Taylor Swift Removes “FAT” Scale From Her “Anti-Hero” Video After Backlash

Some viewers thought the weigh-in scene paired with the word “FAT” was fatphobic.

Taylor Swift Removes "Fat" Scale Scene From "Anti-Hero" Video — Controversy, Explained
YouTube/Taylor Swift

Trigger Warning: This piece contains mentions of eating disorders. Following public outcry, Taylor Swift has edited her “Anti-Hero” music video to remove a brief scene where she steps onto a bathroom scale and sees the word “FAT” instead of a number. The original music video, which premiered Oct. 21 alongside her Midnights album, showed Swift weighing herself as her inner critic stood beside her in disapproval of the results. Some viewers interpreted the scene as fatphobic and called Swift out on social media. “Fat people don’t need to have it reiterated yet again that it’s everyone’s worst nightmare to look like us,” Twitter user @theshirarose said.

The edited video on YouTube and Apple Music keeps the weigh-in moment (at the 2:03-2:08 mark) but completely removes the close-up of “FAT.” Bustle has reached out to YouTube and Apple Music for comment but did not hear back yet. Swift hasn’t commented on the edit, but upon the release of the “Anti-Hero” music video — which she wrote and directed — she said “Anti-Hero” depicted her “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts [playing] out in real time.”

Swift previously opened up about struggling with an eating disorder in the 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana. She revealed that unflattering photographs and commentary on her body image would “trigger me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating.”

Touching on her new album’s subject matter, Swift said in an Apple Music interview during release day of Midnights that her vulnerable lyrics express “how you’re feeling in the middle of the night and that can be intense self-hatred you go through [with] these very polarizing emotions when you’re up late at night and you’re brain just spirals.”

Despite Swift’s explanations and experiences, some viewers were still put off by the “FAT” scale, tweeting their feelings, which eventually impacted the word’s removal from the video.

However, some fans are defending Swift’s decision of including the scale scene in the first place, with some saying they felt validated by it.

Swift also previously discussed her body image and eating disorder with Variety in 2020. “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,” Swift said. “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.”

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder and needs help, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at 1-800-931-2237, text 741741, or chat with a helpline here.