have or have had an ED before you go looking her up). Every person is different and has a different body type so what’s overweight for one person will be normal for another.

    As for the other music video, the visuals aren’t all that similar from what I see in the Glimmer video. It’s not the first video to include two selves of the artist. I seem to remember seeing a Pink video in that style?

  12. Anna says:

    Even in my worst ED days I never, not for a single moment thought that being fat was inherently ugly or bad, nor did i think fat people looked worse than anyone at lower weight. However, I thought **I** looked horrible at a certain weight. I hated my bigger face volume, the way I couldn’t fit in clothes (I’m from a developing country and just getting a new wardrobe isn’t that easy) the way I couldn’t run as fast as I could at a lower weight (I was/am a long-distance runner). Having more flesh on my body, for me personally associated with failure and ugliness – but I never thought fat was were automatically lesser or inferior.
    So the problem really was me, not the concept or aesthethic of being “overweight”. I genuinely thought and still think women of all shapes looked beautiful but I was somehow born ugly and the only way to manage that was to be thin, have less volume, width, take less space. I believed that if there was less flesh on my bones, on my face, people wouldn’t notice me – that’s what I wanted.

    I don’t know if Taylor felt that way but I wrote this to show that EDs isn’t just internalized fatphobia. We don’t hate “fatness”.

    • Wilma says:

      Yeah, I think it would have been a stronger message about ED if the scale had said something like ‘unloveable’ or ‘unworthy’.

      • Lucy says:

        Exactly! That would make the point loud and clear, especially because (as other posters have noted) we all have had these feelings to some degree, at some point.

  13. Miss Owlsyn says:

    Taylor’s an easy target. She expressed something about the way -she- felt without considering other perspectives. Then she got feedback and changed it. Taylor’s not an evil or bad or terrible person for her initial video or how she responded to comments by changing it.

    It’s disappointing, a bit, that instead of the larger conversation being about how feelings of imperfection or eating disorders can affect ANYONE, no matter how rich or skinny or beautiful they are, or about the pressure society and the music industry puts on young women (all women, but especially young women)* to fit in to a size 0 and be sexy or they will never succeed, a lot of the energy is directed at Taylor herself and her ‘fat-phobia’.

    I wish there was greater discussion about why Taylor felt the need to look a certain way rather than how she expressed it. She didn’t create the industry or the standards or the problem. She’s a victim of it.

    *all women in entertainment are expected to look a certain way, but while young women have to look skinny / sexy, older women have to look younger.

    • Goldie says:

      “It’s disappointing, a bit, that instead of the larger conversation being about how feelings of imperfection or eating disorders can affect ANYONE, no matter how rich or skinny or beautiful they are”

      I get what you were saying, but here’s the thing: we already know that eating disorders affect skinny, rich, beautiful women. In fact the media has always portrayed anorexia as something that mostly affects young, skinny, affluent/middle class, white women. It’s only fairly recently that we’ve begun to see a bit more awareness of the fact that anorexia affects people from all different demographics (i.e. poc, heavier people, poor people, lgbtq, men etc.)
      I can see both sides. Taylor has a right to express herself, but I can also see why it was hurtful to others to portray being fat as one of her worst nightmares.
      As others have mentioned, she could still get her point across without literally displaying the word “fat” on the scale.

      • Miss Owlsyn says:

        Oh yes I agree that she could have expressed it differently, and I think that she did it to say something very personal to her without thinking about how others might come at it differently.

        I only wish that instead of dissecting why it was so problematic and fatphonic that she did this, we were all talking about what made her feel that way in the first place.

      • Goldie says:

        Yes that’s a fair point.

  14. ChillinginDC says:

    If people are going to go after Beyonce and Lizzo for words in lyrics I think this was fair play. And tons of women who are “fat” had issues with the video and that word and explained why on social media. I feel really bad the Swifties jumped up and yelled at them about it.

    • Case says:

      As someone with a disability, I really take issue with an ableist slur being compared to what went on in the video. Beyoncé and Lizzo used that word as a descriptor for feeling out-of-sorts and could be replaced with anything (I’m sure it was unintentional and great that they corrected it!). Taylor was describing a specific feeling she endured battling an eating disorder — a mental illness. People suggested she write something like “not enough” instead, but that does not reflect how she felt.

