British singer-songwriter Sam Smith sat down with Jameela Jamil for the premier episode of I Weigh Interviews, for a fascinating interview about body image, in which he talked about his body image and said that he identifies as nonbinary.
Smith talked about his body issues, something he talked about recently in a widely-shared post on Instagram, and the shame he feels when he removes his shirt and he isn’t as fit as everyone else.
He said the issues began as a teen when he discovered that he had more estrogen in his chest: “I fully had breasts, and I had liposuction. I was 12. It didn’t really change anything. I think I put the weight back on in two weeks. I hadn’t figured out my relationship with food. Being 12 years old and having liposuction was a big deal. It was the basis of all my teasing…I had some horrible situations in school with guys. A guy grabbed my chest once and played around with it in front of all of his friends.”
Smith, who grew up in a small village, said that at age 16 he stopped wearing boys’ clothes and wore full make-up to school every day.
“I turned into the gay clown, basically,” he said. “I owned it.”
Smith explained that a paparazzi photo prompted him to lose a large amount of weight in recent years. He says a photo appeared of him diving off some rocks in Australia and he felt shamed by it.
Smith’s discussion about his body issues moved into one about gender and sexuality, and he said that he identifies as nonbinary.
Said Smith: “I’ve always had a bit of a war in my body and my mind [about how to define myself]…I do think like a woman in my head at times. I’ve sometimes sat there and questioned, do I want a sex change? It’s something I still think about, but I don’t think it is.”
Smith has talked about this before. In October 2017 he said, “I don’t know what the title would be, but I feel just as much woman as I am man.”
Smith explained: “Nonbinary genderqueer means you do not identify in a gender. You are just you…you are your own special creation. That is how I take it. I’m not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between — somewhat on the spectrum.”
“Maybe I’m not a man. Maybe I’m not a woman. Maybe I’m just me. And that’s okay.”
“I think the same in sexuality,” he added. “I’ve been with too many straight men to know that not everyone who says they’re straight are fully straight. You can sometimes like doing a bit of this here and a bit of that there. You fall in love with people, not genitals. I’ve always been very free in terms of thinking about sexuality. I’ve tried to change that into my thoughts on gender.”
“Maybe I’m not a man. Maybe I’m not a woman. Maybe I’m just me. And that’s okay,” he continued.
Smith also talked about fame, and said that the things you have to sacrifice make it not worth it: “If I had the chance to do this all again, I would not do this….I can’t cheer up about it. I’m very lucky. I have money now….Part of my life died. No one treats me the same, ever. The things I go through every day are different.”