Taylor Swift has been one of the most talked-about stars in Hollywood. To be fair, it is partly her fault. Taylor has always had heavily-publicized relationships and breakups. And every album she releases is full of songs about her exes. That being said, the American singer has rarely been a subject of body shaming. But everyone gets his part in Hollywood. Even the Taylor Swift weight gain story gained traction.
In her documentary, Miss Americana, there is a montage of derogatory comments about the singer, including comments like, “She’s too skinny it bothers me”.
It turns out, that bothered Taylor Swift as well. Miss Americana was released in 2020. The American documentary follows Taylor and her life over the course of several years. And it tells the story of her weight gain as well.
Get To Know Taylor
Simply put, Taylor Swift is one of the most famous singers in the US. The Grammy Award-winning singer has gained popularity thanks to her catchy pop tunes, relatable lyrics, and captivating performances.
Born in December 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania, Taylor grew up in a family of four. Her younger brother Austin Swift is now an American actor. Her parents were Scott Swift and Andrea Swift.
For her family, it was evident early on that Taylor would wind up in the entertainment industry. She showed a passion for music and began taking vocal and guitar lessons when she was only 12 years old.
Taylor was inspired by music icons like Dolly Parton and Shania Twain. So, she followed in their footsteps and began performing at local events, fairs, and coffeehouses.
As for her formal education, she attended Alvernia Montessori School and the Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School. In 2008, she got her high school diploma through homeschooling. It might be a bit late, but better late than never.
When she was 14 years old, she had already begun her professional career. At the time, her family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, which is the home of country music. Her father became a shareholder in Big Machine Records, and she signed with the label.
In 2006, young Taylor released her debut album, titled Taylor Swift, with hit singles like Out Song and Teardrops on My Guitar. The album was an instant success, propelling Taylor as the new face of country music.
She has since released several more albums, including Fearless, Speak Now, Red, and 1989. Over the years, Swift’s music has evolved from country to pop. As for her songs, they tackle themes mostly around love, heartbreak, and personal growth. As we said before, her albums often tell the story of her relationships with ex-lovers.
To be fair, her life has always been the subject of media attention. Taylor has had several high-profile relationships, including Calvin Harris, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Tom Hiddleston, Taylor Lautner, Adam Young, Eddie Redmayne, Zac Efron, Harry Styles, and Joe Alwyn. He is her longest-tenured boyfriend, from 2017 to 2023. There were reports they broke up in April 2023.
Her success as a singer and songwriter has earned Taylor many awards, including 11 Grammy Awards, 32 American Music Awards, and 23 Billboard Music Awards.
Deciding To Gain Weight
Unlike many people who gained weight unknowingly, Taylor wanted to gain weight. When she turned 30, she began slowly to accept her body. Fans were happy to see her growing thick and gaining weight.
Initially, she used to hate body weight. Taylor wanted to maintain her slim figure, like most girls. But that had a negative impact on her health.
In 30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30, an article for Elle, Taylor was candid about her weight gain. She said, “I learned to stop hating every ounce of fat on my body. I worked hard to retrain my brain that a little extra weight means curves, shinier hair, and more energy”.
And instead of procrastinating, she focused on gaining confidence and accepting her body. The country singer revealed, “I think a lot of us push the boundaries of dieting, but taking it too far can be really dangerous. There is no quick fix. I work on accepting my body every day”.
At the same time, she is advocating for mental health and trying to stay as far away from social media.
Advocating For Self-acceptance
Taylor’s documentary, Miss Americana, can easily be classified as one of “the most revealing and surprising segments of Netflix content”. In it, she talks for several minutes about having struggled in the past with an eating disorder.
Her voiceover says, “It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself every day. It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it”.
She also admits there have been times when after seeing a picture, she felt like her tummy looked too big, or if someone said she looked pregnant, it would trigger her to starve.
In an interview with Variety, she also said, “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. But the way that Lana (Wilson, the film’s director) tells the story, it really makes sense. 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. 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”.
She also details the effect that a tabloid torpedo had on her. Swift said, “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? 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 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!’ 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”.
Lana Wilson, the director of the documentary, says she is proud of Swift for taking up the subject. She said, “That’s one of my favorite sequences of the film. I was surprised, of course. But I love how she’s kind of thinking loud about it. And every woman will see themselves in that sequence. I just have no doubt”.
How Much Weight Did She Gain?
According to reports and her own saying, Taylor gained 25 pounds. Fun fact: once she gained some weight, even paparazzi began asking her if she was pregnant.
Taylor surprised fans back in 2018 when she came out of hiding a year after the infamous Kimye call. During her Reputation tour, she debuted her new body, which was bigger than what fans were used to seeing.
For a change, she looked very healthy. And everyone who was used to seeing skinny Taylor Swift was surprised to see the singer put on some pounds.
Who Does Taylor Look Up To?
Taylor Swift is seen as a role model for many women around the world. After all, she is one of the few to speak frankly on most subjects, including self-image issues. But do you want to know who she looks up to?
Taylor said, “I love people like (actress and activist) 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. 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. 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”.
In her documentary, then-and-now photos illustrate just how thin Swift had gotten during the 1989 era, versus the healthier version during the Reputation tour era.