BODY IMAGE | Why It’s So Important That Taylor Swift Opened Up About Her Experience With An Eating Disorder

“It shows the 30 million individuals, both struggling in darkness and also in recovery, that we are not alone in this battle”.

In a recent interview with Variety, Taylor Swift opened about dealing with an eating disorder in the past, which the singer-songwriter explains further in her Netflix documentary, Miss America. As news of Taylor’s experience made headlines, and her words circulated among fans, a powerful message was instantly made clear: you are not alone.

Taylor told Variety that the endless criticism – and, yes, compliments too – about her body caused her to view food in a reward-cased way, which led to disordered eating. “You just start to accommodate everything towards praise and punishment, including your own body”, the singer-songwriter said. In the documentary, Taylor opened up more about that circular thinking, discussing the physical consequences of restricting her food intake. “I thought that I was supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it”, she said in the film. “Now I realize, no, if you eat food, have energy, get stronger, you can do all these shows and not feel (enervated)”.

Today Taylor is in a better place, thanks in part to role models Jameela Jamil and Brene Brown. “I pick and choose now, for the most part, what I care deeply about”, Taylor told Variety. “And I think that’s made a huge difference”.

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), at least 30 million people of all ages and genders in the U.S. are dealing with an eating disorder. But despite the prevalence of eating disorders, they are still shrouded in stigma, which can sometimes prevent people from seeking the help they need.

“We’ve come a long way in terms of public views eating disorders, but there’s still a great  deal of shame and secrecy”, Claire Mysco, CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), told Teen Vogue. “Because of the shame, many people who suffer from eating disorders deal with a lot of loneliness and isolations. The perception that this is just about weight and vanity makes people struggling feel they are not deserving of help”.

But anyone battling on eating disorder is deserving of help, and that point has clearly reasonable with Taylor’s fans, especially those who might be quietly suffering.

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