Honesty hour. Taylor Swift opened up about her struggles with an eating disorder during her new documentary, Miss Americana. The singer reflected on times she would “starve” herself after seeing an unflattering photo, and how the constant scrutiny would “trigger” her to “just stop eating.” The film, which drops on Netflix on January 31, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, January 23.
“It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day,” the 30-year-old explained in the raw film while noting that she developed an “unhealthy” relationship with food.
“It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it,” Taylor continued. “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 “Lover” artist recalled seeing herself for the first time on the cover of a magazine with the headline “Pregnant at 18?” The songstress said about the experience, “I had worn something that made my lower stomach look not flat. So, I just registered that as a punishment.” However, when she would receive praise for being thin enough to fit into sample size clothing, it felt like 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,” she added. As time went on, her outlook on what she ate grew more harmful. “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,” the “Archer” singer said.
It was definitely scary revealing such an intimate truth about herself, and she confessed that she was still “uncomfortable talking about it now.” However, Taylor explained that the documentary guided her in the right direction.
“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,” she said. “But the way that [director] Lana [Wilson] tells the story, it really makes sense. 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.”
It sounds like Miss Americana will be filled with truth bombs.