Swifties Defend Fatphobic Imagery in ‘Anti-Hero’ Music Video

"It's me! Hi! I'm the problem, it's me!"
By Liza Bautista
Taylor Swift/Youtube

The Swifties are back at it again defending their pop icon. This time over a discussion on fatphobia and eating disorders.

This past weekend, Taylor Swift released her brand new album, Midnights. She directed the video for her first album single, “Anti-Hero”. The video depicts Swift being playfully tortured by her inner saboteur played by herself in adult “Parent Trap” style ennui. 

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Like the lyrics, Swift succumbs to her fears, insecurities, and vices. Notably, one scene shows Swift on an old-school scale while Inner Saboteur Taylor looks on in disappointment. The scale—instead of showing a number, reads “FAT”.

Plus-size fans of Swift expressed dismay over the scene presenting the word fat and fatness negatively.

Fat activists also joined in the conversation. One noting how hurtful it is for young fat fans of Swift to learn their body is seemingly Swift’s “worst nightmare”.

Swifties combated this by referencing Swift’s past eating disorder. In her Netflix documentary “Miss Americana”, Swift opened up about her eating disorder and how the industry affected her body image.

“It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day,” she said in the documentary, “…A picture of me where I feel like I looked like my tummy was too big, … and that’ll just trigger me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating.”

Some swifties offered that Swift’s choice of conveying her experience with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia in her art did not constitute being fatphobic.

“Do [people] really not get that an integral part of eating disorder recovery [is] literally deconstructing fatphobia…” tweets musician Rachael Jenkins.

Some opposers to the video are calling for a re-edit with a word that won’t “demonize fatness”.

Swift has yet to respond to the backlash.

She has announced a world tour and released the music video for “Bejeweled”.