"It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day": When Taylor Swift recalled what triggered her eating disorder 

Stills of Taylor Swift (Images Via taylorswift/Instagram)
Stills of Taylor Swift (Images Via taylorswift/Instagram)

Taylor Swift, the 33-year-old multiple Grammy Award-winning pop icon, has always been in the spotlight since the beginning of her career. With her genre-spanning discography, artistic reinventions, and impactful songwriting, Swift is considered one of the most influential artists in the world. The singer has also been an advocate for body positivity and women's empowerment.

In the inspiring documentary, titled Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, which was released in 2020, the songwriter and singer got candid about her struggles with eating disorders. In a significant segment of the Netflix documentary, Taylor Swift also spoke about the reasons behind her disorder and how she struggled with her own body image. Swift said:

"It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day. . . It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it. . . A picture of me where I feel like I looked like my tummy was too big, or. . . someone said that I looked pregnant. . . and that’ll just trigger me to just starve a little bit—just stop eating"

The singer further continued:

"I thought that I was supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it. Now I realize, no, if you eat food, have energy, get stronger, you can do all these shows and not feel (enervated)."

Taylor Swift opened up about her issues with body image in Miss Americana

In January 2020, Taylor Swift went completely candid and talked about her eating disorders and struggles with body image and insecurities in an elaborate interview with Variety. She said:

"I didn’t know if I was going to feel comfortable with talking about body image and talking about the stuff I’ve gone through in terms of how unhealthy that’s been for me — my relationship with food and all that over the years, . . . But the way that Lana (Wilson, the film’s director) tells the story, it really makes sense."

Reflecting on her experiences and how best to get them across, Swift further said:

"I’m not as articulate as I should be about this topic because there are so many people who could talk about it in a better way. But all I know is my own experience. And my relationship with food was exactly the same psychology that I applied to everything else in my life: If I was given a pat on the head, I registered that as good. If I was given a punishment, I registered that as bad."

During the interview, the 33-year-old singer further went on to talk about how one early tabloid attack had an immense effect on her confidence and life. Taylor said:

"I remember how, when I was 18, that was the first time I was on the cover of a magazine,” she says. “And the headline was like ‘Pregnant at 18?’ And it was because I had worn something that made my lower stomach look not flat. So I just registered that as a punishment. And then I’d walk into a photo shoot and be in the dressing room and somebody who worked at a magazine would say, ‘Oh, wow, this is so amazing that you can fit into the sample sizes."

Explaining how her relationship with food changed because of how she interpreted social cues in her life, Taylor Swift shared:

"Usually we have to make alterations to the dresses, but we can take them right off the runway and put them on you!’ And 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. I think I’ve never really wanted to talk about that before, and I’m pretty uncomfortable talking about it now,...But in the context of every other thing that I was doing or not doing in my life, I think it makes sense"

Despite Taylor Swift's struggles with body image, the singer and songwriter has emerged even stronger and continues to advocate for self-love, care, and body positivity for more than a decade now. She has truly been an inspiration to millions of proud "Swifties" all across the globe.

Swift released her last studio album, Midnights, on October 29, 2022. Taylor Swift is currently on her The Eras Tour, which will continue till August 9, 2023.

Quick Links