It’s as though the events Adele endured over her six-year hiatus all boil down to one fragment of her being: the way she looks, writes Gabrielle Ferlita
As a journalist and an all-round fan of Adele’s music, I was ecstatic when the singer made a return to the music industry after her six-year hiatus. But one thing that struck me when she finally resurfaced was the repeated debate surrounding her weight loss.
Last May, the star’s name trended on Twitter after she posted a birthday image to Instagram, sending the internet wild over her “physical transformation”.
Flash forward one year, where Adele racked up 24 million streams for her latest single Easy On Me in its first week alone, and the narrative is still much the same.
It was almost as if the events she endured over those six years away from the limelight – or the success she earned despite the hiatus – boiled down into one tiny fragment of her being: her appearance.
CBS via Getty Images)
It doesn’t matter that Adele had the fastest-selling album of all time with 25, when the headlines surrounding her return were almost entirely on her weight loss regime. What does that tell young women who look up to the star? That their success is defined by their appearance.
On Sunday, Adele appeared in a two-hour interview special with Oprah Winfrey on CBS across the pond, and of course, a conversation needed to be had about her weight loss. The singer told the talk show host that her “body has been objectified my entire career. I’m either too big or too small; I’m either hot or I’m not”. Only now, everyone is obsessed with her weight loss regime, rather than praising her for being “body positive” like they did before.
Even for the most seasoned celebrities, comments still get under their skin at times, especially when it’s personal. So much so that Adele told Oprah she “feels bad” that her weight loss made her fans feel “abandoned”. She even tried to gain control of the conversation about her weight loss by making a rather sad joke at her own expense when she appeared on Saturday Night Live last month – saying that her new look was down to Covid restrictions, where she had to “travel light”.
It’s disgusting that a woman who has been open about her battle with anxiety following her divorce was expected to go up on stage for a televised show and joke about her appearance, and it’s even worse that she felt the need to make light of the situation in order to take back control.
If stars like Adele are still affected by remarks about their appearance, how are young girls expected to rise above unscathed by these hurtful words, when they’re surrounded by them in the media? It’s time for women to stop apologising about their weight, and it’s time that we stopped fixating on it, too. Young girls need to know that their success is worth so much more than that.