Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana documentary is coming to Netflix on January 31. The Lana Wilson-directed film reveals the pop star’s struggles with an eating disorder.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week in Park City, Utah. The early reviews are mixed, with detractors largely deeming it a PR exercise – something that felt inevitable given Swift’s close involvement with the project.
However, Netflix’s summation of Miss Americana as a “raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time during a transformational period in her life,” seems justified. The Guardian reports that the film offers intimate details of Swift’s struggles with an eating disorder.
Watch: Miss American Official Trailer
At its worst, Swift felt like she might pass out onstage as a result of starving herself. “I would have defended it to anybody who said ‘I’m concerned about you,’” she says in the film. This is a common trait of an eating disorder; identifying anyone who compassionately questions your choices as the enemy.
Swift spoke to Variety magazine about her eating disorder ahead of Miss Americana‘s release. “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 said
She explained what represented a pat on the head. “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.'”
Feedback like this would reinforce her unhealthy eating habits. “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,” she said.
Watch: Taylor Swift – Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince
But Swift is now in a much healthier position. She’s “learned to stop hating every ounce of fat on my body,” and works on “accepting [her] body every day.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, visit this website to find your local support services.