celebrity

Everyone is talking about Adele's 'new body'. I live in her old one.

Adele losing weight makes me sad; there, I said it. I know that statement alone probably makes me a bad feminist, but it’s how I feel. 

Of course, women should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies, and we shouldn’t be commenting on it, but at the same time we can’t ignore what happens when a woman who lives her life in the public eye loses a lot of weight. 

It kicks off a never-ending fat phobic conversation and frankly as a plus-size woman, I can’t ignore how it makes me feel, and I can’t pretend that I don’t find it exhausting and triggering.

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It’s really not about Adele at all.

It’s about all the Adeles, all the women that come into the public eye a certain size and shrink over time and are applauded for it. 

Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, the list goes on. Honestly, I don’t care how much Adele weighs or doesn’t weigh, but the stories and conversations ignited by her weight loss - they get under my skin and remind me why I still struggle to feel good about myself. 

They all enforce the same thing - that being thinner makes you sexier, prettier, more desirable and just plain better.

While Adele is being praised left, right and centre for her ‘new’ body, I’m still living in one that looks a lot like her ‘old’ body.

Of course, It wouldn’t have mattered what Adele did or didn’t do or say about her weight loss, it was always going to be discussed, even the fact that it shouldn’t be addressed would be discussed. 

Now, when you google Adele’s name, you are no longer just met with her incredible music. 

Instead, you are also bombarded by various articles that offer diets and workout plans so you can get Adele’s new body. 

The implication is clear that no one wanted her old body, and really how is that meant to make the rest of us, walking around with her old body type, feel?

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The problem with our culture is that we treat weight loss like an incredible achievement, which means when a celebrity debuts a noticeably slimmer figure, they are then used as the example, the ultimate marketing tool, to send the message to all other women that they should be smaller too.

Although our words have changed over the years, you’ll see publications refer to her new figure as ‘healthy,’ rather than ‘skinny,’ the implication is always the same: Adele looks better thinner, and you would too.

It doesn’t just stop and start in the media either. 

A celebrity weight loss is water cooler talk, it’s right up there with reality television small talk. The number of conversations I’ve been subjected to about how great Adele looks now are too many to count. I stand there and nod and smile, and all I can think is how I am the ‘old’ Adele.

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As a feminist, I’m not entirely sure how to navigate this. 

On the one hand, I desperately want women to live freely in the world without their bodies being constantly scrutinised. 

On the other hand, I understand that representation is important. 

When Lena Dunham got undressed in her show Girls and showed off a non-flat stomach, I felt thrilled, absolutely chuffed to see a woman that looked a little bit like how I looked naked. 

So when Adele rose to fame, I was also happy to see a woman who looked like myself and other women I know. A woman who could look gorgeous at any awards ceremony, who wore high fashion and went to the most fabulous events and was an A-lister, all without being thin, it felt like a victory, a win.

So yes, when I saw she lost weight, it was hard to not feel a little disappointed. 

Some part of me will always wonder did she just bow to societal pressure? Of course, I’ve read that she attributes her weight loss to working out so much for her mental health, and I’m not saying I don’t believe her. 

Still, I can also understand being in an industry and being surrounded by petite women might make you want to just fit in, no matter what. 

Not wanting to be the ‘plus-size’ girl but wanting to just be the ‘hot girl’ - after all, that’s what she’s become, the language around her since her weight loss has. completely changed, no longer is she considered a ‘pretty face’ now she’s considered just plain old gorgeous. 

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It’s also worth noting that pretty much every plus-size woman that enters the industry ends up becoming substantially smaller, and we can’t just chalk that up to coincidence. 

Being a plus-sized woman in the public eye must be beyond exhausting. I know this because being a plus-sized woman in the non-public eye is beyond exhausting. I can understand opting out.

Adele losing weight makes me sad and of course it’s because I’m relating it to myself and my own experiences.

"Adele losing weight makes me sad and of course it’s because I’m relating it to myself and my own experiences." Image: Supplied.

I’m completely projecting my own feelings onto her and that absolutely isn’t fair. 

But in my defence plus-size women so desperately need representation in the mainstream media and I won’t pretend that losing one isn’t a little upsetting. 

Adele’s weight loss has launched a million fat phobic and problematic conversations about weight. And I’m over it. Adele looked great before and she looks great now. 

Her personality, talent, musical genius and the fact she seems like a really nice gal shine through no matter what her size. 

So, can we stop focusing on size and concentrate on what really matters? Please?

Feature Image: Supplied.

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