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Sam Smith Shares the ‘Body Trauma’ He Experienced as a Child With Shirtless Photo


Editor's Note

If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.

Sam Smith is fighting back against his lifelong struggle with self-image.

The four-time Grammy winner shared a shirtless photo of himself on Instagram, opening up about his struggle with disordered eating, self-image and experiencing “body trauma” as a child.

“Yesterday I decided to fight the f*ck back,” Smith wrote. “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.”

 

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In the past if I have ever done a photo shoot with so much as a t-shirt on, I have starved myself for weeks in advance and then picked and prodded at every picture and then normally taken the picture down. Yesterday I decided to fight the fuck 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. Thank you for helping me celebrate my body AS IT IS @ryanpfluger I have never felt safer than I did with you. I’ll always be at war with this bloody mirror but this shoot and this day was a step in the right fucking direction ????????????????

A post shared by Sam Smith (@samsmith) on

In addition to sharing his own struggles, Smith addressed folks who might write off his post as “showing off.”

“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,” Smith wrote.

Though he didn’t elaborate on what he meant by experiencing “body trauma,” according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), struggles with disordered eating are often linked to other types of trauma, including emotional neglect or abuse, sexual assault, bullying and physical assault.

Even without knowing what exactly Smith went through as a child, many folks who have experienced body shaming growing up may be able to relate to his present struggles with self-image.

In the piece, “15 ‘Harmless’ Comments People Heard Growing Up That Affect Their Body Image Now,” Mighty community member Christy M. said people used to tell her she would be pretty if she just “lost some weight.”

[This comment] messed me up for for life! Yeah, I know, beauty is not the end all and be all and shouldn’t be, but I’ve always avoided really looking in a mirror since then. I’m always afraid of what I’d see looking back at me. Would I see my mother? Would I see my own flaws? Still don’t know since I still don’t really look.

Comments like these can be incredibly damaging to anyone — not to mention children who are still in their formative years of development.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. If you want to connect with others who have been there, download our free app and post a Thought or Question on The Mighty with the hashtag, #EatingDisorders.