Sam Smith Fans Celebrate and Defend Singer's Bold Music Video Costumes Amid Backlash
A Capitol Records UK / EMI recording; © 2023 Universal Music Operations Limited
Sam Smith's loyal fan base is speaking up in defense of the singer's expressive style.
Smith, who came out as non-binary in May 2019, released a music video for their hit single "I'm Not Here to Make Friends" on Friday, featuring several opulent costume changes including a hot pink furry coat dress — which he also rocked recently on SNL — and a cream corset look complete with pearl chains, sparkly gloves and matching nipple covers.
In the video, Smith also wears a Vegas-inspired black showgirl outfit with a large feathered headdress, low-cut corseted satin top and matching satin black skirt with a thigh-high slit.
The sexy looks sparked some backlash on social media — with one user even calling the video "vile and evil" and inappropriate for children — but was promptly shut down by Smith's fans who defended the costumes, designed by Christian Cowan. Many said the criticism of the video reeked of fatphobia and homophobia.
"The backlash against Sam Smith is absolutely about people not wanting people to be overtly sexual unless they're skinny," wrote one user in support of the "Unholy" singer.
"If they were doing that routine with exposed abs there would be no articles about this debating if it's suitable for children," the Twitter user added.
"I was going to ask "what has sam smith done to deserve this amount of hate directed at them," another fan tweeted. "But it's quite literally that they're queer and fat isn't it. that's what it comes down to."
The backlash against Sam Smith is absolutely about people not wanting people to be overtly sexual unless they’re skinny
— marcus 🇧🇧🏳️🌈 (@marcusjdl) January 29, 2023
RELATED: Sam Smith Says Their Body Dysmorphia Helped Them Realize Non-Binary Identity
"I finally watched the Sam Smith video and was like "that's...it?!" tweeted comedian Sooz Kempner. "Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon were in full joyful drag in the I Want To Break Free video almost 40 years ago. In the middle Freddie is writhing with ballet dancers. Ya bunch of prudes."
"If Sam Smith were thin, cis, and straight, they wouldn't be ridiculed for how they present and dress. If Harry Styles wore the same fits on a magazine cover, y'all would be screaming YAS QUEEN. Anyway, support fat queer people," writer Mae Murray posted on Twitter.
Added another fan: "sam smith looks so much sexier and happier now and it's pretty sad how many people would prefer for them to [be] thin closeted and depressed."
sam smith looks so much sexier and happier now and it’s pretty sad how many people would prefer for them to he thin closeted and depressed
— samson (@testochunky) January 29, 2023
The chart-topper recently made headlines when they shared an Instagram video from fashion designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin rocking barely there denim.
The 30-year-old British superstar was recorded shaking what their momma gave them to the tune of Jessie Reyez's verse in their new song "Gimme," which was released in early January and also features Koffee.
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The singer is in a simple black tank top, a black leather jacket — which was draped off the shoulder — and the aforementioned barely there jeans made by de Saint Sernin himself. Smith finished the look with a studded belt, a simple chain necklace and retro-looking sunglasses to tie the daring-yet-flattering look together.
Smith recently admitted that they are no longer fazed by any opinions about their size, and they're still using music as an outlet.
Talking with The Sunday Times, the singer, 30, recently opened up about feeling good in their skin after struggling with their weight while being in the public eye. They admitted that it was a long journey before they were able to be comfortable enough to pose topless for their recent album cover Gloria.
RELATED VIDEO: Sam Smith Says 'Changing' Their Pronouns 'Felt Like Coming Home'
"Within my industry there is definitely that question of, 'What should a pop star look like?'" they told the outlet, noting that they never fit the "norm." However, Smith revealed that the turning point with their self-image was after their Thrill of It All tour in 2018.
"When I was 25 I came off tour exhausted. I looked to role models in the body world. Every time I went to the pool I felt self-conscious, but I forced myself to take my top off," they said. "It paid off because I now have the opposite of body dysmorphia. I look fabulous. I'm finally getting a tan. I'm burnt in places I've never been burnt."