  15. Anne says:

    Ugh, I honestly don’t get the backlash. CONTEXT, PEOPLE. Taylor was being told she’s “fat” by her inner voice who also makes her drink until she’s sick, become paranoid, and smash a guitar (i.e. sabotage her career). This is Taylor’s truth for how her disordered eating manifests. As someone in recovery from an eating disorder, I related so much to this scene. Can people please stop taking offense to absolutely everything?

  16. phaedra7 says:

    At least Taylor (Hiddleswift History or not) was thinking about this important aspect and was considerate plus professional enough to make the changes within her video.

    Side bar=> On the other hand, nemesis Craz-Nye who is in the news nowadays due to his insane shenanigans would have not handled situations in a proficient/classy manner. He would have undoubtedly exploited this scene to the hilly hilt (just like his self-adopted father: Take-A-💩) and would not have cared what the public, press nor other professionals in the industries (entertainment, sports, and so on) thought.

  17. Case says:

    I wish she didn’t have to change it. In context, the toxic side of herself is telling her she’s a bad/worthless person. The video is about her insecurities and her dark side, which includes body dysmorphia and an ED that she’s spoken about in the past. EDs are fatphobic by nature, and she simply chose not to sugar coat it. In reality, not all of us can or want to be “body positive.” A lot of us struggle with the scale, either because of mental health issues, insecurity, we don’t like how our clothes fit, or we wish we had more energy, and it should be okay to talk about without being called fatphobic.

    • Wilma says:

      I think that by using the word fat she’s sort of perpetuating the cycle of equating fat with bad when it wasn’t fat itself but the labels/emotions/judgements that society attaches to fatness that made her feel bad about herself.

      • Twin Falls says:

        “labels/emotions/judgements that society attaches to fatness”

        That’s a lot to fit on a scale though.

        She probably thought that most viewers would get that the negative ideas about feeling fat or perceived as fat come from outside of oneself until it’s internalized.

        Also, is she making videos for 8 year olds? I have an 8 year old son who had fun pointing out all the swear words she uses in this album. He didn’t think the album was meant for him.

    • Lucy says:

      That’s just it – she didn’t have to change it. She chose to. She has stuck to her guns on many, many things in the past. This time is different for her. I hope she talks about what this all means more going forward.

  18. Veronica S. says:

    This one made me mad. People ran their mouths about her weight gain 24/7, even after she came out discussing the fact that she developed an eating disorder from industry pressure to stay ultra thin, and now we force women to censor the reality of what body dysphoria feels like? We can’t even be honest about how these inane standards do to us mentally?

    Regardless of how people felt about it personally, we should all be worried about the extent at which artists are increasingly being pressured to change and sanitize their work. It may start innocuous, but normalizing anything similar to censorship should have us leery.

    • Lucy says:

      How was she forced? She has faced plenty of criticism over the course of her career and paid it no mind. She did not have to change it – but in this case, she did. She still has agency over her own work. This is not censorship.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I didn’t say it was censorship. I said it feels eerily close to it, which should make us all a little worried when you’re increasingly seeing it aimed at comedy or art. Those are two groups that I think are perfectly open to criticism, but I don’t agree with the idea that it should we should limit what we accept can be said unless we’re taking about things like outright hate speech.

        She has agency, sure, but pretending that social media doesn’t have the potential to utilize mob mentality to control social dialogue to some extent is dangerous to me. We’ve seen the impact of the algorithms on sociopolitical interactions. We might be okay with it being used to target people in positions of social power, but I side eye it because I’m thinking about the ways this could be used against people with a lot less social power, including minority groups.

      • Lucy says:

        Well if we are going to talk about the *actual* harms of social media and mob mentality, TS could do a LOT more (or, anything really) to address her Swifties, who are being absolute monsters to fat people speaking on this over the last few days.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I don’t know, does that go both ways? Do people I see being rude to sufferers of ED/disordered eating on Twitter, even if they themselves are still overweight, get an apology for being attacked? I don’t expect celebrities to wade into online disputes anymore than I do most people. Assholes exist up and down the spectrum.

