We Can Celebrate Adele’s Weight Loss Without Making Thinness the Reason


May 7, 2020


Image credit: Adele's Instagram

Yesterday, singer and songwriter Adele apparently broke the internet by posting an Instagram birthday photo. The cause of this worldwide web wreckage was her dramatic weight loss. The Rolling in the Deep hitmaker lost around 45kgs — and an understated reveal of this fact, thanking first responders and healthcare workers, instead of focusing on her own transformation, has everyone lovestruck and joyous for her.

This is sweet, supportive joy, but it’s not healthy — as many would argue — due to the clear celebration of her slimmer figure. Journeys from fat to slim are seen as sources of joy, because people believe choosing conventional beauty is the correct, positive choice to make. Social media, newspapers, and websites are losing their mind attempting to understand how Adele lost weight, and how you too, can look just like her. The insensitivity of this rampant desire to decode thinness, has left fat people wondering if they need ‘Adele moments‘ to receive affection at such a large scale. Others posited that publicly showcasing weight loss may promote disordered eating, a standard of thinness, and the routine otherization of fat bodies.

According to what sources close to Adele told The New Daily, the singer’s primary motivation to lose weight was because she didn’t feel great, and because she wanted to learn how to treat her body better. Rather than making over-the-top assumptions about how or why a celebrity chose to lose weight, perhaps there’s positive messaging from this that is not focused on thinness. Perhaps it is that Adele chose to care for her body after years of feeling like she couldn’t, and that making an effort to care for ourselves is a sure pathway towards self-acceptance, regardless of what shape it comes in.

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The problem remains our assumptions about what weight loss means. When we look at a celebrity’s rapid transformations — like weight loss, sculpted abs, plastic surgery — our unwavering hyperfocused gaze feels entitled to dissect and assume their motives, and their mental state. Just as it is weird to assume Adele chose to lose weight to be thin and hot, it remains a little weird to assume that Adele lost weight because of mental trauma or disordered eating.

Bodies are moldable and unique — they keep changing according to a variety of reasons, including genetics, internal function, and external activity. Weight loss is merely a facet of that. A rejection of our culture’s obsession with thinness does not come with the rejection of weight-loss, but the rejection of choosing thinness as the standard to hype up and emulate. We already know way too much about the million and one different ways to lose weight. Let Adele find comfort in how she treats her body, and let us be okay with ours. Don’t think too much about how she lost weight and why.


Written By Aditi Murti

Aditi Murti is a culture writer at The Swaddle. Previously, she worked as a freelance journalist focused on gender and cities. Find her on social media @aditimurti.


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