In the video for her new single “Anti-Hero,” from her latest album Midnights, Taylor Swift battles her inner demons, personified in a house of horrors featuring multiple versions of herself, and one of those is her feelings around her weight. As her “problematic” self looks on, Swift steps on a bathroom scale which reads “fat,” disappointing both Taylors. For many fans of Swift, who know she’s opened up about her disordered eating and body image struggles before, the moment is reflective of her own inner critic. But to others, the visual is insensitive and fatphobic, and since the video premiered, it has garnered quite a bit of controversy. Even in an artistic setting, it’s anti-fat to present a thin, rich woman as fearing, above all, existing in a body that many people actually have.
“Once again: art about how your biggest fear is being fat is fatphobic art! Saying ‘but she really felt that way’ is a poor defense of Tay. You’re making MY case,” wrote a critic on Twitter.
Many agreed that the moment, whatever it was trying to express (Swift wrote and directed the music video), was muddled at best.