Following the release of the music video for her new single, “Anti-Hero,” Taylor Swift has come under fire for incorporating a visual element some have dubbed fatphobia.
In the video, where Swift confronts self-sabotage and her own insecurities, including her battle with an eating disorder, she steps on a bathroom scale with the word “Fat” on it. Some Twitter users who had issues with the image are urging the singer to include this element in her video.
“Taylor Swift’s music video of her looking at the scale that says ‘fat’ is a shitty way of describing her struggles with body image,” user @theshirarose wrote in a tweet. “Fat people need not be repeated that looking like us is everyone’s worst nightmare.”
The problem, @theshirarose clarified in a follow-up tweet, is not that Swift expressed her struggle with body image, but with the specific wording used.
“Having an eating disorder doesn’t excuse obesity phobia,” wrote @theshirarose. “It’s not hard to say, ‘I’m struggling with my body image today,’ instead of being a fat, disgusting pig.”
Some users shared their own complaints with the specific image used.
“It’s so annoying when a very skinny woman posts this probably to highlight her eating disorders,” wrote @hutchleah. “Idc if it was just TS ‘worst nightmares’ or her ‘intrusive thoughts,’ it’s fatphobic and it was, at best, deeply unnecessary to have in the damn video.”
“When @lizzo found a word improper in one of her songs, she apologized and corrected it,” wrote @JoLuehmann. “Thousands of disabled people have spoken about it. Same with Beyoncé. But Taylor has fat-phobic imagery, and it’s ‘You Don’t Understand’ that’s aimed at fat people?”
Several critics of those who engaged with the video have pointed out that the inclusion of the word “fat” may not be a dig at obese people, but an expression of how Swift felt while battling an eating disorder .
“You realize that there is body dysmorphia and that even skinny people can feel like they are fat even when they are not,” wrote @killtheart. “This is definitely not a personal attack on fat people. She talks about how her ED makes her feel personally.”
Others have criticized those who took the picture as a personal attack for “making it about them”.
“Taking someone’s eating disorder struggles and making them about YOU and how YOU FEEL is so profoundly impossible it’s unreal,” @themorganyoukno wrote. “It’s like telling someone in the middle of a psychotic break to stop having delusions because they make you anxious.”
“People can’t dictate how they feel about their bodies!” @AS82589245 wrote. “Whether you or someone else takes personally how someone else thinks about themselves is up to you.”
The Daily Dot emailed Swift officials and direct messaged Twitter users to criticize the video.
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*Initial Release: Oct 22, 2022 1:08 PM CDT
Brooke Sjoberg is a freelance writer for the Daily Dot. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/taylor-swift-anti-hero-fatphobic/ Taylor Swift accused of being fatphobic in ‘Anti-Hero’ music video