With everything that is going on in the world right now, you would think we would take a moment to stop policing womens’ bodies and their diets, but that would be hoping for too much out of the world. Recently, Adele has lost weight, not that I gave it much attention with all the work I had left to finish in the last few weeks. There was a lot of speculation around it when photos had surfaced in March but now, she has posted the pictures herself and it is all I am hearing about. You cannot input her name in the searcher without seeing ‘weight loss’ attached to it. However, whenever we talk about anyone’s weight loss, it’s a complicated issue because it is something that is constantly celebrated.
Perhaps the internet has forgotten what she has achieved. If you cannot remember let me name a few. She is the recipient of fifteen Grammy awards, she even has a Golden Globe and an Oscar, alongside her record-breaking albums. Clearly that is not enough. She is never going to be measured by her success. She will be remembered for her weight loss. There is even a Skinny Adele meme. It places the singer opposite pictures of processed food and questions the reader which one they would prefer.
Oh, to live in a world where a women’s body is weaponized against herself.
It also highlights how the internet is quick to vilify and fear food. The interest in celebrity weight will never cease to exist, nor will policing female bodies, but perhaps we can move on from this behavior. It has been around since Eve at the apple. This goes beyond the progress regarding gender equality. Yes, the world is more interested in what enters a woman’s mouth rather than what comes out of it, but weight is a torment that never ends.
If you’re a plus-size woman, you are made to feel disgusting for not being thin, by the fashion industry and by those around you. The world is celebrating the fact that she is wearing skimpy dresses and spending money on new clothes to make up for lost time. That narrative is reductive and harmful. I am one of those so-called plus-sized women and after my first year at university, I realized I never needed to hide. At the end of the day Adele chose to lose weight. Why is that any of our business?
By discussing another person’s weight loss, it reinforces the concept that being thin should be celebrated. I once had a twenty-seven-inch waist, trust me, it was not the key to my happiness. Being thin is not the magic key to success, beauty or happiness. Adele made a choice to lose weight. What about the average woman? They could have lost weight for several reasons: depression, an eating disorder, stress, a medical condition, or anything else. Jonah Hill lost weight, and while people noticed, it never got the same number of headlines as Adele’s. Her extremely publicized weight loss in comparison serves as a reminder that women are still seen as little more than how they look.
There is nothing wrong with her decision either. She had every right to lose weight, her body is not ours, and it should not be a form of regression in the body positivity movement. It does not matter that she has decided to change her body, she should still be relatable, since body positivity is about accepting all bodies in all sizes. Adele is not accepted as being ‘fat’. Adele is not accepted as being ‘thin’. I have fit into so many sizes in the past six years and the shame never ends. You could be a size four or a size eighteen, it does not matter, shame comes with any size.
You can be thin, but you are told to gain weight. You can be fat, but you are told to lose weight. It seems that no matter what I achieve, and what Adele achieves, female worth is still measured by weight. I wish people would stop commenting on other people’s bodies. Before commenting on someone’s weight, perhaps think about why you are doing it. We have progressed so far as women, but we are still placing a high value on weight and our visuals, rather than other achievements. It is time to reevaluate what we consider to be a compliment.