        I can find both things uncomfortable. I don’t think fat people deserve to be treated like a cancer on society. I also don’t think women should have to deal with being constantly policed in how they express their experiences, however imperfectly. Both are an extension of how society seeks to control demographics they want to suppress.

  19. Kokiri says:

    Lots of misinformation on this thread.

    Disordered Eating: I’m fat, I hate the way I look, if I lose 5 pounds maybe he will ask me out, etc.
    Relationship with food. Staving, binging, but it’s about food.

    Eating Disorder: nothing to do with food. Usually stems from childhood trauma, surpression of trauma/memories.
    The need to have any control over your own self because that autonomy was denied and abused.
    You do anything to NOT think. You focus on what you can control: food.
    But the need to control something isn’t about the food, it’s your life, literally.
    If you don’t get the release you need, it builds & builds & the you spiral.
    Like suicide levels sometimes.
    Please understand it’s nothing at all about food. It’s like saying a gambling addiction is about money. Or alcoholic about booze.
    It’s nothing at all about the vessel.
    And it can’t be turned on & off.
    It’s always there.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Disordered eating can be a gateway into eating disorders and both can occur at the same time. I have no idea what Taylor’s official diagnosis was from her doctor, but it’s not for certain whether she had one or both. You can’t judge that purely from her statements, which is why people are discussing both.

      Eating disorders are often linked to trauma, but they are not always formed exclusively from them. They can absolutely develop from constant association with people who have normalized them or from social pressure, which is…what Hollywood has more or less done.

      • Kokiri says:

        What you are describing is still disordered eating.

        Do you really think Karen Carpenter died because she was so afraid she’s get fat if she ate?

        She had a eating disorder.

        Taylor has disordered eating (from her description).

        And yes, they can occur together, like bipolar/disordered eating can occur.
        They don’t not share a commonality.

        An. Eating. Disorder. Is. Not. About. Food.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Thanks, I’m aware of how they both work since I suffer from disordered eating and had early red flags for ED that I’ve only been able to stave off with years of interventional therapy. I’m not uneducated. I simply disagree with you that the term usage is so rigidly defined.

        You’re right that it isn’t technically about food, but frankly neither is disordered eating. That came from years of anxiety and parental/peer bullying about my weight. Food only became the subject of the disorder because the anxiety was focused on my body. My friend, who suffers from full blown anorexia, definitely has hers rooted in different things. There are variations to how these things come about and how they manifest and overlap. My point was it’s impossible to know exactly what her problems specifically were because we aren’t her doctors.

  20. Kokiri says:

    Taylor has a distorted relationship with food based on societal pressure. She very well may feel she has body dysphoria.

    But she doesn’t have an ED. That’s a different thing. It’s like saying “sometimes I have days I’m so busy & sometimes I’m so tired. I must be bipolar “.
    No. It doesn’t work that way. It’s a permanent change in your brain, like ptsd.

    Hope this helps.

    • sparrow says:

      Thanks for the clarification, Kokiri. Reading above posts I assumed TS must have had an ED or may have one now. I commented on that basis.

  21. Sasha says:

    She literally lifted the entire video. What do you mean she was “accused” yall nuts watch it and if you don’t see you’re part of the white problem

    • K.T says:

      I went and looked for the video of Manuela to her song glimmer and it’s a good video, quite different tonally but some lovely visuals. Maybe there were some references or inspiration taken by her team or Swift but there are enough differences to not see it as straight copying?

  22. sparrow says:

    This has been a really interesting post for me as an ex anorexic. Thanks for all the different takes. Someone upthread has written that society has become too sensitive and art is being ruined by everyone taking offence. I can see it and I complain about it all the time. This however has really got to me. I worry about my kids becoming overly interested in their weight and body. I’m glad she took it out and then I think she shouldn’t have and it’s our responsibility to educate our kids better and ultimately understand you can’t be cut off from reality as reflected in the art we make and the songs we sing. My reaction remains that this video will be seen most by youngsters, not quite old enough to get the roll out of what can happen and what happened to me and lots of others on here. Best wishes to those with EDs and those recovering. It’s something I got out of, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. x

  23. Casey says:

    When I was a teenager/early 20’s I thought I was soooo fat. I wasn’t. Now I’m almost 30 and am at least 40 lbs overweight. It’s sucks