The singer revealed her "new body" via a photo uploaded to Instagram, causing a stir on social media.
When I was browsing through social media recently, I was lambasted by posts about Adele's weight loss. People were raining down praise in all forms. There were folks complimenting her on how gorgeous she looked now, or how much healthier she is. How she finally put herself first. Look, I'm all for women doing whatever they want with and to their bodies in order to feel good about themselves. But I'll admit that Adele's weight transformation made me uncomfortable. Perhaps it wasn't the actual weight loss, but all the speculation and discussion about it that made me conflicted. Sure, Adele is beautiful now - but she was beautiful then too. Her beauty didn't come from her dress size.
I'm not trying to feed you some hippie-dippie crap about how the physical doesn't matter, how what's on the inside is more important. Which, of course, yes - what is on the inside does matter. However, there's no denying that the exterior plays an important role too. Especially when you're a world-famous artist. Even if you're a world-famous artist who's got a set of pipes like no other. When I first saw Adele on television, I was awestruck. I remember the moment clearly. I was barely a teenager, watching her music video for 'Chasing Pavements' on MTV (I'm not that old, alright?). Her chubby cheeks filled my screen and her double chin rested gracefully as she mouthed the words to one of her first singles. "Finally," I thought, "Someone like me."
Soon enough, nonetheless, she went from this small-town singer to a global superstar. Suddenly, it seemed, there were all these norms she had to conform to. I'll never know if Adele always wanted to lose all that weight and just never had the resources to. I mean, if we all had access to trainers like some of the world's most famous, we'd all have smokin' bodies too. What I do know is the unimaginable pressure of working in an industry like hers. If I can feel pressured to pick apart all my flaws with tweezers, how could Adele not? She has to perform on stage for millions of concertgoers and pose for the front covers on dozens of magazines. There's no doubt that she must have felt left out. Even with the recent rise of artists like Lizzo and heck, even Meghan Trainor, the industry hasn't changed much. Women are still expected to prod at their fat, skin, hair, and whatever else. They are still commodities.
When I lost a ton of weight - a long time after I had first seen Adele on TV - I'll admit, it felt good. Not in the sense that I felt healthier or inherently more beautiful, but all the compliments made me feel desirable. The attention I got from men especially satiated my hunger to be loved and wanted. Maybe that's how Adele felt (or feels). She doesn't owe us an explanation but I'm sure the compliments must feel good. With all this weight loss comes questions about whether she did it in a healthy way, why she did it, or who she did it for. But I don't think any of that matters.
There's an undeniable truth about how we treat fatness in society: to be fat is to be thought of as lazy, gross, unproductive, ugly... The list goes on. After a celebrity loses a bunch of weight and seems happy about it, we capitalize on that transformation to sell the idea of skinny. The idea that skinny and attractive go hand in hand. That only skinny is healthy, desirable. I know, as a fat woman, that that simply isn't true. I sincerely hope Adele is happy. More than that, I hope she uses her experiences as a former fat girl to change the way we perceive fatness. Fat Adele made me happy, she made me feel like the impossibility of being both talented and fat no longer had to be true. There's a part of me that will still see her that way, but every other part of me knows it's about those hippie-dippie things - her music, her talent, her inner beauty.