There is a reason why Adele is such an iconic personality for women everywhere. The woman has not only touched our hearts with her angelic voice and soulful sound that explores our innermost feelings of pain, sorrow, and heartache, but she is also fearless and resilient in terms of how she carries herself.
When she broke through years ago, many pointed out how she didn’t look like the traditional female popstar. She didn’t care about the size-zero figure, she didn’t care about baring skin and dancing around in her music videos. She’d built her career off her phenomenal voice and knew that it was enough to get her fans to adore, respect, and connect with her.
However, at the same time, Adele also never made a big deal about body positivity and being plus-size. There is something to be said about a woman who stays clear of all the controversy that’s whirling around her and just doing her own thing. She didn’t go on making pop hits about being big-boned or loving her curves; what made her special was how she just remained cool and composed.
As you may or may not know, Adele has been in the news recently. No, she didn’t release a new song, and no, she was not kissing some other A-lister. She just happened to lose weight. And that’s all it took to send the Internet into overdrive. Everyone had something or the other to say about her transformation but none of it changes that Adele is the same person she’s always been.
Adele’s weight loss blew everyone away
For her birthday, Adele posted a photo of herself standing in a garden while thanking the frontline workers that are risking their lives for the pandemic. It was a simple photo but many believed that it was incredibly noteworthy and had to be dissected a hundred times.
A lot of people began to commend Adele for undergoing what can be a very difficult process: losing weight. Others decided to take this moment to recognize the singer as someone who’s beautiful and sexy. Many decided to hold her up as a gold standard of healthy living and changing one’s life for the better.
And there was an entirely different group of people who started getting concerned for the singer. Questions like “Did Adele actually intend to lose weight?” or “Did the weight loss occur due to an undisclosed condition?” also surfaced amidst the discourse.
At the end of the day, the photo serves a harsh reminder to us that our bodies define us way more than we’d like. To be thin or to be fat is what often determines how others are going to perceive us.
This is what so many people think: if you’re thin, then simply you must be taking care of yourself and you make good choices. If you’re fat, you probably lack discipline and you’re likely very insecure about how you look. But the truth of the matter is that it’s all speculation. What we think about ourselves and our own bodies has nothing to do with what others see in us.
So it’s futile to have so many conversations and discussion about Adele’s drastic weight loss when Adele herself hasn’t referenced it even once and is just living her life as she always does. She needs to be able to speak on the matter and give her opinion before someone else runs away with declarative statements about Adele’s lifestyle.
But she’s always been proud of her body
This isn’t Adele’s first rodeo with this body speculation. Throughout her career, Adele has been hit with criticisms of her curvier shape. But the singer has never backed down from such judgments and has made opinion known when it matters.
Back in 2012, designer Karl Lagerfield said that Adele is a “little too fat.” However, that hardly bothered Adele; the singer instead defended herself and said her body type is the one that matches the majority of women out there. She also made it clear that she’s not one who aspired to look like the skinny models on magazine covers.
I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”
Adele to People
And that was hardly the only time Adele took to defending herself against the fat-shamers. In an interview on 60 Minutes Australia, the singer discussed how the body shamers came out in full force against women but men hardly have to address questions regarding their weight.
I’ve always been asked questions about my body and my weight and my size and my style and stuff like that…It’s a little bit annoying that men don’t get asked that question as much.
Adele to 60 Minutes Australia
It’s undeniable at this point that women are far prone to receiving criticism over their appearance than men, especially in the entertainment industry. We know that industry is often predicated on how a person looks and whether they fit the role but we tend to forget the music industry isn’t about playing characters or fitting a profile; it’s about being genuine and true to yourself. Something Adele has more than succeeded in.
Moreover, there are so many other men who get away with being overweight and do not suffer from that being the focal point of their public perception. Some even resort to using their weight as the ultimate punchline, as the butt of all their jokes. It’s a phenomenon that many women will never get to experience.
She’s had her insecurities but they don’t define her
While Adele has been honest about how she doesn’t need to be taking others’ hateful opinions into consideration, she has also mentioned numerous times that, like anyone else, she does suffer from insecurities here and there.
I do have body image problems, for sure, but I don’t let them rule my life, at all. And there are bigger issues going on in the world than how I might feel about myself and stuff like that.
Adele in SirirumXM Town Hall
Feeling occasionally insecure about your body doesn’t mean that you’re not any less proud of it or that you will just quietly take in all the criticisms as if they matter at all.
If someone’s going to start hitting you with harsh critiques of your body, then you have all the right in the world to stand up for yourself. At the same time, you also have the right to go to the gym the next day because you want to work on your fitness.
At the end of the day, weight is something that never remains stable — it’s going to keep fluctuating over the years. So to pretend that something as non-permanent as your weight should take control of the entirety of your life is a ludicrous thought. We should acknowledge those insecurities but at the same time, we need to avoid people who want to point them out to us at all times.
Adele said it herself that she’s well aware of her insecurities but she also doesn’t want to obsess over her weight.
I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears down on them…And I don’t want that in my life. I have insecurities, of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.
Adele to British Vogue
Self-love doesn’t change alongside your body
Adele has always been an advocate of loving yourself, before and after her weight loss. Many like to repurpose this narrative as “loving oneself despite one’s flaws,” but that’s not accurate, either. If we want to achieve self-love, then we don’t need to see our bodies as flawed at all. Our bodies are beautiful and they’re ours and only ours — it’s nobody’s business to tell us what we should do with them.
However, just because we’re proud of our own bodies also doesn’t mean that we can’t take action towards making some changes. When it comes down to health and fitness, a lot of us choose to change our bodies because we love our bodies.
But that doesn’t take care of the insecurities either. The insecurities will remain with us either way but that should never get in the way of practicing self-love.
While Adele hasn’t addressed her weight loss publicly, her body transformation doesn’t change her values and her principles. Those are the core concepts that have made her the feminine icon she is today, not the couple of pounds she loses or gains in the coming years. Her weight loss doesn’t make her a hypocrite or discredit her.
Why we could all use some of Adele’s confidence
As many of us are locked in confinement, we are forced to confront our insecurities with little to no sources of distraction. Much like Demi Lovato pointed out, “I think it’s so important for anybody that has dealt with body image [issues] that right now when we’re home with our mirrors and things like that, it’s so important to not get consumed in negative self talk.”
When we are removed from the judgment or validation of others, we are forced to rely on our own. This is why we could all take a page from Adele’s book, by learning to love ourselves, no matter what the number on the scale is.
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