Is Taylor Swift Allowed to Speak About Fat?

Can you speak about your trauma if you don’t look traumatized?

Taru Anniina Liikanen
6 min readOct 24, 2022


Image credit: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons. Source.

Taylor Swift caused an uproar after her new album Midnights dropped last week. The music video of her song “Anti-Hero” shows her at one point stepping on a scale and the word “fat” appearing.

Twitter was in a frenzy, in discussions over whether this was in fact fatphobia or a criticism of the fatphobia that’s so common in our societies.

Some say she should “do better,” like celebrities are often told they need to do. They suggest that using the word “fat” in a negative way is in itself damaging.

Others consider it the complete opposite.

One dietitian suggested a list of words Swift could have used instead of “fat”, which I think was true and useful.

But I still don’t think it goes to the point.

Swift, as far as I know, hasn’t addressed the controversy herself, which makes her look worse. Not as bad as James Corden saying he doesn’t care about the stories calling him a true jerk to other people, but still bad.

Taylor’s also been compared to other musicians who have done better.

When Lizzo or Beyoncé have been criticized over their use of ableist words, they’ve listened to the public, apologized and removed those words from their work. It seems easy to do if you truly care about your fans.



Taru Anniina Liikanen

Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Recovering political ghostwriter and comedian. Bad jokes my own.