Sam Smith has said he feels like he’s “reclaimed his body” after sharing the results of a shirtless photo-shoot on his Instagram page.
The multiple Grammy-winning singer has spoken in the past about his struggles with body image, undergoing an intense dieting regime following the success of his debut album In The Lonely Hour.
Posting on Instagram on Tuesday night, Sam said he had chosen to start “fighting the fuck back” against his own negative feelings about his appearance, starting with the beach photo he shared to his 11 million followers.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
He added: “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 photographer Ryan Pfluger, Sam said: “Thank you for helping me celebrate my body AS IT IS… 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.”
Ryan said of the picture on his own Instagram: “Thank you for trusting me to facilitate photographs that empower your ownership of your body and mind. I honestly wish everyone relinquished themselves to the experience like you did.”
Sam admitted in the early stages of his career that he’d initially deliberately tried to lose weight to try and get his music heard, telling the BBC back in 2015: “I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was when I started to be myself that the music flowed.”