Entertainment

Singer Self Esteem: It feels radical to be a healthy size 14

The Mercury Prize-nominee spoke to Women's Health UK.

Self Esteem has said being a “healthy size 14” after years of struggling with disordered eating feels like a “radical” act.

The 35-year-old singer, real name Rebecca Lucy Taylor, told Women’s Health UK it had been “important” to celebrate her body now she has full creative control of her career.

Taylor was previously half of Sheffield-based folk duo Slow Club and went solo following their split in 2017 with a sound influenced by contemporary pop.

2022 Mercury Music Prize
Self Esteem’s Prioritise Pleasure album was nominated for the 2022 Mercury Prize (2022 Mercury Prize/PA)

Speaking to Women’s Health UK, she reflected on coming to accept her body.

She said: “I’ve struggled with disordered eating, as have most of the women that I know. It was a depressing reality that in my old band the skinnier I was, the more opportunities we’d get.

“With Self Esteem, I have full creative control, and it’s been important to me to celebrate my body: it’s not plus size; it’s not small; it may go up or down a stone.

“It’s a healthy size 14 and, for some reason, that feels radical.”

The singer said her insecurity was “still there, and it roars at times”.

Speaking about the title track from her recent album, she added: “Prepping for the Prioritise Pleasure video was hopefully my finale of disordered eating. I drank celery juice all week and, after filming, full-on shit myself in my living room.

“Stood in my bath afterwards, I was like, ‘What are you doing this for?’ Since then, it’s been important for me to treat my body with respect.”

(Women’s Health UK/PA)

Taylor also told the publication about being diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), after lockdown allowed her to track her symptoms with consistency.

PMDD can cause severe irritability, depression or anxiety in the weeks or days before your period begins.

She said: “For 10 days, I can’t make decisions or retain information and I loathe myself: it’s like I’m someone else. I’ve paid for a specialist to see what’s going on; I just want some relief.”

Taylor released her debut album Compliments Please in 2019, and made headlines performing at Glastonbury the same year in a minidress made of Boots Advantage Cards.

Her follow-up, Prioritise Pleasure, was released in late 2021 and was named the best album of the year by The Guardian and The Sunday Times.

Read the full interview in the September issue of Women’s Health UK, on sale from August 16 and also available as a digital edition.