Sam Smith has finally conquered body dysmorphia after a lifelong struggle with accepting their appearance.
The “Unholy” singer, who identifies as non-binary and uses “they/them” pronouns, admitted that it hasn’t been a smooth-sailing journey to self-acceptance.
“Within my industry, there is definitely that question of, ‘What should a pop star look like?’” the Grammy winner told The Sunday Times, admitting they never fit the “norm.”
The “Stay With Me” hitmaker decided to overcome their worst fears by posing topless for their new album, “Gloria.”
Things changed for the better for the Brit in 2018 during their “Thrill of It All” tour, when Smith began to look at themself in a different way.
“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,” the singer recalled.
“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.”
Per Mayo Clinic, body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder in which a person can’t stop thinking about a perceived defect or flaw in their appearance.
After learning to love the skin they’re in, Smith became less fazed by what online trolls have to say about them.
“I get closer to who I am with each album,” the singer added, saying that their new album 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,” Smith said. “My mom says that, as I’ve got older, I’ve stopped caring what people think as much. She tends to be right.”
Smith was recently defended by diehard fans following backlash over the singer’s sexy, skin-baring costumes in their new music video for “I’m Not Here to Make Friends.”
In the visuals, the 30-year-old singer rocks a series of daring styles by designer Christian Cowan that range from a showgirl-worthy feather headdress and high-slit skirt to a bejeweled corset paired with matching nipple pasties.
Despite the music video’s playful tone, some critics were left outraged, calling the clip “vile and evil” and accusing Smith of “wearing their sexuality like a costume and shoving it in everyone’s face.”