Taylor Swift’s latest album, Midnights, is already breaking records, but not without scrutiny. Earlier this week, fans noticed that the Grammy-winner had released another version of her “Anti-Hero” music video on Apple Music after the original clip drew negative attention online.
The original “Anti-Hero” music video premiered on YouTube last week. In it, Swift is joined by a long-haired clone who warns, “Everyone will betray you.” In one scene, the singer steps on a bathroom scale, which registers the word “FAT” instead of a specific weight. In response, the singer’s clone shakes his head in disappointment.
“It’s possible to appreciate Taylor Swift and Midnight as artists AND denounce them for their blatant phobia of fat.” wrote a Twitter user on Friday. “Taylor Swift should have done better because even if it’s understandable and an ‘intrusive thought,’ it’s harmful and fatphobic.”
“Taylor Swift’s music video, in which she looks at the scale with ‘fat’ written on it, is a way of describing her struggles with body image. Fat people don’t need to be told again that looking like us is everyone’s worst nightmare.” said another Twitter user.
The discussion of fat phobia in Swift’s Anti-Hero — which can still be seen on YouTube — garnered opinion pieces in Teen Vogue and the Cut, and even earned some airtime on The View, where the presenters defended the singer’s seemed pictures.
“She was just describing a personal experience,” said co-host Sunny Hostin said Monday. “And honestly, it’s a personal experience that a lot of women have. And men.”
“The word fat was so powerful because in art you need it to feel. When you see that moment, every single person knew what they meant,” added co-host Sara Haines. “It was more than fat. It was “You’re not good enough. you were bad If you were better or stronger, that number would be different.'”
“Just let her have her feelings. If you don’t like the song, don’t listen to it,” said co-host Whoopi Goldberg. “Why are you wasting your time with this? You always want to say something about Taylor Swift. Leave her alone.”
Until Tuesday, Eagle-eyed fans have noticed that Apple Music was offering a slightly different “anti-hero” video. The Times confirmed that Apple’s version of Swift still steps on a bathroom scale. But unlike the original video, the focus is on the clone’s disappointed reaction. The edit was both welcomed and criticized.
“It got her point across just as well as it just shows how she stands on the scale + being judged, this version does it without harming fat people in the process.” tweeted one fan.
“Crazy how the video still works without the fat phobia huh” tweeted another.
“Taylor Swift was so open and personal with us in the anti-hero music video, and some people had to take things out of proportion, which prompted them to edit that scene.” wrote a third Twitter user.
Swift, who is no stranger to the music video controversy, has been vocal about her struggle with body image. In the 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana, the “Style” singer shared that she tends to get “triggered” by tabloid photos of herself and revealed that she’s lived with an eating disorder for years. She said she made a list of everything she consumes, exercised constantly, and trimmed down to a double-zero size.
“There’s always a standard of beauty that you don’t meet. Because if you’re skinny enough, then you don’t have the A— that everyone wants, but if you’re carrying enough weight on you to have an A— then your stomach isn’t flat enough,” she said in the documentary. “It’s all just [expletive] impossible.”
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-10-26/taylor-swift-anti-hero-music-video-updated-fatphobia-criticism Taylor Swift edits ‘Anti-Hero’ music video amid criticism