Label volunteer, Viera White, delves into the recent Taylor Swift fatphobia claims.
Taylor Swift – the popstar who has charted 204,000 UK chart sales, surpassing artists like Arctic Monkeys in the first week of her album release ‘midnights.’
Her album has done incredibly, also scoring 72.5 million streams – even overtaking Harry Styles with his impressive 53.9 million streams. She is looking to be number one on the charts for the third week running, which is amazing for a female artist.
But not everyone is happy, especially with rising controversy around her ‘anti-hero’ music video.
Anti-hero is a song about Taylor and her insecurities, Taylor spoke online about how deep the song delved into her personal life, saying; “this song is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself… I like “Anti-Hero” a lot because I think it’s really honest.”
In one part of the music video, Taylor is filmed stepping onto a weighing scale which subsequently read ‘fat,’ as her alter-ego stood to the side and shook her head in disgust at the reading. Significant of societies view of plus-size people, particularly women.
This created conflict with some fans, with some commenting that Taylor calling herself ‘fat’ was a “shitty way of describing her body image struggles.” People argued she should have used a less triggering word and been more considerate of her audience.
As Taylor is seen as typically thin, calling herself thin made others feel insecure – while fans jumped to her defence by saying Taylor has an eating disorder, justifying how this disorder alters her perception of herself – so labelling herself as ‘fat’ may just be her insecurities.
In the end, Taylor Swift just quietly altered the music video – avoiding further speculation and other comments.
While this could be perceived as a considerate gesture, it is also possible that the edit was made simply to maintain her image and reduce controversy.
But this raises the question, what constitutes being ‘fatphobic’?
Is it that only plus sized people can post content labelling themselves as ‘fat’ or should we be more considerate and understanding towards people with eating disorders and the body-image issues they face as well?
The increasing support for the plus sized community allows for fatphobic comments to be called out and shamed – as more people continue to become more inclusive of plus sized people and understand the discrimination they face. But often content is called out wrongfully, as people may take posts out of context or misunderstand them. Meaning people face backlash for comments they didn’t mean to be discriminatory or harmful.
Calling out content like this can create conflict, in this case the example being the hostility between Taylor Swift fans who see it as harmful and those who see it as misunderstood.
So, it begs the question; was Taylor Swift in the wrong for using the word ‘fat’ to describe herself when objectively she can be considered thin, or is the wrong battle being fought when the plus-size community face so many other issues that are not addressed so publicy?
Edited By: Rachel Cannings (Culture and Entertainment Editor)
Design By: Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)