Everyone Needs to Hear Taylor Swift's Words on Body Positivity
Taylor Swift just beat out Michael Jackson for winning the most American Music Awards last month—being honored with the title of "Artist of the Decade," but that hasn't come without a fight. Swift has been involved in her fair share of controversies—be it with rapper Kanye West, an ex-celebrity bestie or, most recently, with her former record label for the rights to her music. But as her 30th birthday approaches next week, Swift is excited for a new decade that is less about seeking the approval of others and more about self-acceptance and contentment.
Swift recently sat down with Edward Enninful, British Vogue's editor in chief, where she opened up about her hopes for the next decade of her life. She was candid about her struggle with finding her identity growing up in the spotlight and wants to continue to move forward with self-acceptance in the new year.
"I've heard really great things about your thirties," Swift says. "Feeling a bit more secure—a bit. My twenties were really fun, but I also sort of equate my twenties with walking into a costume shop and trying on all these different costumes and then walking out of the costume shop in my regular outfit thinking I'm cool with who I am."
Swift specifically spoke to struggles with her weight, which she has just recently opened up about this year.
"One thing I'm going into my thirties really stoked about is that I now can really recognize and diagnose the toxic messages being sent to me by society, by culture, about my body." she says. "I'm a woman—I'm not a coat hanger. I need to feel healthy in life and need to take pleasure in food, and I need to not use my body as an exercise of control when I feel out of control in my life."
Earlier this year, Swift wrote an op-ed for Elle, where she said the 30 most important lessons she's learned on the cusp of her 30th birthday. One of the top lessons was learning to stop hating her body.
"I worked hard to retrain my brain that a little extra weight means curves, shinier hair and more energy," Swift writes. "I think a lot of us push the boundaries of dieting, but taking it too far can be really dangerous. There is no quick fix. I work on accepting my body every day."
For Swift, her personal journey to body positivity has required her sitting back from social media for awhile. Even today, her 123 million followers can't comment on her photos, for the sake of her mental health. She has also sought out more positive accounts to follow, and turns to Jameela Jamil's quotes on normal body weight and health when she's "feeling stressy."
If you're struggling with your body image, it may be worth taking inventory of some of the accounts you follow—and whether they impact your mental health positively or negatively. Additionally, it's never a bad idea to diversify your following—seeking out body positivity advocates, influencers with varied body types and accounts that are geared towards other things you love, like travel photography or corgis.