Miss Americana Documentary


Leslie Chen, Writer

Fans of Taylor Swift will be able to see a new side of her in her new Netflix documentary: Miss Americana. The documentary, directed by Lana Wilson, promises to follow Swift as not just a performer, but as a woman in the industry. 

According to Netflix, Miss Americana is “a raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.” Reviewers also shared that the film focused a lot on Swift’s personal life, sharing her mother’s battle with cancer and going into depth about her innate need for love from the public.

One major topic, though, that Swift covers in Miss Americana is her struggle with an eating disorder. In an interview with Variety, she revealed that the constant criticism of her appearance and body shape forced her into an unhealthy way of eating. “It’s not good to see pictures of myself every day,” she said. “Certain comments will trigger me to stop eating.”

In that interview, Swift admitted that it was difficult for her to open up 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.” However, she believed it was necessary for her to see her growth. “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 the topic because there are so many people who could talk about it in a better way,” Swift revealed. “But all I know is my own experience. And my relationship with food was exactly the same psychology that I applied to everything 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.”

The documentary also shares a transfixing scene, where Swift argues with her family and her team about the political statement she wants to release against Martha Blackburn, a Republican senator, and announces her support for the LGBT community. Swift’s team argued that this would be a controversial move and could lead to “half of her fanbase leaving.” To Swift, however, breaking her political silence to support a cause was much more important than the backlash it would bring. “This was a situation where, from a humanity perspective, and from what my moral compass was telling me I needed to do,” she explained. “I knew I was right, and I really didn’t care about repercussions.”

This documentary has already received praise for Swift’s personal stories and her courage to speak up. If you’re interested, Miss Americana will be available to stream on Netflix on Jan. 31.


Photo Courtesy of PITCHFORK.COM