Taylor Swift Revealed the Powerful Reason She Opened Up About Her Painful Past

Taylor Swift grew to prominence in the 2000’s as a country singer with a knack for writing incredibly catchy songs about her life. After a while, she crossed over to pop and became an international phenomenon. Even more than 10 years later, Swift’s popularity still persists and she is now one of the bestselling artists in the world.

Although Swift looks like she has a life that most people would envy, she recently opened up about a painful struggle that she dealt with for a long time as a celebrity. It is not easy to speak up about such a topic, but Swift also has a reason why she decided to do so.

Taylor Swift opened up about struggling with an eating disorder

Taylor Swift on the red carpet
Taylor Swift | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

At a recent Sundance Film Festival, Swift released a documentary called Miss Americana, which follows her as she learns how to deal with fame and make use of her voice as one of the most influential people in the world.

In the documentary, Swift also touches on a painful struggle she had with an eating disorder. In a voiceover, Swift could be heard saying that “it’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day.”

She further shared that there have been a few times when she saw “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.”

She sat down with Variety for an interview about the film, and shared that she does not struggle as much anymore. She has even accepted “the fact that I’m a size 6 instead of a size double-zero.”

Taylor Swift’s eating disorder came from a need to get praise

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Claws out, kitties.

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Swift also shared that she believes she had a bad relationship with food because she referred to certain things as praise and certain things as punishment.

For example, when she was 18 years old, she landed a magazine cover for the first time. Afterward, there were suddenly news articles saying that she could be pregnant simply because her stomach did not look flat in the photo. For Swift, this became a punishment.

Meanwhile, praise could come in the form of people marveling at her size. Swift shared:

“I’d walk into a photo shoot and be in the dressing room and somebody who worked at a magazine would say, ‘Oh, wow, this is so amazing that you can fit into the sample sizes. Usually we have to make alterations to the dresses, but we can take them right off the runway and put them on you!'”

“I looked at that as a pat on the head,” Swift continued. “You register that enough times, and you just start to accommodate everything towards praise and punishment, including your own body.”

Why Taylor Swift decided to share her story in ‘Miss Americana’

Swift admitted to Variety that she is still not quite comfortable talking about this experience. However, she agreed to share it in her documentary anyway because it fits with the other aspects of the film.

“The way that Lana [Wilson, the film’s director] tells the story, it really makes sense,” Swift shared. “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.”

Meanwhile, Lana Wilson herself appreciates the fact that Swift was willing to tell fans about this personal story. Wilson believed that “it will have a huge impact” on Swift’s followers to hear about a celebrity’s struggle with body image.