Yesterday, Adele posted a picture on Instagram for her 32nd birthday, and it broke the internet.
She’s looking way slimmer than before, she’s changed up her entire style, and overall she seems to be thriving. That’s definitely what the comments on Instagram and Twitter reckon, and that was my first reaction too. Then I had to ask myself why I feel so invested in a woman’s bodyweight.
Adele fucking glow up
2010 2020 pic.twitter.com/Ne5W23UTcB
— white girl still in my trunk (@watchmygrandpa) May 6, 2020
TBH, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with cheering her on – if Adele is healthy, happy with her weight loss and if that’s what she wanted and worked towards then I don’t see the problem.
What’s sparking debate though, is the change in how people are talking about her, and the impact of Adele on the body positive movement.
In terms of the latter, all I have to say is: Adele’s body is not a battleground, and she never signed some contract to represent and uplift all fat women in the world. The fact that some people can discuss assumptions that perhaps the reason she lost weight was because she was self-hating and had internalised fat-shame is actually disgusting. Even more so are the discussions I’ve seen about Adele betraying the body positive movement and fat women in general by losing weight. What the actual fuck?
Adele being hated on for losing weight because SHE WANTED TO is proof that you can’t do anything in this world without being hated on. https://t.co/jSchkfe7Z7
— toto? (@ColbertTori) May 6, 2020
Adele’s body is not a playground for Twitter politics to dissect and build or destroy based on what she does for feminist movements – she is a real, complex person with her own visions and desires and she doesn’t hold the entire fucking body image debate on her shoulders.
Onto the other point, that I feel is more obvious but still needs stating: no, Adele is not a better version of herself now that she has lost weight.
After less than 20 hours since Adele’s first Instagram post of this year, she has gained over 2 MILLION new followers.
· The post has also became her most-liked one with currently more than 7.3 MILLION likes. pic.twitter.com/p6eQjkidZ7
— Adele Daily (@adeledailynet) May 6, 2020
Adele has always been incredibly successful, and her new look doesn’t make her more successful or better than she already was because her value isn’t tied to her weight. You can totally celebrate her and love her and support her – but why must her transformed body be called ‘revenge’ on an ex, or a ‘glow-up’ instead of just something Adele probably wanted to do for herself?
People can do what they want with their bodies. However, uplifting bodies that are thin regardless of how they got there and the mental wellbeing of those people, meanwhile admonishing and harassing people who don’t fit that body type, is very harmful. It is also -24,006 points.
— Janet (@Janet12358W) May 7, 2020
There’s this gross pattern of tying women’s worth to their bodies and to their attractiveness, and attributing any beautifying to wanting to either impress or get back at a man. Sure, some people do lose weight for those reasons, and they aren’t lesser people because of it – but why the fuck do we feel the need to even speculate? Why can’t we just have conversations about women that don’t include their interactions with men? It shouldn’t be a conversation topic to constantly obsess and find reasons to justify or attack a woman’s right to lose or gain fat.
I need people to lay off of Adele. That is all. She was beautiful when she was thick. She’s beautiful now. I don’t understand what someone else’s weight loss journey has anything to do with you
— Imani Gandy ☄️?? (@AngryBlackLady) May 6, 2020
Adele’s transformation isn’t even limited to her weightloss – though that seems to be the only thing people can see. Her entire Look(™) has changed – her hair styles went from sweet and modest to sexy and savage, her make-up style changed from doe-eyes to smirk. There’s so much that’s gone into reinventing her style that doesn’t include her weight, and not acknowledging that just kinda proves how Adele is constantly reduced to whether she is skinny or fat and rarely is the rest of her personality or aesthetic choices talked about.
the thing that has me shook the most about adele’s new image isn’t even the weight idc about that it’s the hair and outfits, she went from ‘take me to church’ to ‘take me for drinks’ and i’m HERE for it pic.twitter.com/HbLQ306RA2
— joe (@jxeker) May 6, 2020
Basically, you can cheer on someone for reaching their body goals. That’s fine. But maybe consider why you’re cheering them on – is it because you’re genuinely happy for them to get what they want and are invested in them as a person, or is it because you equate skinniness with beauty, and beauty with value and success, and you just like talking about women as if their bodies are the most interesting thing about them.