The music video for the lead single from Taylor Swift‘s new album Midnights, Anti-Hero, has been edited days after its initial release to remove the term “fat” from one of its scenes.
In the original video, which Swift directed, the 32-year-old singer and songwriter stand on a bathroom scale whose dial reads “Fat.” In the updated version of the clip, which can be viewed below, Swift goes on the scale and receives a disapproving look from a Swift double, but no reading is displayed.
Following criticism from fans and pundits that the scale scene perpetuates “fatphobia,” the scene has been revised. On Twitter, eating disorder therapist and body positivity blogger Shira Rosenbluth stated that the footage “reiterated that it is everyone’s worst nightmare to look like us,” whilst Teen Vogue writer Catherine Mhloy criticized the moment as “lazy”: “By choosing to have the term ‘fat’ display on the scale, she directly named her demon: the fear of being branded fat, which is fatphobia in its most literal sense.”
TAYLOR SWIFT ACCUSED OF “FATPHOBIA”: Critics are slamming the pop star’s #AntiHero music video because she steps onto a scale that reads “fat,” but her fans are reminding people that she’s been open about her personal struggle with an eating disorder – #TheView co-hosts react. pic.twitter.com/IIS7gnEwSn
— The View (@TheView) October 25, 2022
Whoopi Goldberg and other commentators have rallied to Swift’s defense. “Just let her have her feelings,” she said on The View. “If you don’t like the song, don’t listen to it.” “Why are you spending time on this? You always have something to say about Taylor Swift; leave her alone!” Joy Behar added: “What is she to write on the scale, ‘plump? It doesn’t work.”
Swift has been honest about her struggles with eating disorders. In her upcoming Netflix documentary Miss Americana, the musician discusses how media criticism over her body led her at times to “starve” herself. She explained in an Instagram post that the Anti-Hero film represents her “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts”
The Guardian has reached out to Swift’s agents for comment.