Sam Smith is opening up about their experience overcoming body dysmorphia.
Talking with The Sunday Times, the singer, 30, recently opened up about feeling good in their skin after struggling with their weight while being in the public eye. They admitted that it was a long journey before they were able to be comfortable enough to pose topless for their recent album cover Gloria.
“Within my industry there is definitely that question of, ‘What should a pop star look like?'” they told the outlet, noting that they never fit the “norm.” However, Smith revealed that the turning point with their self-image was after their Thrill of It All tour in 2018.
“When I was 25 I came off tour exhausted. I looked to role models in the body world. Every time I went to the pool I felt self-conscious, but I forced myself to take my top off,” they said. “It paid off because I now have the opposite of body dysmorphia. I look fabulous. I’m finally getting a tan. I’m burnt in places I’ve never been burnt.”
Body dysmorphia is described as a mental health disorder in which a person can’t stop thinking about a perceived defect or flaw in their appearance, according to the Mayo Clinic. The disorder can cause anxiety and distress, making it difficult to function in social situations and daily life.
The “Unholy” singer, who came out as non-binary in May 2019, admitted that they are no longer fazed by any opinions about their size, and they’re still using music as an outlet.
“I get closer to who I am with each album,” Smith said, noting that their fourth studio album Gloria was inspired by the “feminine spirit in me.”
“I’m happier in my own skin on Gloria. I feel liberated, released from pressures I felt when I was young,” they said. “My mum says that, as I’ve got older, I’ve stopped caring what people think as much. She tends to be right.”
Smith previously discussed their struggle with body dysmorphia in 2020, telling the Times about their pronouns and how they’ve learned to accept their body.
“For me, what triggered everything was the work I was doing with my body issues,” they said at the time. “I always had body dysmorphia. As I started to address that, I started to address my gender and realized that I was holding myself to these ideals of how a man should look.”
“As I looked into it, I did therapy, I realized there was more to it,” they continued. “I have girl’s thighs and I have girl breasts too. It started to awaken this conversation that had always been in the back of my mind.”
Smith also spoke about their “fluctuating body,” which allowed them to lose 50 lbs. after seeing a nutritionist.
“I can lose weight, I can put weight on quickly, I am a shape-shifter,” Smith said.
Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident in their own body.