“Miss Americana,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, features a moment where the singer opens up about having her appearance picked apart and the impact of “see[ing] pictures of myself every day,” according to Variety. She said she’d see a photo where she felt her “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.”
The documentary also details how Swift’s eating and exercise behavior while touring for her “1989” album impacted her stamina when “Reputation” came out years later.
“I thought that I was supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it,” she says in the documentary. “Now I realize, no, if you eat food, have energy, get stronger, you can do all these shows and not feel [enervated].” (See the trailer below.)
While the 30-year-old says she’s come to accept she’s “a size 6 instead of a size double-zero,” she also admits she didn’t see an issue when she was a double-zero. If she received criticism that she was too small, she’d reply: “‘What are you talking about? Of course I eat. … I exercise a lot.’ And I did exercise a lot. But I wasn’t eating.”
Swift elaborated in an interview with Variety published Friday.
“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,” she told the publication, before adding that the film’s director, Lana Wilson, helped her make sense of the story and “talk about it in a better way.”
She added that her “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.”
But she continued that she “never really wanted to talk about that before” and is “pretty uncomfortable talking about it now.”
The “Lover” singer says she’s been inspired by the research professor and inspirational speaker Brené Brown to help her “decide whose opinions matter more and whose opinions you put more weight on” and that she’s reached a place where she’s “really happy.”
“I pick and choose now, for the most part, what I care deeply about. And I think that’s made a huge difference,” she says.
“Miss Americana” drops on Netflix on Jan. 31.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.