Sam Smith was the first guest on Jameela Jamil's new I WeighInstagram TV show today, and the two stars engaged in a charming British conversation about body image that shed light on Smith's struggles with fat shaming over the course of his music career.
Jamil, a former TV journalist who has herself been fat shamed and frequently uses her social media platform to campaign against celebrity diet sponcon, proved to be a great interviewer on the subject. Smith opened up about body image struggles that started in his very early childhood, saying, "Literally the only thing I've ever been truly sad about is my weight… I get very, very dark and very sad."
He recalled that after being bullied for his weight at a child, his mom helped him get liposuction at age 11: "I was holding a lot of oestrogen in my breasts and had a day operation. At the time I was really happy about it, but I put the weight back on. It was the basis of all of my teasing, all of my bullying, my whole life."
Smith eventually lost weight and became more confident in himself in early adulthood; however an unflattering paparazzi photo taken while he was on tour in Australia in sent him spiraling again. "It triggered something in me," he said.
But Smith has been taking active steps lately to embrace body positivity, and says getting educated about body dysmorphia and talking to a therapist is working. He has also embraced a new perspective on gender, after coming out as genderqueer in 2017.
"I have a very feminine body. I had breasts when I was 11 years old. I'm feminine in many many ways," he said. "I do think of myself as a woman in my head sometimes and I've sat there and questioned, would I want a sex change? It's something I still think about. But I don't think it is. When I saw the word non-binary and genderqueer and read into it and heard these people speaking, I was like, 'Fuck, that is me.'"
He said his journey towards acceptance would continue: "Self love, people think it's a destination. But it's a practice. And that's what I'd like to promote."