Sam Smith has been out and proud since he was 10 years old, giving gay men some real visibility in the music industry and singing about heartbreak in a way that only the gays can understand. But one of his biggest struggles has always been with self-acceptance and body positivity.
Speaking with the fabulous Jameela Jamil on the first episode of her Instagram series “I Weigh Interview”, Sam reveals that, like many of us, he’s always had a tumultuous relationship with his body.
“My whole life, I’ve struggled with my body and my relationship with it,” Smith told Jamil. “When I was a kid, I was chubby . . . I used to get my mum to write notes to the school when I was like eight, so I wouldn’t have to go to swimming lessons, because I’d have to hold my chest [to cover it up].”
A familiar story for those of us who were not always in shape, and just another tool to aid in schoolyard bullying. As if being gay wasn’t enough.
Sam went on to say that he underwent a liposuction procedure on his chest in hopes of reducing the taunting, as bullies had taken to grabbing his “breasts” on the playground as a way of humiliating him. However, he quickly gained the weight back as he still had an unhealthy relationship with food.
Unhealthy food relationships
Following the success of his first album, Sam was papped and fat-shamed when a shirtless picture of him on the beach starting circulating the internet, further fuelling his unhealthy emotional relationship with food.
“I spent all my money on food,” he said. “When I got sad, to cheer me up, I’d go for a nice meal somewhere. It got worse and worse, and then it was like binging.”
Sam first opened up about his emotional eating issues back in 2015, and after actively working to lose 50 pounds he received plenty of support and praise from fans, viewing the weight loss as a reflection of his success.
“My first album was about being lonely, and I can’t look lonely. If I look fat, I look lonely.”
Taking a new approach to self-acceptance
We all know by now there’s more to being happy than just getting skinnier, and Sam has taken a new philosophy when it comes to taking criticism and comments on his weight.
“I think I’m going to start to live very loudly,” Smith said. “My mindset at the moment is just f*ck it. F*ck everyone. F*ck everything. I am going to be myself to the end and I’m going to make mistakes in front of everyone because I’m famous and hiding it is too exhausting.”
I can’t imagine the scrutiny that a celebrity like Sam Smith endures every day, with comments and jokes made at his expensive potentially shattering the confidence that’s kind of important for a performer.
No one is perfect and no one should be made to feel less than they are. If you’re trying to be healthy then that’s amazing! If you want to lose weight or bulk up, that’s fine too, but you’ll inevitably come across comments, snide remarks or bitchy things either on the internet in real gay life that could knock your confidence back to playground levels.
So perhaps we can all take a leaf from Sam’s book and start saying f*ck it a little more often.
Advice, help, support
If you need some advice, help, or support in dealing with issues surrounding your weight, whether you want to lose some and get healthy or you need some help shutting out the bullshit, get in touch! We can get a gay personal trainer to have a chat, or if you just want to rant and talk about things, we’re happy to listen.