For the last 40 years of pop music, sex has been a central preoccupation. From Madonna's Justify My Love to catchy choruses that chant 'I’m horny, horny horny horny' and Britney Spears' seductive I'm a Slave 4 U video - it's nothing new. So, the selective online outrage about Sam Smith's music video has sparked conversations about discrimination and fatphobia.
The catalyst for the Sam Smith discourse taking over the internet stems from the release of their music video, I'm Not Here to Make Friends. The song comes from their recently released album, Gloria. In the video Sam gracefully descends from a helicopter in a fluffy pink outfit and struts along a red carpet into a luxurious castle, where they proceed to dance in a series of dazzling outfits.
During the video, Smith is surrounded by many performers in historically inspired outfits, including cream-coloured corsets with love-heart shapes cut out around the bum. After an outfit change, Sam is also sporting a corset, lace gloves and nipple tassels.
Whilst some viewers hit back at the sexual nature and 'raunchy' outfits in the video, others have made awful comments that are mocking Sam's body. Sadly, more comments of this nature are floating around social media than the positive or constructive ones. In the face of the backlash, the internet has come to Sam's defence and called out the blatant fatphobia.
Many have stated that if Smith perhaps looked like other pop stars like Olly Alexander or Lil Nas X they probably would'nt be getting the same backlash for wearing the outift. One fan tweeted, 'I was going to ask "what has Sam Smith done to deserve this amount of hate directed at them" but it's quite literally that their queer and fat isn't it? That's what it comes down to.'
Just last month, the internet also came to Sam's defence after a barage of abuse about their sparkly jumpsuit. Thankfully, most of Twitter stepped up to defend Sam and call out body shaming, and have pointed out that Sam’s not the only one to rock a sparkly jumpsuit on stage either. ‘I've see a lot of people trashing Sam Smith for wearing this fab jumpsuit but praising Harry Styles for wearing basically the same thing,’ said one Tweet, alongside images of the two performers side by side. From Elvis to David Bowie - we have seen this outfit donned on stage for decades. So, why was it ever a problem when Sam did it?
The thousands of people writing comments that are aimed to ridicule Sam's body should really think about the long-lasting effects of their words on people. Have they ever cared to consider the harmful and insidious effects of fatphobia? Discrimination is not a solution. Sam is clearly happy in their skin and no one has the right to give judgement on their body. The singer previously urged fans to 'love our fluctuating bodies,' and has spoken about their struggles with their body image.
Some people on Twitter have stated that Sam should 'think of the children' when their releasing these videos. As far as we're aware, Sam dosen't create content for children and has never claimed to.
Sadly, it's no surprise that a non-binary singer who is embracing their queerness and body is continuing to face such hatred. It all feeds into the same agenda: to undermine and erase all forms of non-conformity in the mainstream. Before Sam's album, Gloria, was even released their Instagram comments were flooded with hateful comments.
There seems to be a lot of double standards and selective outrage when it comes to Sam Smith. Something about them being comfortable in their body and thriving really rilles up the trolls. All Sam's done is embrace themselves wholeheartedly and create art they care about.