Taylor Swift talks about overcoming an eating disorder in her new Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival Thursday night.
The singer spends a few minutes on the topic, saying in a voiceover, “It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day,” reports Variety.
She continues, “It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it,” of the paparazzi pictures she’d look at, “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.”
In an interview with Variety, Swift said the subject was hard for her to speak about.
“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 says. “But the way that Lana (Wilson, the film’s director) 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. 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.”
Swift recalled a specific trigger at age 18, after a tabloid suggested she looked pregnant.
“I remember how, when I was 18, that was the first time I was on the cover of a magazine,” Swift says. “And the headline was like ‘Pregnant at 18?’ And it was because I had worn something that made my lower stomach look not flat. So I just registered that as a punishment.”
“I think I’ve never really wanted to talk about that before, and I’m pretty uncomfortable talking about it now,” Swift said. “But in the context of every other thing that I was doing or not doing in my life, I think it makes sense” to have it in the film.