Taylor Swift fans are less than pleased with the singer for using the word “fat” in her video for new single “Anti-Hero.” The song features Swift singing about her insecurities and misconceptions people have about her. In the video, she steps onto a scale in a bathroom and looks down to see the word “FAT” displayed, as another version of herself stands shaking her head in disappointment. While this seemed to be Swift’s attempt at making a larger statement about her body image and the pressure she’s felt about her appearance, some fans dubbed it “fatphobic.”
- Many people saw the inclusion of the word “fat” to be an attack. As one person wrote on Twitter: “Taylor Swift’s music video, where she looks down at the scale where it says ‘fat,’ is a s***ty 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.” Another added: “I can’t believe Taylor Swift confidently and without hesitation put a whole a** music video out there where she calls herself fat and aligns it with being an anti hero.” These were just a few of the critics who took to social media to speak out.
- Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” video still had its defenders. Not all fans had a negative opinion of the video. In fact, many defended the singer’s right to express her lived experience however she sees fight. “You do realize that Taylor Swift is talking about a eating disorder correct? I hate how fat people minimize skinny peoples body dysmorphia because that’s the weight they wouldn’t mind being,” one fan pointed out.
- Swift has been open about her body image issues for years. In an interview with Variety, for instance, she talked about the pressure she felt to stay thin and how she was always praised for being small enough to fit in sample sizes at photo shoots. “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,” she said. “It’s incessant, and I can say this as a woman: It’s amazing to me how people are constantly like ‘You look skinny’ or ‘You’ve gained weight.’ People you barely know say this to you. And it feels awful, and you can’t win either way.”
- Swift herself hasn’t spoken out on the backlash. However, in response to the criticism, Apple has edited the “Anti-Hero” video so that the shot of the scale displaying the word “fat” no longer appears.
there is no explanation for portraying fatness as bad and as something to fear which doesn’t justify the hatred of fat people.
fearing fatness is a basic pinnacle of how fatphobia operates. having an eating disorder doesn’t make you exempt from this harm, including taylor swift.
— jae (@fiadhaich_) October 21, 2022
It is possible to appreciate Taylor Swift and midnight as an artist AND call her out on her blatant fatphobia. Taylor Swift should have done better because even if it is relatable and an “intrusive thought” it is damaging and fatphobic. Listen to fat ppl when they tell you it is
— lucie (@luciewald) October 21, 2022
I have a thread abt this lol this is how I feel https://t.co/K6Ew8q2s8t
— Leah 🏳️🌈 (@hutchleah) October 21, 2022