Taylor Swift premiered her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, at the Sundance Film Festival last night in one of the best outfits she’s ever worn. This is a tweed strapless jumpsuit under a matching overcoat thrown over her shoulders and a siiiick pair of matching booties. It’s SO GOOD. So good I’m almost inappropriately, like, proud of her even though, obviously, I have no f-cking business being proud of her. But Taylor’s style has been so off and on, seeing her kill it like this, and on such a big night for her, balling around Park City in a baller ass look, is a moment.
Of course it’s not her outfit that’s making headlines today, quite rightly. Now that people have seen Miss Americana, we’re hearing about the revelations. In the film, Taylor shares her struggle with body image and eating disorders and how she’s come to a place of body acceptance and now maintains a much healthier lifestyle. This is something she’s been hinting at over the last couple of years but it’s the first time she’s named it, gone into detail about her experience. And according to some of the reviews I’ve read, it’s one of the rawer parts of the documentary.
The reviews overall are generally positive though it has been pointed out that, while there are definitely candid, insightful moments here, like the aforementioned, it is not without its contrivances and “stage-managing”. These kinds of documentaries – whether they’re about Beyoncé, or Bieber, or Gaga, or Madonna, or Taylor – are, after all, about people who perform, who’ve been performing forever, and who inevitably are switched “on” whenever there’s a camera around. So the artifice is never going to truly be stripped away. For me, though, that’s also part of the draw: to watch with that in mind and think through this version of performance as it weaves its way through and around the truth. Because, certainly, there IS truth to be found in all of them. Even when Beyoncé directs a documentary about herself in which she interviews herself and answers her own questions (Life Is But A Dream), truth is presented alongside the theatre. As entertainers, that is their job. Here’s video of Taylor with director Lana Wilson during the Q&A last night.