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I’m not here to make friends – just to attract homophobia

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

Content warning: reference to homophobic and fatphobic tweets.

Sam Smith has recently been the topic of much discussion; however, this article addresses the attention their most recent music video ‘I’m not here to make friends’ has received. Short snippets of the music video have been appearing on my Twitter feed all week, along with retweets and comments that sparked anger at how horrendous people online can be.

The music video is full of extravagant outfits and makeup, with a sexual charge amongst the male dancers and yes, the outfits are revealing so I’m guessing you can quickly guess where this is leading. The first tweet I came across was an attachment of the video and the question ‘what do we think about Sam Smith’s new video?’, which of course meant people were retweeting and quickly sharing their homophobic and fatphobic opinions.

The first tweet that was brought to my attention was ‘imagine putting this outfit on, standing in front of a mirror, seeing this reflected back at you and thinking: “I look AMAZING”. This was accompanied by a stream of body-image directed messages such as “Sam Smith fatass rly be doing shit’”. From what I was reading it was clearly an alarming amount of people online deciding what body type is allowed to wear certain outfits. The comments were fatphobic and explicitly shamed them for wearing revealing clothes because Sam Smith doesn’t fit the eight-pack status quo. Countless male artists such as Harry Styles, Chris Brown, and Maroon 5 have produced videos in a revealing manner and have received no harassment or trolling of the sort, not to mention in music videos for years women have been objectified in underwear and even nudity yet I struggled to find complaints from online platforms about it disturbing our youth and being vulgar. After the recent WAP took the charts by storm, Carbi b was said to be fierce and sexy, was it perhaps because she was the body type the media forces people to desire and normalise?

After reading into the fatphobic trolls, I delved deeper to find people making comparisons between Andrew Tate and the music video. This was when I became horrified. One tweet read “what the hell is this disturbing content? The UK government ban a man like Tate from schools who promote hard work & fitness, yet nobody speaks up about this degenerate promoting this filth to the youth? They call this ‘art’. This should be banned & so should he be”. This tweet alone is enough to do an entire discourse analysis on, the suggestion that Andrew Tate was banned for promoting hard work and fitness rather than his charges of trafficking and his continuous sexist rants in which he encourages sexual violence against women and implicit rape is beyond absurd. However, Sam Smith who promotes ‘filth to the youth’ is quite simply being shamed for expressing himself and his own sexuality, it is undoubtedly homophobic. It seems to me that music videos such as Blurred Lines, WAP and Rihanna’s S&M did not receive the panic of promoting filth to the youth when singing about the blurred lines between consensual and non-consensual sex, Wet Ass Pussy, and bondage. The common theme seems to be that when thin straight women parade themselves in revealing clothes this is acceptable, but when a plus-size non-binary individual does the internet deems it unacceptable.

People making tweets of this sort are what deserve to be banned, random individuals do not get to decide what body type can wear what clothing and what sexuality is acceptable to be shown in the music. As for the people alarmed about what their children can see online, it isn’t Sam Smith’s job to censor what your children see.

Caitlin Sweeney

Nottingham '23

A lover of Wilde and Shelley, and a guilty pleasure for 80s music. I believe chocolate and tea can solve 98% of my problems, I am always up for new challenges and learning new things !