By Marina Chaker
A teenage delivery driver who weighed just 38kg (5st 9lbs) while battling anorexia now turns heads as a Taylor Swift lookalike – and even gets chased by the paparazzi.
Teegan Jarratt’s uncanny resemblance to her celebrity doppelganger means she is regularly approached for autographs and photographs and followed by unwitting fans.
But the 18-year-old, who survived on just 250 calories a day for three years, first struggled to deal with the attention her resemblance to the US pop songstress brought.
Now Teegan, from Queensland, Australia, dreams of being a model and says having a famous lookalike has boosted her confidence.
Dominos pizza delivery driver Teegan said: “When people first noticed my resemblance to Taylor I used to have people coming up to me all the time. It meant I didn’t go out in public because of my social anxiety.
“Last year in the Gold Coast a whole heap of cars stopped and had to be told to move along because they thought I was Taylor Swift.
“People were pulling over and jumping out of their cars. Paparazzi started getting their cameras out thinking I was her and following me.
“I’m still self-conscious but not as much as I used to be – if anything, it’s boosted my confidence.
“I’m a Taylor Swift fan, I’ve liked her for nine years. She has helped me a lot and she doesn’t let anything bring her down, she overcomes her haters.
“I don’t actually see the resemblance between myself and Taylor, I don’t think I look like her.
“But on deliveries at work I’ve been recognised a few times, a whole football team got photos with me they were all like ‘its Taylor Swift’
“At work, I have my hair all back and a hat on, and people still say I look like Taylor Swift.”
Teegan first noticed her resemblance to Taylor Swift in 2015 when she visited the USA for an acting audition and was stopped by people wanting photographs in a shopping centre.
And when the 18-year-old went to watch the American pop songstress perform in Australia’s Gold Coast last year, she claims fans even began jumping out of their cars and chasing her when they mistook her for the singer.
Teegan began struggling with social anxiety and anorexia aged 14 during tenth grade and would weigh herself three times a day and over-exercise to burn off her daily calorie intake of just 600kcal.
At first the shy teenager hated the attention she got from her similarities to Taylor Swift but said over the years it has made her more confident because it has meant she has to interact with different people and have photos taken with strangers.
The young Dominos worker now has hopes of breaking into the modelling industry or joining the police force.
And she admits she even gets noticed at work – despite wearing a uniform and a cap which shades her face – and is in awe of the media attention her appearance has gotten her.
She hopes to one day be a model who makes a difference by raising awareness about anxiety and mental health issues.
Teegan said: “When I had anorexia, people would tell me just to eat but it doesn’t work that way – a lot of people don’t understand mental illness.
“I used to count calories and over exercise to burn the food off. I only ate 600 calories a day and had no energy to get out of bed.
“I’m still self-conscious of my weight as I don’t see myself the normal size like other people do.
“Anorexia stopped me from going to school because I had no energy and I developed depression as well.
“I wouldn’t eat at all during the day because of the calories, my mind would tell me not to eat and I lost a lot of confidence in myself.
Earlier this year Teegan recently set up business Tay Tay Parties, which provides photos, karaoke and dancing games for young children and Taylor Swift fans.
She charges $100 AUD () for an hour and a half which includes karaoke, dance games and photos.
Teegan aims to make a change and inspire young women to love themselves as they are and to seek help for mental health issues.
And she said she continues to look up to Taylor Swift and admires her personal strength.
Teegan said: “Before I even had the business I did a kids’ party because a mum contacted my family friend and said I looked like Taylor and her daughter was a massive Taylor Swift fan.
“It gave me the idea to make a business, they were really happy to have me there and they enjoyed themselves.
“It’d be good to help people who suffer from the same thing I’ve suffered from.
“Now I’m looking towards the modelling side of things or the police force. I’ve wanted to be a model since I’ve been in the eighth grade, I’m hoping that this pushes me towards that career.
“You should be confident with your body and love yourself, not the image that the media and magazines have presented, you’re not alone, there’s so much help out there.
“You should be confident with your body and don’t compare yourself to others.”