Adele posted a picture on her 32nd birthday, making her 2020 debut on our feeds.
The little black dress, the genuine smile and the caption ‘Thank you for the birthday love. I hope you’re all staying safe and sane during this crazy time. I’d like to thank all of our first responders and essential workers who are keeping us safe while risking their lives. You are truly our angels. 2020 okay bye thanks x’ gathered way over 8,000,000 likes.
Her social media presence has always been rather sparse, so it comes as no surprise that everyone loses their minds every time the singer gives us a little snap into her personal life. And with her talent being undoubtedly second to none when it comes to music, we have all been singing (and crying to) her songs for many years.
But one Golden Globe, one Oscar and fifteen Grammys later, her career is still out-shined by what every female singer had to put up with at least once: the media making women’s bodies a public conversation.
Type ‘Adele’ into Google and you’ll be mortified. From tabloids stating that the LBD was a way to ‘show off’ her ‘transformation’, to other news sources even speculating that the weight loss was all about ‘revenge’ aimed at her ex-husband to be, media outlets jumped at the opportunity to dissect every inch of the picture and remind us that some people still want women to look a certain way (aka skinny). The assumption that Adele would have lost weight for anyone other than herself is problematic in itself; a smaller waistline is not an invitation into someone’s personal life and there is certainly no reason for it to be linked to an upcoming divorce.
It’s 2020. If you think a woman’s career is directly proportional to her weight, you need to reassess your standards.
The speculations about the singer’s ‘diet’ and the countless ‘before&after’ pictures show how disturbingly celebrated thinness is. All the articles discussing green juices, the Sirtfood diet, the made up fitness routines and the ‘change in style’ that came with the weight loss seem like rather sad excuses of content that, once again, push diet culture upon us. Because, you know, us women, we love to diet.
The sad thing is, Adele’s career success stories have always been accompanied by news about her body. ‘Rejecting the pressure’ to look a certain way had been long associated with her identity as a celebrity. Last December, people had lost it again when Adele posted a festive picture on Instagram celebrating the Christmas cheer, only for the comment section to be flooded by people applauding what the media then called a ‘huge three stone weight loss’.
The real question is, will this ever stop? Can we stop acting like someone’s awards, career milestones and acts of philanthropy are on the same level with the size of their jeans? It’s 2020. If you think a woman’s career is directly proportional to her weight, you need to reassess your standards.