CMT Next Women of Country honoree Abby Anderson released her new video for "Bad Posture" this week. She revealed that the song grew from her stunted self-confidence that led to an inability to speak up for herself.
Directed by "The 100" actress Eliza Taylor, the video for "Bad Posture" follows a woman who gains the confidence to leave an unhealthy relationship.
"The day we wrote 'Bad Posture,' I saw all the different music videos we could do for it playing in my head," Anderson told People. "Eliza truly brought the message of this song and everything I had felt for the past few years to light and to life. Filming this was healing for me and one of the most freeing experiences of my life."
The Texas native is a newlywed and hasn't experienced the abuse depicted in the video. However, she grew up in the Mormon church, where she was taught it was her responsibility to "protect men's thoughts."
"As a young woman, I was told I was responsible for the way men looked at me," she told People. "It was, 'You got to cover your shoulders because men might look at your shoulders and want to kiss you. It was screwed up. I'm not responsible for their thoughts. I'm not responsible for anybody's thoughts."
She felt an extreme burden to portray herself in a way that wouldn't provoke men to behave towards her in unchristian-like ways. Over the years, the responsibility she felt grew to an obsessive worry about what everyone thought of her. Anderson said it turned her into a people pleaser incapable of standing up for herself. The result, she said, is that she spent years agreeing to record songs she didn't believe in.
"You put that kind of girl in a record deal, and it's a perfect storm," said Anderson, who signed with Black River Entertainment when she was 19 years old. "I didn't do a very good job of letting them know, 'Hey, I don't like the song; this isn't me. And if I did say that, I quickly cowered against their affirmation of, 'No, no, no. This is great. Just trust us.'"
When she couldn't stand up for herself with the record label, she took control where she could. Anderson developed an eating disorder.
"Metaphorically, I was constantly stuffing down my feelings and then purging them," she said. "I was addicted to that feeling. It was like a 'screw you' to the world."
When the pandemic forced her to take time off the road, Anderson reevaluated her life and art. For the first time in years, she wasn't on stage every night and could relax. She started therapy and realized she had to leave her record deal. As soon as she did, she told People her eating disorder vanished.
Now Anderson is recording music independently with producer Marshall Altman, and she couldn't be happier. She told People new song "Insecure" is her "break-up song about leaving my record deal." And the result of her forthcoming album embraces her story and her newfound creative freedom.
"A girl experiences some stuff from 19 to 24," Anderson said. "I hope I'm different. I hope I've changed. I hope when people listen to my music, they feel more joy and feel more confident and feel more love for themselves."