Photo Credits: (Screengrab from Sam Smith’s Instagram Account)
Do men have body image issues?
Sam Smith says during a candid interview with British actress, model, and activist Jameela Jamil for “I Weigh” that yes, they do; only that men don’t talk about how they feel regarding their body because “it doesn’t feel manly.”
In the aforementioned interview, Smith opened up how he’s had body issues even as a child, how it has affected his life and made him feel sad, and how it’s become “the basis of all my sadness.” The singer-songwriter explained, “Literally everything I’ve ever been sad about is my weight. I struggle with it every day.”
Smith shared that as a teen, he was bullied by other kids because of his weight. He further revealed in the interview that he disliked going to swimming lessons at age 8 because he feels overly conscious, so much that he tended to cover his chest with his arms and also, that he had chest liposuction because his estrogen levels were too high.
Smith shared that he had started therapy a year ago to address his issues and how, while he was away on a holiday a few months back, he felt like, “I need to fight this because I can’t live my life like this anymore. It’s exhausting.”
In his Instagram post, Sam Smith asked for kindness, saying that it took a lot for him to do this interview. He said he was nervous about it but he spoke up anyway, hoping that by sharing his struggles, that he can make someone else like him out there feel “a little less lonely and a little less alien.”
Watch the interview in full below to learn what Sam Smith does to combat his body issues.
View this post on Instagram
A few months ago, I sat down with @jameelajamilofficial and spoke with her for her incredible @i_weigh movement. I know this sounds dramatic but this interview completely changed my life. Being able to talk so openly about my body issues and feeling so safe whilst doing it was truly liberating. I am so thankful to Jameela and her team for this opportunity and being so respectful and kind to me. It took a lot for me to do this and I was so nervous, so please be kind haha. I really hope this can make someone else who feels like me, a little less lonely and a little less alien xx
Body image is an issue for many—men and women alike—but according to Mayo Clinic, “gay men are more likely to experience body image problems and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa, than are their straight counterparts.”
As to exactly how many gay men have body issues, a survey conducted by Attitude Magazine in 2017 revealed that of the 5,000 respondents:
- 49% were unhappy of their body with an additional 10% who said they were very unhappy
- This is compared to the 23% who were happy and 1% who said they were feeling very happy with their looks
- 84% respondents revealed that they felt intense pressure to have a good body.
But why do gay and bisexual men tended to have body image issues? Matthew Todd said in his book titled Straight Jacket: How to be Gay and Happy, as cited by BBC, that being gay comes with “feelings of shame stemming from a lack of acceptance in society.” These feelings in turn, “can lead to a lack of acceptance for ourselves, which leads to an unhealthy fixation with our appearance.”
What about you, Adam4Adam blog reader? What do you think are the reasons why the LGBT community suffers from negative body image more than other people? More importantly, how happy are you with your appearance? Do you also struggle with your body image like Sam Smith does? If so, what do you do in order to overcome it? Share with us your stories in the comments section below.
All that being said, here on Adam4Adam, we want everyone to feel loved and comfortable using A4A. And so, if anyone sends you a mean message about your body, or skin color, or gender, etc., on each profile, there is a “Report this Person” button. Don’t be afraid to use it as we are here to help and make sure that everyone feels good while using A4A.
Have a wonderful weekend ahead, guys!