After the controversy surrounding West's song "Famous," and the lyrics that called her a "bitch," followed by Kim Kardashian's release of tapes that appeared to show her giving approval for the song, there was a massive backlash against Swift. And she felt it deeply. "When people decided I was wicked and evil and conniving and not a good person," she says. "That was the one that I couldn't really bounce back from because my whole life was centered around it.
In the documentary, she explains that one of the things that really bothered her about conservative Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn was that she voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act as well as against gay marriage. "I think I'll be really upset if people think that Tennessee stands for those things," she says. "Part of the fabric of being a country artist is don't force your politics on people.
Or at least she wasn't as she was recording Reputation. "There's a part of me that feels like I'm 57 years old, but another part of me that's like definitely not ready to have kids, not ready for all this grown-up stuff," she says. "I kind of don't really have the luxury of just figuring stuff out because my life is planned like two years ahead of time.
Swift says she felt bitter and like "a wounded animal lashing out" so she had to "deconstruct an entire belief system for my own personal sanity. "I also was falling in love with someone who had a really wonderfully normal balanced grounded life," she reveals. "And we decided together that we wanted our relationship to be private. " We do get to see Swift sweetly mouth "I love you" to Alwyn as he films her singing "Call It What You Want" on her guitar at home.
In an extremely revealing portion of Miss Americana, the singer talks about her relationship with food and how disordered it has been in the past due to societal and industry pressures about appearance. "I've learned over the years that it's not good for me to see pictures of myself every day because I have a tendency, and it's only happened a few times and I'm not in any way proud of it, but I tend to get triggered by something whether it's a picture of me where I feel like my tummy was too big or like someone said I looked pregnant or something and that will just trigger me to starve a little bit.
This is with seven witnesses and a photo, what happens when you get raped and it's your word against his? "I couldn't really stop thinking about it and I thought to myself, 'Next time there is any opportunity to change anything, you had better know what you stand for and what you want to say," she continues. "We have to build on what started here," her mom says when news of Blackburn's win upsets her.
That has been really hard for me because she is my favorite person," Swift says. "It woke me up from this life where I used to sweat all these things, but like do you really care if the internet doesn't like you today if you're mom's sick from her chemo.
Swift is very conscious of the double standard women in music face as they age, remarking that female artists have to reinvent themselves so many more times than male artists "or else you're out of a job. "Be new to us, be young to us—but only in a new way and only the way we want," she says. "Reinvent yourself but only in a way that we find to be equally comforting and a challenge for you.
She remarks about how many people have to be tweeting they hate you for #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty to be the number one trend on Twitter worldwide. "We're people who got into this life because we wanted people to like us, because we were intrinsically insecure," she says in an emotional conversation with her mom. "Because we liked the sound of people clapping because it made us forget about how much we feel like we're not good enough.
Like I can't change what's going to happen to me but I can control what I write. "That was it, my life had never been better," she says of the time around 1989 when she won Album of the Year at the Grammys for the second time. 'That was all you wanted.
Swift talks a lot throughout the film about her core belief system based on "a need to be thought of as good. " She says, "I was so fulfilled by approval, that that was it.
While she's doing Todrick Hall's nails pre-VMAs, he asks her how long she's been doing manis. "About a year, when I realized I really love having cute nails but I really can't go in public… give me a good review on Yelp. “I’ve never really wanted to talk about that before, and I’m pretty uncomfortable talking about it now.
And so she dropped out of the public eye. "When people fall out of love with you, there's nothing you can do to make them change their mind," she says. "They just don't love you anymore.
I just had never tried one," she says to her producer who remarks, "That's the weirdest niche thing. " That's the truth, but happily we see them dive into some delicious-looking burritos and learn that Swift likes to add chips to hers "for crunch.
For someone who's built their whole belief system on getting people to clap for you, the whole crowd booing is a pretty formative experience," she says. "That was sort of a catalyst for a lot of psychological paths that I went down.
They toast with, what else, white wine. "I want to love glitter and also stand up for the double standards that exist in our society," the singer says later in the film.
Swift brings up the old adage that celebrities are frozen at the age they got famous and she thinks that applied to her for a long time. "I had a lot of growing up to do to catch up to 29," she says.
I was angry that all the details had been twisted," she says. "You don't feel any sense of victory when you win because the process is so dehumanizing.
Live out a narrative that we find interesting enough to entertain us, but not so crazy that it makes us uncomfortable. "This is probably one of my last opportunities as an artist to grasp on to that kind of success, so I don't know, as I"m reaching 30 I want to work really hard, um, while society is still tolerating me being successful.
Andrea Swift appears in much of the film and the singer talks about how hard her mom's cancer diagnosis was for her as they ride on a private plane with the "cancer dog" Mrs.
She feels good about "not feeling muzzled anymore" and she has "educated herself now. " She adds, it's "time to take the masking tape off of my mouth, but forever.
She talks about Beto O'Rourke and Stacy Abrams' failed 2018 bids, but she says that we can still "run from fascism. " That's where "Only the Young" was born.
And I did exercise a lot, but I wasn't eating," she explains. "I don't think you know you're doing that when you're doing it gradually.
You get to the mountaintop and you look around and you're like, 'Oh god, what now? " I didn't have a partner that I'd climbed it with that I could high-five.
We learn this revelation while Swift is working in the studio. "I didn't ever eat burritos until like two years ago.
During a quiet dinner at home with her longtime BFF, Abigail, Swift switches from red to white wine as the red was "too adult for me. " And then they both load their glasses up with ice as they discuss the mundane routine of a mutual friend who just had a baby.
We also get some PDA as she comes off the stage at one of her shows and she runs to him as they embrace. "Even though it was really horrible, I was happy," she says. "But I wasn't happy in the way I was trained to be happy.
It's led to a "narrative" around Swift that she has specifically asked to "be excluded from," even though, at times, she has waded into it.
Along with fun tidbits—like the phase when she wrote in her diaries with a quill and ink and how she wears "party shoes" in the recording studio—we also get more insight into how the 2009 Kanye VMAs incident shaped her, her struggle with an eating disorder, and why she finally decided to voice her political opinions.
But the memory of that night is still so strong and you can tell it affected her deeply. "It was so echo-y in there, at the time I didn't know they were booing him doing that.
I became the person who everyone wanted me to be. " It's what kept her from speaking out at times and it's why some of the backlash affected her so deeply.
But she feels like she's in a really good place now. "I want to still have a sharp pen, a think skin, and an open heart.
Bush was impressed upon her. "But a nice girl doesn't force her opinions on people.
Swift bought after she heard the news. "She got cancer several years ago.
The film includes adorable home videos of a young Taylor opening up her first guitar and performing for small crowds to the moment she saw her song "Tim McGraw" hit the Billboard charts.
Just stop eating," she reveals. "I thought that I was just supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show or in the middle of it.
Taylor Swift's documentary is now streaming on Netflix. https://t.co/gV6IpBwQku— Glamour (@glamourmag) January 31, 2020