As she approaches a new decade of life, Taylor Swift is trying to be as body-neutral as possible

By Melody Chiu
December 05, 2019 09:00 AM
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As she approaches her 30th birthday on Dec. 13, Taylor Swift is bidding adieu to negativity.

“There are certain parts of my brain that I don’t visit as often, like stressing out about my body, stressing out about being on trend, stressing out about people thinking I’m cool, stressing out about people thinking really anything about me,” the superstar tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story, in which she’s honored as one of four People of the Year. “You have to toss out things that don’t serve you. That’s what I think we all try to do when we’re getting older, and you just hope that you’re getting wiser too!”

Going into a new decade of life, the 10-time Grammy winner is feeling “really happy,” she says. “I’ve been told by a lot of people [your 30s] are really fun, and I’m having a really good time approaching them.”

She’s also found inspiration in actress Jameela Jamil, an outspoken advocate of body neutrality.

“I really love that there are advocates out there in the world being very vocal about the fact that aging is not a slow march to irrelevancy, death and decay,” says Swift. “Whenever I feel stress-y about things, I’ll just read some of Jameela Jamil’s quotes about body image and health and normal body weight.”

For more on 2019’s People of the Year, click here and pick up this week’s issue, on stands Friday, Dec. 6.

Credit: Miller Mobley

Appreciating her stance of not giving any special thought to the shapes and sizes of women’s bodies, Swift says Jamil’s candidness helps brighten up some of her tougher days.

“She talks about how we should just be not so much body-positive, but body-neutral,” says Swift. “We shouldn’t be thinking about them as much as we do, and I really like that. People like that who make solid points like that make me feel more chill about life.”

One of Swift’s most-streamed songs from Lover is “The Man,” an empowering track that flips society’s expectations of women on its head.

In her early 20s, the star was scrutinized and often harassed for having a dating life, and she found similar inspiration from Alanis Morissette’s “You Learn” that she hopes her fans take from her own music.

Taylor Swift
| Credit: Miller Mobley

“So much was made of my personal life at such a young age, I started to feel like anything that I did that wasn’t successful, like a breakup or anything that people were making such a big deal of, [would leave] such a huge mark on me that would last forever,” she says.

But now Swift has no qualms about standing up for herself.

“The more women are able to voice their discomfort in social situations, the more it becomes the social norm that people who ask the questions at parties like ‘When are you going to start a family?’ to someone as soon as they turn 25 are a little bit rude,” she says. “It’s gonna take a bit for people to catch up with that, and I understand that, but it’s good that we’re allowed to say, ‘Hey, just so you know, we’re more than incubators. You don’t have to ask that of someone just because they’re in their mid-20s and they’re a female.”