Taylor Swift has been in the public eye long enough to know that the media can be cruel by evaluating, nit-picking, criticizing, and otherwise degrading women’s bodies. The headline of her first magazine cover story was Pregnant at 18?
“It was because I had worn something that made my lower stomach look not flat,” she told Variety in a recent interview. “So I just registered that as a punishment.”
It took years before the singer and Gen-Z role model was able to open up about her very private battle with weight, body image, and self-loathing. In her Netflix documentary “Miss Americana”, she describes her painful journey to a place of self-acceptance.
“The fact that I’m a size six instead of a size double zero…[is] something that makes my life better,” she says in one of the film’s very revealing scenes. “That wasn’t how my body was supposed to be. I didn’t understand that at the time…I would have defended it to anyone who said, ‘I’m concerned about you.’ I would have said, ‘What are you talking about? Of course, I eat. It’s perfectly normal. I just exercise a lot.’ And I did exercise a lot. But I wasn’t eating.”
She’s not alone. In the U.S., an estimated 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder — 20 million of whom are women.
“You don’t ever say to yourself, like, ‘I’ve got an eating disorder.’ But you know you’re like making a list of everything you put in your mouth that day. I caught myself yesterday starting to [criticize my body] and I was like, ‘Nope. We don’t do that anymore…we’re changing the channel in our brains and we’re not doing that anymore…that didn’t end us up in a good place.”
Swift is in a good place all-around. Her last album, “Lover”, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts — the biggest week for any album since her last release, “reputation”, in 2017. Not too surprising when you consider she’s been a chart-topper for over a decade.
As her musical reign continues and her body-positive message resonates with the world, Swift is revealing a kind of self-love that’s worth emulating. Her new-found confidence and comfort in her own skin is certainly something to celebrate.
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