The music video for Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” lead single “Anti-Hero” has been modified to omit a sequence in which she steps on a bathroom scale that reads “fat.”
The song video on Apple Music no longer appears to display the scale; now, Swift’s anti-hero clone looks at her with a disappointed expression. The scale with the term “fat” still appears in the song video on YouTube.
Swift and Apple Music representatives did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.
Speculation about the explanation behind the removal of those frames stems from internet debate about the scene, which has subsequently been characterised as “anti-fat” by some due to the suggestion that being obese is a bad thing.
Swift says the visual approach was inspired by her own “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts [playing] out in real time” in an Instagram post announcing the release of the music video (which she wrote and directed). The video fits the song’s thoughtful and analytical lyrics, which include lines like “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby / And I’m a monster on the hill.”
Swift has previously spoken about her struggles with an eating disorder, most notably in her 2020 Netflix documentary “Miss Americana.” Swift says in the film that she has seen “a picture of myself where I felt like my tummy was too big, or… someone commented that I looked pregnant… and it’ll just prompt me to just starve a little bit — just stop eating” (“It’s only happened a few times, and I’m not in any way proud of it”).
Swift later commented on her experiences for her Variety cover story, stating it was difficult for her to speak up about it for the documentary.
“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.”