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!
As a thinner person all of my life with a high metabolism, it can be a stuggle to put on weight AND KEEP IT. Never one to ask for or seek pity about it, when general conversation may be discussed, much of the conversation towards such a person tends to be dismissive. Comments like, “Oh, poor baby!” or “you wouldn’t know anything about that” when the discussion is about weight are taking place. A lifetime of eating heavier, working out, attempting to bulk up can be challenging and lonely, but I’m a tough cookie. But a little empathy or at… Read more »
“…unmanly…”? SERIOUSLY? it takes big, brass, clanging balls to be that vulnerable, to discuss–especially so publicly–an issue like the great pink elephant in the middle of the room! Hell, yeah–men have body issues. And body shaming is at least as prevalent among gay men as anywhere else. Who hasn’t been told (tacitly–no response, or blocked w no response, after a simple greeting; or overtly (“you’re not my type”) that he is: too thin, too fat, not enough muscle, too hairy (I like men, not monkeys), or my favorite, “too old”…often by a “man” who list his age as “99”, with… Read more »
WOW! In my opinion your response is absolutely STUNNING!!!:) Your take says it all for me. Amazing and True!
I love it when wealthy celebrities whine about how hard their lives are. Each of us is dealt a situation to deal with. Perpetually playing the victim is not the psychologically healthy way to respond.
It’s so nice to see you are such a douchebag prick to not be more empathetic to someone like Sam Smith as you want to scoff it up to him whining as a celebrity When you and I both know that gay men the guiltiest as anybody to shame others Esp gay men in this idea of a perfect body image whether it’s someone is too muscular, too fat, to slim, and yet somebody like you I can guarantee is so arrogant an ass as you’ve already shown and displayed is probably the type to shame other guys so you… Read more »
I love reading all your comments; Not because I respect them, but (frankly) because each and everyone is so negative. You never, EVER, have anything positive to say. I wonder how really “psychologically healthy” it is to always base opinions and judgements on a negative outlook. Sure, don’t play the victim scenario. Yet, its people such as this “celebrity” (they also have names as well) that often help others find thier voices or help them seek out solutions regarding similiar issues. Some of these famous people happen to be other people’s role models. Not everyone knows how to find thier… Read more »
Wow, so much to say about this, I myself was told as a kid; my mother said and felt that I was “almost a girl,” her words. I did everything my brothers did, and more, really related on a level most guys could not, meaning, understanding or feeling what they felt, very sensitive to the female gender in ways I’m just now coming to grips with. I went through my youth looking very naturally “androgynous.” Now, I’m very distinguished looking in the latest of my 50’s. I guess I’m amazed the way with the avg., guy, emotionally, the things that… Read more »
Hey Lamar, Are you saying your body is feminine? I met some guys that I would suspect was gay a mile away. They don’t have to say a word. They have that look and walk but that’s ok. People have no right making comments or judging guys like that. We are all Gods children and God makes no mistakes. His creation of all of us was for a reason. I’m glad you learned to embrace the beautiful thing God gave you and continue to be the fine person you are. Take care bruh and I really enjoy reading your comments… Read more »
Lmao, thank you, bro. Lets put it this way, waste down, onion-like shape- waste up, broad shouldered, total hour-glass shape. Use to make me pretty damn insecure at times; envying those really masculine bodies around me. Ru Pal, could have had some very serious competition, lmao. Funny thing though, hetero-blk guys tend to recognize things, white guys, period, not so much… they just to think of me as perhaps “educated.” I think that, in itself, say’s a lot…
It helps to find men who admire you for who you are. All the different sites and apps we now have help with that. But some men have false issues, those who are in perfect shape and think it is not good enough. Too many are paying too much attention to the imagery in ads and porn, and the attitudes of others. A six-pack is not sexy and not required to be sexy. Real sexiness comes from within. Pretty guys can be the lousiest lays, even if they are athletes in bed. Having real warmth, affection is far more sexy… Read more »
I resent you stereotyping perfect shape guys. A lot of us are blessed with our nice bodies because of our Genes not the gym or dieting. Some people think six packs are sexy. I have a natural six pack and you just offended me for no reason by saying six packs are not sexy. I would never stereotype heavy or excessively thin guys. You would never hear me say love handles and big bellies are not sexy. We all Gods children. If a person is body shamed by their body it doesn’t give them the right to make fun of… Read more »
It’s all his opinion. Just shrug it off–unless you know him personally, I wouldn’t worry about some random comment. It’s not worth the emotion.
Sorry Father… I read your post again and I had read it wrong initially. Man enough to take back my response!!!!
I have long dealt with body issues, shapes, sizes, hair, etc. And somehow I meet the man of my dreams that cared for me for me. Don’t know how to appropriately respond except to say I get it. This man has always been sexy to me–some because of that amazing voice, but more because of that great smile and totally human guy he is. Sam, loving your adventure and the progress you have made in life’s struggles! You [email protected]
As a kid, I wasn’t tall, or fast, or strong, or athletic, or wealthy, or “hot”, or in the In Crowd. I learned pretty fast that some people only wanted you if there was some “cool” reason to have you around. But there were others who valued you for who you were. They became the people who were important to me. They were the people I invested time in. Today, when on a site such as A4A, some guys want to meet with you based upon looks. You can often tell from their profile that “beauty” or “hotness” is their… Read more »
It is actually refreshing to see somebody like Sam Smith that this topic is being discussed & meant something to him even if he is British and It can be different for someone like him his upbringing the stiff for the lip /never show emotion which is a thing in British culture -that has gone on for far too long but especially in a younger man like him talking about his body image issues and feeling sad for so long in his life about this and yet at the other end of this gay men Esp have made this so… Read more »
Celebrities sharing their weaknesses and they are just talented humans is very empathetic to a world of people that think they are alone in the way the feel. Saying hey I’ve got millions of people that want to get in my pants and I still don’t like looking at myself naked says to me, I’m flawed don’t believe what the publicity machine and the world wants you to believe. Gay men are shallow and our lives are hyper sexualized because we are men. It’s great the all these apps want to be “pro body image and anti bullying” but really… Read more »
Very moving to hear how Sam felt so very sad about his body perceptions. I have struggled myself over my looks–face, body, height, and although it’s much better (in other words I care much less about it than before) I still have sensitivities. When someone compliments me, I’ve had to train myself just to say thanks, rather than questioning whether that person really “means” it. In the past I often thought that people complimenting me on my looks were secretly making fun of me! But body dysmorphia and sensitivities definitely plague the gay male world, where youth and beauty of… Read more »
It isn’t just body, that people are picky about.
My favorite quote so far has been;”Im not racist, but no black guys”. Its pretty bad when your sexual desires can be deterred by the color of one’s skin.
God Bless you Sam always, Thank you for sharing. I am 55 now, I have felt the same way. That is why I go to friends homes and won’t go swimming. Can’t really afford cosmetic surgery or liposuction, I wear compression shirts to hold my goodness in lol,,, And I struggle with it ever day, Nobody else may care but I do. Everyone is insecure about something. Thank you for sharing this story because it has been my life as well.
It’s refreshing to see how so many people relate to this topic about body image and and the way communities tend to stereotype people by the cover. I hope everyone can see how beautiful they are, and at the same time see others as a mirror image of ourselves in a different light. We as a community started from Love and togetherness, and only we can bridge these gaps that threaten to break us down, and box us into normality. We are not a people of conformity, we are about celebrating our diversity; and yet people want to focus on… Read more »