Taylor Swift opened up about overcoming her struggle with an eating disorder in the highly anticipated Netflix documentary, Taylor Swift: Miss Americana [which premiered at Sundance Film Festival on Thursday night].
“It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day,” Taylor says in one scene, admitting that there have been times in the past when she would starve herself if she felt like her stomach looked too big. The documentary reportedly shows photos of Swift from the 1989 tour in comparison to the reputation era as she reflects on the issue.
“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)...."
She then goes on to say that if anyone voiced their concern, she would get defensive. “'What are you talking about? Of course I eat.…. I exercise a lot.’ And I did exercise a lot. But I wasn’t eating.”
Ruthless tabloids, clothing designers who praised her for being able to fit into sample sizes, the pressures of living in a social media driven world -- all of it played a role.
“If you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants. But if you have enough weight on you to have an ass, your stomach isn’t flat enough. It’s all just f—ing impossible,” Swift says.
Thankfully, she was able to get to a healthier space -- mentally and physically -- with the help of body positive actress/activist Jameela Jamil.
"The way she speaks about body image, it’s almost like she speaks in a hook. If you read her quotes about women and body image and aging and the way that women are treated in our industry and portrayed in the media, I swear the way she speaks is like lyrics, and it gets stuck in my head and it calms me down. Because women are held to such a ridiculous standard of beauty. We’re seeing so much on social media that makes us feel like we are less than, or we’re not what we should be, that you kind of need a mantra to repeat in your head when you start to have harmful or unhealthy thoughts. So she’s one of the people who, when I read what she says, it sticks with me and it helps me," Taylor told Variety in an interview at the festival.
And while the pop superstar asserts that she's still 'uncomfortable' discussing this particular part of her past, claiming she is "not as articulate" about the subject as she feels she "should be," Swift is already being praised for her candor.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Helpline at (800) 931-2237 or visit nationaleatingdisorders.org.