Jorja Smith has opened up about the emotional impact of being body shamed online.
In June, “Jorja Smith weight gain” trended on Twitter/X for two days as trolls made unpleasant remarks about the Brit Award-winning star’s body shape.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the 26-year-old said that reading the comments had knocked her confidence, making her “really upset”.
“I have put on some weight, but what people don’t know is that I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a kid in school,” she added. “I usually deal with stuff in silence, but it’s really getting to me now.
“Look, I’m not 18 any more. I haven’t got a plastic surgery body, so my tummy is not flat,” she continued, before revealing that she no longer posts on her own Instagram account in order to avoid remarks from trolls.
However, Smith revealed that this attempt to limit her exposure to nasty comments isn’t foolproof, as she will often “be enjoying some time on TikTok and up pops a video of me with this s*** written on it”.
“I can’t escape,” she added, before telling the paper that the “horrid” trolling “makes me not want to do photoshoots, not want to go anywhere”.
“I just want them to listen to my music, but I’ll probably have to deal with this throughout my whole life,” Smith said, noting that she is in fact feeling the healthiest she has been in a long time.
“I’m actually healthy and people want to have a go at me,” she said. “I can’t win. I’m never gonna win, but I want people to know that these comments don’t bounce off me.”
In a previous interview with The Guardian, Smith admitted that she wished she had chosen a stage name at the start of her career, “so at least I could detach myself” from social media.
“It’s funny, my friend said, ‘I thought you didn’t read comments?’” she said. “And I was like, ‘I don’t, but sometimes it’s like I can’t escape it.’”
The “Be Honest” singer also shared her determination not to let the comments get to her, telling the paper: “I have to think, ‘What are they going through?’ No one’s ever said anything in person, never. It’s very interesting.”
Smith released her critically acclaimed debut album Lost & Found in 2018 and was named Rising Star at the Brit Awards in the same year. In 2019, she received her second Brit when she was named Best British Female.
She is set to release her second album Falling or Flying in September.