- Nayana Mina and Tiffany Wertheimer
- BBC News
American singer Taylor Swift edited a video of one of her songs days after its release, after a violent reaction to one of the scenes.
In the original video for “Anti Hero”, Swift stands on a scale marked “Fat” while shaking her head, apparently in disappointment.
Critics said that the scene was mocking overweight people in what is known as “obesity phobia”, noting that it reinforced those negative connotations with the word “fat” that appeared on the scale.
Swift became the latest singer to make changes to her new songs, after Lizzo and Beyoncé changed offensive lyrics.
“Against the Hero” is one of the songs from Swift’s new album, “Midnights”. The album was released last week and has already broken the record for the most streamed albums on Spotify in a single day.
However, there has been controversy and criticism regarding the “Against Hero” video, which Swift wrote and directed.
Swift tweeted when the video was released, saying: “Watch my nightmare scenarios and my curious thoughts.”
Amanda Richards, a New York-based writer, tweeted: “Why is obesity synonymous with failure?”
She wrote in her own online newsletter: “I’m sure there are a lot of nuances in Taylor’s personal experience, but those nuances aren’t what you get from that scene – instead, you get another quick reminder that being fat It’s a horrible thing to feel.”
“Honestly, we don’t need more of these things,” she added.
However, others praised the American singer and expressed their support for her, with many online saying that she was simply expressing her own experience with body struggles.
One Twitter user wrote: “Finally when she talks about her fears, they make her feel like she should shut up and never talk about them again. I hate this world.”
Sunny Houston, co-host of the US talk show “The View,” said critics “didn’t get the point”.
She added, “She was describing a personal experience, and quite frankly, this is a personal experience that a lot of women go through.”
Swift, an 11-time Grammy winner, has spoken openly in the past about her struggles with her body shape and eating disorder. The Netflix documentary about Swift, called “Miss Americana,” contains a montage of derogatory comments about her appearance – highlighting the intense scrutiny she faces.
The UK’s eating disorder charity, Beat, said it would welcome the video edit.
“When public figures like Taylor Swift choose to talk about their journeys with an eating disorder, it can have a positive impact,” said Tom Quinn, the organization’s director of external affairs.
“However, we also urge them to be aware of the impact their perceptions can have, and to do so with caution.”
Swift is the latest celebrity to have been pressured to make changes to their business recently.
In June, Lizzo changed the lyrics to her song “Girls” to remove the offensive word, and a few weeks later Beyoncé did the same with her song “Hitted.”