Why does the internet hate Sam Smith?

3 mins read

If you haven’t heard of Sam Smith, you’re probably living under a rock.

The singer-songwriter began to attract attention over a decade ago when their silky-smooth voice featured on tracks by Disclosure and Naughty Boy. They went on to win various awards, have chart hits all over the world and even record a Bond theme.

More recently however, they have come under fire for… seemingly just being themselves?

“Pathetic thing singing.” “This is what hell looks like, disturbing.” “Repulsive on so many levels!” These are just a sample of the hate-filled comments on the music video of Smith’s song Unholy featuring Kim Petras.

Smith came out as non-binary in 2019 and since then their gender presentation has become a lot more playful, alternating between bold masculine suits and feminine flowing dresses. Even if you’re not a fan of their music, it’s undeniable that they’re a style icon.

And let’s be honest, if someone cis and skinny like Harry Styles was wearing these fits, the internet would be going feral for it. Smith just has the bravery to do it whilst being both openly queer and fat – an unforgivable crime in the eyes of the YouTube comment section.

Smith has never shied away from talking about their issues with body image either. During an interview with Zane Lowe, they discussed the cover for The Thrill of It All, Smith’s second album.

“I mean, I was starving,” Smith said. “I was hungry, I was genuinely hungry.”

The Thrill of It All (2017), Gloria (2023). Image Credit: Capitol Records

Comparing the photos of Smith used for Thrill back in 2017, versus the one for their new album Gloria, it’s like day and night. The fact that people say they “miss the old Sam” is rather disturbing when you look at the photos side by side. Nowadays they look genuinely happy and comfortable in their own skin. Gone is that scared, sad expression. They look directly into the camera – they’re in control of their own story now.

They have the confidence to show off their body – good for them. Shame on anyone who tries to say otherwise.

Finally, to those arguing that their music videos are “too sexual”: have you ever watched a music video, like, ever? This is nothing new. From Madonna dressed in S&M gear for Human Nature in 1995 to Britney naked in a steam room with Womanizer in 2008, music videos have always been sexually charged. I swear we all had this conversation circa 2020 when WAP was released.

Sam Smith is an icon at the end of the day. I, for one, sincerely hope they keep doing what they’re doing.

Feature Image Credit: Apple Music/YouTube

+ posts

Film, media and journalism student. I like writing about my inability to eat gluten.

1 Comment

%d bloggers like this: