Taylor Swift accused of fatphobia in ‘Anti-Hero’ music video

On Friday, Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album called Midnights. The 32-year-old singer-songwriter also released a music video for the song ‘Anti-Hero’ that same day. As it garnered over 21 million views and over 1.5 million likes on YouTube, many pointed to the “subtle fat phobia” in one of the scenes in the five-minute video.

In ‘Anti-Hero’, Taylor Swift struggles with topics such as self-loathing and the fear of being unloved. In the now-controversial scene, Swift steps on a scale and instead of her weight, the scale shows the word “Fat”.

Many people took to Twitter to explain how being afraid of being fat shows internalized fat phobia. They argued that problems such as eating disorders stem from socially imposed norms that dictate that being overweight equates to being unattractive.

One Twitter user criticized Swift, “How are we supposed to feel as a really fat person when we see this? Watching a skinny person remind the whole world that one of their biggest fears is being fat. It seems to me. demonizing the word fat when you’ve never had the experience of living in a fat body? Fatphobic”.

Others, however, have defended the Love Story singer, arguing that accusing her of being fat phobia is an overstatement, as she was merely expressing how her body dysmorphism made her feel irrationally bad about gaining weight. Echoing this opinion, one Twitter user said: “At no point did Taylor say that a certain size was bad. She didn’t say being fat was a problem. She literally said she considers herself bigger than she obviously is because of her physical dysmorphism No matter what that scale said, she would always see herself as fat…”.

Previously, Swift has spoken of her struggles with body image issues. In the 2020 documentary Miss Americana, Swift talked about how her eating habits were influenced by how people see her. The multiple Grammy-winning star said: “I saw a picture of me where I felt like I looked like my belly was too big, or someone said I looked pregnant and that will just make me want to just a little bit to starve – just stop eating.”

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