Sam Smith has opened up about his body image issues in a powerful interview with actress Jameela Jamil, and revealed that he had liposuction on his chest when he was just 12 years old.

Speaking to Jamil for her I Weigh interview series on IGTV, Smith said he went in for a day operation to have liposuction on his chest at 12 years old as his oestrogen levels were too high.



“I think at the time I was very happy about it. It didn’t really change anything,” Smith said. “I think I put the weight back on in like two weeks, cause I hadn’t figured out my relationship with food. But being 12 years old and having liposuction on your chest is quite a big deal.”

He also revealed that bullies targeted him for his weight when he was 11 years old, and that the victimisation lasted well into his teens.

“Being 12 years old and having liposuction on your chest is quite a big deal.”

– Sam Smith

“I had some horrible situations in school with guys. I mean, a guy grabbed my chest once in the playground in front of all his friends. That was horrible. It was f**ked up.

“I’ve started therapy a year ago which is why I’m doing this, which is why I’m starting to dig in deeper and realise that that’s partly why I get sad.”

Sam Smith: Body image issues are ‘the basis of all my sadness’

In the interview, Smith also said that his body image issues are “the basis of all my sadness.”

“Literally everything I’ve ever been sad about is my weight. I struggle with it every day.”

He said that – while he was on holiday a few months ago – he experienced a sudden urge to “fight against” his body image issues “instead of being a victim to them all the time.”

“This holiday, I was like, ‘I need to fight this because I can’t live my life like this anymore. It’s exhausting.’”

– Sam Smith

“It was another situation on holiday, every holiday I’ve ever been on, where everyone’s by the pool and I have to take my t-shirt off and get in the pool. And it’s a painful experience for me, since I was a kid.

“I used to get my mum to write notes to the school when I was like eight so I wouldn’t have to go to swimming lessons because I’d have to hold my chest like this,” he said, covering his chest with his arms.

“This holiday, I was like, ‘I need to fight this because I can’t live my life like this anymore. It’s exhausting.’”

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‘Toxic masculinity’ discourages men from talking openly about body image

Smith also linked the reluctance of men to speak about weight and body image to toxic masculinity, and said talking about his issues “feels a bit weird.”

“It doesn’t feel manly, does it, to talk about how I feel in my body every day. But that’s what I’m trying to fight against.”

Sam Smith had liposuction at 12 due to body image issues
Sam Smith (IGTV)

Smith and Jamil also discussed a public fat shaming incident that Smith experienced a number of years ago where he was photographed diving off a rock in Australia.

“I remember even at the time not thinking that I looked that bad, at my biggest I didn’t think that I was that big.”

“I got really big and I was being unhealthy and I was in Australia and I got a pap picture of me.

“I remember even at the time not thinking that I looked that bad, at my biggest I didn’t think that I was that big. But then it triggered something in me. It was wild. At the time I wasn’t actually paying attention to that but I was obviously subconsciously hurting because of what happened after that.”

Sam Smith starved himself ‘for weeks’ ahead of photoshoots

This is not the first time Sam Smith has opened up about his body image issues. Last month, he posted a shirtless photo on Instagram where he said that he used to starve himself for weeks ahead of photoshoots.

“Yesterday I decided to fight the f**k back. Reclaim my body and stop trying to change this chest and these hips and these curves that my mum and dad made and love so unconditionally.”

“Some may take this as narcissistic and showing off but if you knew how much courage it took to do this and the body trauma I have experienced as a kid you wouldn’t think those things.”

Addressing queer photographer Ryan Fluger, he said: “Thank you for helping me celebrate my body AS IT IS.”




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