Taylor Swift in the music video for her song Anti-Hero

Why Apple Music Removed the “Fat” Scale Scene From Taylor Swift’s ‘Anti-hero’ Music Video, Explained

Taylor Swift debuted the official music video to her song “Anti-Hero” on October 21, 2022, alongside the release of her new album, Midnights. So far, Swift’s latest album has been a huge success. Midnights features 13 songs, each of which represents a sleepless night that took place somewhere in Swift’s life. Creatively, Swift kept that theme alive as each song is filled with references to things that keep people up at night—relationships, friendships, heartbreak, insecurity, fear, anxiety, and more. However, it’s not all cynical nighttime thoughts. Embedded in the songs are poignant descriptions of the feeling of being in love, the desire to squash one’s fear, and notes of self-affirmation.

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Midnights isn’t just Swift’s 10th studio album—it has also been a record-smasher. Four days after its release, Midnights boasted the biggest streaming week of any album in 2022. Days later, it became the largest streaming week ever for an album from a female artist. Midnights broke streaming records on both Apple Music and Spotify. Meanwhile, “Anti-Hero” is the one special single that led the way to Midnights. Swift chose the song as her lead single and it’s a deeply personal one that delves into her deepest insecurities.

The music video is just as personal as the lyrics of “Anti-Hero.” It sees Swift pitted against herself—who she identifies as the “problem.” She runs from ghosts, fears others will betray her, and feels too big to fit in anywhere. There’s even a scene where her will is read out loud and snubs her daughter-in-law, who killed her. Another scene tackles Swift’s struggles with body image as she steps on a scale that reads “fat.” However, fans noticed that Apple Music’s music video for “Anti-Hero” seemingly removed the scene.

Why did Apple Music remove scale scene in “Anti-Hero”?

Billboard reported that, as of October 26, 2022, the scale scene appeared to have been removed from the “Anti-Hero” music video on Apple Music. The absence was particularly noticeable because the official music video on YouTube still had the scale scene in it. Hence, it seemed to be a decision on Apple Music’s part to remove the scene. So far, neither Apple Music nor Swift has directly commented on the removal. However, the likeliest reason why Apple did this is that the scene sparked backlash upon its release.

Why did the “Anti-Hero” scale scene receive backlash?

It wasn’t the fact that Swift admitted to having struggles with her body image that offended viewers. Instead, some viewers took offense at the way she chose to frame her struggles. They felt that her video was portraying being fat as something terrible and to be feared. As a result, some even went as far as to call her “fatphobic.”

However, others stood up to defend Swift. Many pointed out that Swift was simply reiterating what it was like to be a celebrity and to be deemed “fat” by the media when she was far from it. Others believed the scene was a representation of body dysmorphia or an eating disorder. Some even thought it was a criticism of fatphobia. Being fat wasn’t something that she feared, but rather something that she was made to fear because of society’s judgment.

It remains to be seen if Swift or Apple will choose to comment on the backlash surrounding the scale scene. The backlash doesn’t necessarily highlight wrongdoing on Swift’s part. While some perceived the scene as fatphobic, others perceived it as an important discussion on eating disorders. The difference in opinion just goes to show that everyone perceives body image and discussions on eating disorders and fatphobia differently. There’s no single right way to talk about body image or eating disorders, but it’s still important to respect and validate all perspectives, which is likely why Apple removed the scene.

(Via: Billboard, featured image: Taylor Swift)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.