WRITTEN BY: CECILIE BREE WILKINS
With the announcement of Taylor Swift’s new Netflix Documentary, “Miss Americana,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Swift has been making headlines for her more candid approach to discussing her personal life in public formats. Swift is no longer afraid to speak up, and this time she has decided to open up about her battle with an eating disorder and how she has been working toward overcoming it.
Swift’s documentary follows her public image as America’s sweetheart pivot toward a more outspoken advocate for change within her industry as well as politically. The documentary also explores more personal battles Swift has, specially dealing with her self image throughout her career and moving forward.
Swift dove into the pressure she felt in the public eye to maintain a beauty standard from a position in which the world was commenting on her body.
Swift stated in the documentary, “it’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day.” She continued, “it’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it,” she said explaining instances where she has seen pictures of herself she believes to be unflattering. “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.”
Swift elaborated to Variety, “I remember how, when I was 18, that was the first time I was on the cover of a magazine,” she says. “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. 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. You register that enough times, and you just start to accommodate everything towards praise and punishment, including your own body.”
While Swift’s career was at a high point during her “1989” era, her health was at it’s lowest “I thought that I was supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it. Now I realize, no, if you eat food, have energy, get stronger, you can do all these shows and not feel (enervated),” she explained in the documentary, comfortable with the fact that she is now a size 6 instead of a size double-zero.
“If you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants,” she states in the documentary. “But if you have enough weight on you to have an ass, your stomach isn’t flat enough. It’s all just f—ing impossible.”
Swift told Variety that she has been able to overcome her body image issues by looking to other women. She stated that actress, Jameela Jamil’s statements surrounding body image have been particularly inspiring to her. “Because women are held to such a ridiculous standard of beauty. We’re seeing so much on social media that makes us feel like we are less than, or we’re not what we should be, that you kind of need a mantra to repeat in your head when you start to have harmful or unhealthy thoughts. So she’s one of the people who, when I read what she says, it sticks with me and it helps me.”
Swift also cited Brené Brown’s Netflix special on shame, to Variety, stating, “I have dealings with shame every once in awhile. She was saying something like, ‘It’s ridiculous to say “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me,” because that’s not possible. But you can decide whose opinions matter more and whose opinions you put more weight on.'”
Photo Source: The Harvard Crimson