The attack on Sam Smith’s new persona: Are we really dancing with a stranger?

Sam Smith’s spicy 2023 Gloria tour sparked heated debates among internet users about how they portray themself to the public eye.

via Wikipedia

Sam Smith’s spicy 2023 Gloria tour sparked heated debates among internet users about how they portray themself to the public eye.

Cheyenne Meeks, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Deviating from their earlier celebrity image, Sam Smith has adopted a more lively persona by incorporating bold fashion statements and new movements in their performances. Smith has gradually built their identity as a member of the LGBTQ community and is now fully expressing themselves through their new music. However, their new look was met with considerable opposition from the public.

Sam Smith’s most recent controversy surrounded their performance of “Unholy” in their 2023 Gloria Tour. Smith was attacked for their somewhat “vulgar” and “overly sexualized” appearance after appearing on stage wearing nothing but a thong, fishnet tights and high heel boots. 

Senior Elyanna Toulou was caught by surprise when a video of Sam Smith’s performance popped up on her phone. “I was scrolling through TikTok when suddenly I got a video of Sam Smith shaking their bare butt on my For You page. I’m going to be honest, it caught me off guard because of how sudden it was and how different the video was from what I was watching previously.”

Online users were also quick to point fingers at Smith for promoting “satanic fetish acts,” as they were wearing devil horns and nipple tassels during their performance. It’s important to note that many artists are known to do raunchy and revealing music shows, so targeting Smith for their “corruption” is undoubtedly wrong. 

A heated source of debate among fans is the lack of clarity in the age-appropriate nature of their Gloria tour. According to Ticketmaster, concert attendees under 15 had to be accompanied by someone 18 or older, but there was no mention of any age-restrictions. Other fans came to Smith’s defense, arguing that parents who brought their children should have been aware of the premise behind Smith’s album beforehand and should have expected explicit content.

However, it seems as though fans’ main focus was on Smith’s identity as a member of the LGBTQ community and their recent weight gain, which many used to attack their risque performances. One user on Twitter posted, “The only reason you don’t like Sam Smith doing it is because they’re queer and fat, which is very much a you problem.” 

Sophomore Jordan Ingram has similar opinions. “I think people like to find any possible way of making the LGBTQ community seem crazy so they choose to pin Sam Smith’s behavior on their queer identity. People need to understand that the members of the LGBTQ community are just people, so their identity is not the root cause of all their actions,” Ingram stated.

Smith has expressed that he felt pressured into putting up a facade for the rest of the world ever since he came into the limelight of the music industry and it wasn’t until recently that they felt comfortable in their skin. 

“It’s nice to see him comfortable with being himself,” Ingram continued. “I don’t necessarily like their current music more than their previous songs like ‘Dancing with a Stranger’ and ‘Too Good at Goodbyes,’ but I do like their newfound ability to unleash creativity in unconventional ways”

Smith’s new music may not resonate with everyone, but to frame their queer identity and bodily appearance as the source of all their “wrongdoing” conveys the extent to which fatphobia and queerphobia continues to pervade the music industry.