Taylor Swift Shares Struggle With Eating Disorder in Netflix Doc 'Miss Americana'

Taylor Swift at Sundance Film Festival premiere - H 2020
Courtesy of Getty Images

"You don't ever say to yourself, 'I have an eating disorder,' but you know you're making a list of everything that you put in your mouth that day and you know that's probably not right, but then again there's so many diet blogs that tell you that's what you should," she says in the film.

Taylor Swift gets candid about her eating disorder in the Netflix documentary Miss Americana.

The singer reveals that her time in the spotlight has negatively impacted her relationship with food. "I've learned over the years it's not good for me to see pictures of myself every day cause I have a tendency to — and it's only happened a few times and I'm not in any way proud of it," she begins, "I tend to get triggered by something — whether it's a picture of me where I feel it looked like my tummy was too big or, like, someone said that I looked pregnant or something — and that will just trigger me to starve a little bit. Just stop eating," she reveals.

"I thought that I was just supposed to feel like I was gonna pass out at the end of a show or in the middle of it," she continues as clips show Swift wearing a stomach-baring top while performing during the 1989 World Tour.

She now realizes how important food is. "Now I realize, no, if you eat food, have energy, get stronger, you can do all these shows and not feel it," she explains. "Which is a really good revelation because I'm a lot happier with who I am."

"I don’t care as much if somebody points out that I have gained weight. It's just something that makes my life better," she says. "The fact that I'm a size 6 instead of a size 00, that wasn't how my body was supposed to be. I just didn’t really understand that at the time."

Swift adds that she defended her thin frame whenever people approached her with their concerns for her health. "I was like, 'What are you talking about? Of course I eat. It's perfectly normal. I just exercise a lot,'" she says.  "And I did exercise a lot, but I wasn't eating."

"I don't think you know that you're doing that when you're doing it gradually," she continues, as shots show her posing on various red carpets. "There's always some standard of beauty that you're not meeting." She adds, "It's all just fucking impossible."

"You don't ever say to yourself, 'I have an eating disorder,' but you know you're making a list of everything that you put in your mouth that day and you know that's probably not right, but then again there's so many diet blogs that tell you that's what you should," she says.

Swift then shares a paparazzi photo that made her self-conscious, though she tells herself that she's "not going to do that anymore because it's better to think you look fat than to look sick."

Earlier in the doc, Swift opens up about her mother's battle with cancer. The singer wrote the song "Soon You'll Get Better," which is featured on her 2019 album Lover, about her mother's illness.

While flying on a private plane with her mother, the singer explains that her mom got a "human-sized" dog once she and her brother moved out of the house. Her mom responds, "She's actually my cancer dog. After I found that out, I decided to do something that I'd always wanted to do, which was get a really big dog."

Swift later reflects on her mother's cancer diagnosis: "That has been really hard for me because she's my favorite person," she says. "It woke me up from this life where I used to sweat all these things, but do you really care if the Internet doesn't like you today if your mom's sick from her chemo?"

The singer adds that her mother's illness helped her prioritize her family and friends above everything else.