When it comes to pop stars, Taylor Swift is not the closest. Although her fans love to read all the lyrics to her songs, she never reveals who her song is. Unlike Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga, her presence on social media is quite modest, mainly reserved for pictures of her cats and promotional material.
So when it was announced that Swift had agreed to be the subject of a new Netflix documentary, we couldn't wait to see what candid details it would reveal in "Miss Americana", which starts airing on January 31 on Netflix. We went to the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday and wrote down all of the document's biggest revelations.
1. She struggled with an eating disorder
In New York City, the outside of Swift's apartment – her "front yard", as she calls it – is permanently surrounded by paparazzi ready to take pictures of her to sell to tabloids. But in "Miss Americana", the singer acknowledges that she will no longer see the images posted daily online. “I tend to be triggered by something – be it a photo of me where I feel like my belly looked too big or someone said I looked pregnant or something – and it will cause me to starve a little. Just stop eating.
Swift continues to reveal that she struggled with an eating disorder for years, often feeling like she was going to pass out during her shows. She made a list of everything she put in her mouth every day, exercised constantly and reached a double zero size. (She is now size six, she says.)
"I would have defended this to anyone who said 'I'm worried about you'," she says. "I don't think you know you're doing this when you do it gradually. There's always some beauty standard that you're not meeting. Because if you're thin enough, you don't have the butt that everyone wants, but if you have enough weight to have an ass, your stomach is not smooth enough, "she says. "It's all just (expletive) impossible."
Now, whenever she feels like judging her body severely, she practices positive conversations: “No. We don't do that anymore. We don't do this anymore because it is better to think that you look fat than sick. "
Taylor Swift on stage.
(John Shearer / Getty Images for DirecTV)
2. She wishes to have spoken out against Donald Trump during the 2016 elections
After years of keeping her political beliefs a secret for fear of isolating her fan base, Swift first expressed support for a candidate during the interim periods of 2018. The film shows her pondering whether or not to speak out against the Republican candidate to the Senate, Marsha Blackburn, and those closest to her concern that this will put her in physical danger.
During a heated family argument, his father points out that old guard artists like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope never talked about politics. Swift, with tears in his eyes, says he is "sad" that he has not publicly opposed Trump for two years. "But I can't change that," she says. "I have to do this. I need you, dad, to forgive me for doing this – because I'm doing this.”
At the moment when she is pressing to send in an Instagram post about Blackburn, her team is still concerned about the impact. Your publicist warns Swift that "the president may come after you". "(Screw) that," replies Swift. "I do not care."
3. She used to live her life to be loved
As a child, Swift says, she kept piles of diaries. But she didn't just write them with shiny gel pens. At one point, she used a brass pen and ink.
And what did she use the old-fashioned writing tool for? Write about your "moral code" – "the need to be considered good".
“It was all about what I wrote. It was everything I wanted, ”she admits in the film. "It was the complete and total belief system that I signed up to as a child."
She lived for "pats on the head," she says – any compliment for doing a good job on her homework or writing. She found satisfaction only through external approval and subsequently became "the person everyone wanted me to be".
That's why public criticism – it's annoying! She has had so many boyfriends! She's just a model friend! – it was difficult for her to overcome.
"When people decided that I was wicked, mean and conniving, and not a good person, it was one that I really couldn't recover from," she says, "because my whole life was centered around her."
Taylor Swift attends the "Miss Americana" premiere of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival at the Eccles Center Theater on January 23, 2020 in Park City, Utah.
4. Her battle in the sexual assault court changed her irrevocably
In 2015, Colorado DJ David Mueller sued Swift, claiming he lost his job at the radio station after the security team accused him of palpating the singer. Swift reacted, claiming aggression and detailing the inappropriate touch. She won and received the amount she was looking for: $ 1 in damages. But the emotional impact the verdict had on her was much more consequential.
"I was indescribable and immutably different after the sexual assault trial," says Swift in the film. "No man, organization or family will ever understand what it was like."
Despite winning the case, Swift said he felt no sense of victory "because the process is very dehumanizing". And in her situation, she had seven witnesses and a photo that confirmed her claim. "What happens when you are raped and is your word against his?" She asks.
5. She was attracted to Joe Alwyn because of her "wonderful, normal and balanced way of life"
Swift has dated a handful of famous men – Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles, Tom Hiddleston – who were also part of his music. But when she started dating actor Joe Alwyn at the end of 2016, she liked that he had another "wonderful, normal and balanced type of life". His vibe left her at ease during a difficult time in her life, she said, when she was facing a backlash against Kanye West. (Remember the "I made this bitch famous" line from the 2016 "Famous" jam? Yes, it was about her.)
Alwyn barely appears in the documentary. At one point, she kisses his hand during a car ride. She also runs in his arms after a show, and the couple gently wrap their arms around each other's shoulders as they walk behind the scenes.
6. She didn't try a burrito until she was 26
When she is about to turn 29, Swift stays in the recording studio, reflecting on what age means. She admits that there is a part of her that is not ready to have children – for "all this adult material". Heck, she points out, she just tried a burrito for the first time two years ago. Which means Taylor Swift didn't eat a wonderful mix of meat, cheese, beans, rice, guacamole and sour cream until she was apparently 26 years old. Process that.
7. She is not yet ready for children
While Swift takes good care of her feline children – she even feeds one at her dinner table while eating alongside the animal – she is not yet ready for her own children. At 29, she says, part of her feels "57 years old" – but another part "is definitely not ready to have children". Case in point? She remembers visiting a friend who just had a baby and hearing how the newborn's schedule consists of sleeping, eating and moving. Swift's response? "So it's like a Tamagotchi," she says with a smile.