Taylor Swift’s music video for “Midnights” lead single “Anti-Hero” has been edited to remove a scene that shows her stepping on a bathroom scale that read “fat.”
The scale appears to no longer be visible in the song video on Apple Music; now, Swift’s anti-hero clone just gives her a disappointed look. The scale still shows the term “fat” in the music video on YouTube.
Contacted by Variety, reps for Swift and Apple Music did not immediately have a comment.
Online discussion about the sequence has now earned it the moniker “anti-fat,” as it implies that being overweight is a bad thing. This has led to speculation about the motivation behind the removal of certain frames.
Swift claims that the visual approach of the music video, which she created and directed, was inspired by her own “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts [playing] out in real-time,” in an Instagram post announcing its release. In that regard, the song’s contemplative and analytical lyrics are mirrored in the video.
In an Instagram post promoting the release of the music video (which she wrote and directed), Swift says the visual treatment was reflective of her own “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts [playing] out in real time.” Within that context, the video matches the song’s introspective and analytical lyrics, which include lines such as “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby / And I’m a monster on the hill.”
Swift has previously opened up about having an eating disorder, most notably in her 2020 Netflix documentary “Miss Americana.” Swift acknowledges in the movie that she has been guilty of such behavior in the past (“It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not at all proud of it”). when she’s seen “a picture of me where I feel like I looked like my 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.”
Later, Swift went into greater detail about her experiences for her Variety cover story, stating that it had been challenging for her to come out about them for the film.
“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 said. “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.”