Sam Smith is finally feeling comfortable in their own skin, sharing that they "now have the opposite of body dysmorphia."
The "Unholy" singer, who uses they/them pronouns, spoke candidly with the Sunday Times about their journey to body positivity, noting that the progression has come slowly with age. Now 30, Smith says they've finally found peace with their looks.
“Within my industry there is definitely that question of, ‘What should a pop star look like?’ 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," shared Smith, whose new album, Gloria, is out later this week. "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.”
But that self-acceptance wasn't always easy for Smith, who noted that as a child, their parents had to persuade Sam to undress at the pool. “Sam, look at everyone around you, all the shapes and sizes! Take it off, we’re on holiday!” they remember their parents saying. Still, Smith couldn't do it.
Now "happier in my own skin," Smith says they "feel liberated, released from pressures I felt when I was young.” As to what prompted the change, the Oscar winner cited the perspective one gains with age.
“My mum says that, as I’ve got older, I’ve stopped caring what people think as much. She tends to be right," Smith noted.
Smith has been vocal about their experience dealing with negative body image in the past. In a 2019 Instagram post, the singer shared how they "reclaimed their body" after years of difficulty and "body trauma," noting that they will "always be at war with this bloody mirror."
"In the past, if I have ever done a photo shoot with so much as a T-shirt on, I have starved myself for weeks in advance and then picked and prodded at every picture and then normally taken the picture down," Smith wrote, captioning a photo of themself standing shirtless on the beach in jeans. "Yesterday I decided to fight the f*** back. Reclaim my body and stop trying to change this chest and these hips and these curves that my mum and dad made and love so unconditionally."
“You and I have talked a little bit about self-image," Parker asked Smith. "How comfortable are you feeling on camera today versus two years ago?”
“It’s completely different. I think that’s come with me losing weight," Smith said. "When I was shooting my first music videos, I just wasn’t happy with the way I looked, so I was trying to control the way the camera moved. I got a bit obsessive. I was constantly looking in the mirror, pinching my waist, weighing myself every day.”
Smith went on to say that those days are gone, and they've since managed to embrace their features.
“Now, I’ve gotten to a place where I really love my stretch marks and I just enjoy my body," Smith concluded.
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