Taylor Swift is sharing some intimate details in her new Netflix documentary.
The doc, titled “Miss Americana,” debuted at Sundance Film Festival on Thursday night, and in it, Swift, 30, revealed that she developed an eating disorder once she began living life in the spotlight.
“It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day,” said the singer. “It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it, [but I’ll see] 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.”
Speaking to Variety, Swift discussed when she began to feel self-conscious about the way she looked.
“I remember how, when I was 18, that was the first time I was on the cover of a magazine, and the headline was like ‘Pregnant at 18?’” recounted the singer. “And it was because I had worn something that made my lower stomach look not flat. So I just registered that as a punishment.
“And then I’d walk into a photoshoot 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!’” she continued. “And I looked at that as a pat on the head. You register that enough times, and you just start to accommodate everything towards praise and punishment, including your own body.”
Despite feeling “uncomfortable” talking about her disorder, Swift said she felt it was necessary to include in the film, and said that she looks up to other artists for inspiration to be open about the subject.
“I love people like Jameela Jamil because she says things in a really articulate way. The way she speaks about body image, it’s almost like she speaks in a hook,” said Swift. “If you read her quotes about women and body image and aging and the way that women are treated in our industry and portrayed in the media, I swear the way she speaks is like lyrics, and it gets stuck in my head and it calms me down. Because women are held to such a ridiculous standard of beauty.”
On Jamil, Swift added: “We’re seeing so much on social media that makes us feel like we are less than, or we’re not what we should be, that you kind of need a mantra to repeat in your head when you start to have harmful or unhealthy thoughts. So she’s one of the people who, when I read what she says, it sticks with me and it helps me.”
Swift recalled believing she should feel like she was on the verge of passing out during a show but later realized that she should actually be fueling her body.
“If you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants,” Swift said in the film. “But if you have enough weight on you to have an ass, your stomach isn’t flat enough. It’s all just f—ing impossible.”
“Miss Americana” will be available to stream on Jan. 31.