Sam Smith has opened up about learning to love their body after years of insecurities.
The “Unholy” singer, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, struggled with weight issues as a child and feared judgement for their appearance when they entered the music industry.
In a new interview, Smith described how their parents tried and failed to persuade them to undress at the swimming pool as a child, telling them: “Sam, look at everyone around you, all the shapes and sizes! Take it off, we’re on holiday!”
Smith told The Sunday Times that they had initially dreaded the scrutiny that would come from the music industry, but had since come to love their body.
“Within my industry there is definitely that question of, ‘What should a pop star look like?’” they said. “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. 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.”
Smith said that they were now “happier in my own skin”, adding: “My mum says that, as I’ve got older, I’ve stopped caring what people think as much. She tends to be right.”
Smith recently said that they “wore all-female clothing and full makeup” in school, but started to dress “more masculine” when they moved to London.
Elsewhere in the interview, Smith responded to the news that only men had been nominated for Best Artist at this year’s Brit Awards.
Smith was among the musicians to initially call upon the Brits to introduce gender-neutral categories, which they did in 2022. At this year’s awards, however, Stormzy, Harry Styles, George Ezra, Fred Again and Central Cee were nominated for the main award, without a single female artist earning a nod.
“It is a shame,” Smith said. “Things are moving forward, but it’s obvious it’s not there yet. From seeing that [Best Artist] list, there is still a long way to go.”