Rumor Has It: Adele’s Recent Weight Loss Sparks Twitter War
- July 23, 2020
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May 5 — Singer Adele posts for the first time since Dec. 2019 to thank fans and supporters for birthday messages. Source: Instagram/@Adele
Famed UK singer/songwriter, Adele,, dedicated her first Instagram post of 2020 to express gratitude toward her loyal fans for their heartfelt birthday wishes and essential workers for their service during the coronavirus pandemic. There is nothing seemingly unusual about a post-birthday photo showing up on the “gram,” timeline so why the big fuss?
Not long after its debut, the photo went viral across social media platforms creating speculation on the star’s visible weight loss. Twitter users quickly opened up the internet floor for debate to argue if praise is the most appropriate response to acknowledge somebody’s body transformation.
Twitter user @Fola_ldn expresses admiration toward Adele’s new physical appearance. Source: Twitter.com
Unreal. Insane — these are some adjectives used to describe Adele’s noticeable weight loss. Why do we translate losing a significant amount of weight to a “glow up,” or incredible full body transformation? Is it a coincidence that we associate thin bodies with success and achievement? U.S. hegemony or dominant culture celebrates bodies that possess Eurocentric or white features, such as small-framed bodies, light skin and colored eyes.
Prior to her weight loss, Adele presented herself as an unapologetic, fat woman. In fact, the word fat is vastly considered a vulgar or offensive term because it carries negative connotations. Terms synonymous to fat include full-bodied, curvy and thick, to name a few and are largely used by the media to describe those who do not fit under the category of slim, thin or skinny. It comes to no surprise to me that fat women are regularly shamed and encouraged to lose weight, meanwhile skinny women are praised and celebrated.
Adele’s visible weight loss serves as inspiration for Twitter user @CCbucko, who praises the artist for apparently looking healthier. Source: Twitter.com
Celebrities’ thin bodies are admired and even used as “fitspo,” or fitness inspiration, by fans and supporters. Adele’s new figure is not only commended for its physical appearance, but apparently it is the embodiment of health as well. Twitter user, @CCBucko, speculates that Adele looks “so much healthier now” since losing over 100 pounds. Examining dominant Western culture, lean, slender bodies widely represent not only beauty and sexual attraction, but healthiness as well. Taking these hegemonic ideologies into account, what does this mean for the mental wellbeing of fat women? This twitter user evidently views Adele’s weight loss as a major accomplishment and seizes the opportunity to make a call for action for herself claiming, “if she can do it [she] can too.”
The singer’s Instagram photo inspires Twitter user @Sydney_leeann7 to share her own before-and-after body transformation photos. Source: Twitter.com
Adele’s latest Instagram post showcasing her new body served as an opportunity for the internet to show off their own body transformations, like Twitter user @Sydney_leeann7. Interestingly, this Twitter user addresses the singer’s visible weight loss as “progress,” and responds with a series of photos recording her own weight loss journey. What initially was a nonchalant, post-birthday photo sparked a thread of other previously fat women proudly displaying their before-and-after selfies, or self portraits. Women who do not possess thin bodies are motivated to shed “excess” pounds in order to fulfill society’s expectation of beauty and physical attraction.
It goes without saying that these gendered expectations are molded and perpetuated by the white, heteropatriarchy. Simply put, white, straight and wealthy males are given positions of power and they have complete control over media representation of women, on the screen and on print. If fat women do not see themselves accurately and respectfully represented in the media, they are most likely going to experience low self-esteem and lack of confidence, further encouraging them to take drastic measures to transform their bodies into a more socially-accepted one.
Twitter user @_Adadioramma shuts down comments accusing users of being fat-phobic for congratulating Adele on her “glow up.” Source: Twitter.com
“What do you [people] have against weight loss?” Twitter user @_Adadioramma asks the Twitter community. Body positivity activists push the agenda that all bodies should be celebrated and accepted regardless if they fit society’s strict beauty standards. However, this agenda could arguably be contradictory because when someone who has recently lost a significant amount of weight is complimented, it suddenly shifts into a hot debate about one body type being applauded over another. What is strikingly uncomfortable, however, is this Twitter user’s comment that blames Adele for posting “hot pics” of herself in the first place, because doing so apparently rolls out the welcome mat for unwarranted and unsolicited attention.
Celebrities in the public sphere, like Adele, undergo invasions of privacy such as having the worldwide web speculate and comment on your recent weight loss. It is not unusual in the slightest for female stars to be picked apart on public social media platforms, such as Twitter. What does our violation of female celebrities’ privacy say about how women overall are treated on society? For starters, women are objectified and viewed as accessories that are to be manipulated accordingly for the male gaze. Intimate topics, such as Adele’s weight, are publicly discussed and even sexualized as seen in this tweet.
Twitter user @RachelBock9 speculates that the people who don’t elicit a positive response toward Adele’s weight loss are obese women. Source: Twitter.com
The words “jealousy” and “fit shaming,” (a fictional word that is used when someone is bashed for having a toned, fit body) are among some of the words popularly used to describe Twitter users who feel as though appraisal over Adele’s new figure is not the most appropriate response. Additionally, Twitter user, @RachelBock9, argues that those who are not in full support of Adele’s body transformation are obviously obese women. We are reintroduced to the idea that skinny equates optimal health. Furthermore, it is clear that women project their internalized misogyny toward other women whose bodies do not fit under society’s Eurocentric standards of beauty.
Jealousy is attributed to those who do not condone Adele being celebrated for her body transformation, according to Twitter user @AmazonLoni. Source: Twitter.com
Weight loss glorification is inescapable according to Twitter user @AmazonLoni. To critique others for openly congratulating and praising Adele for her fit figure is apparently selfishly diminishing her latest “accomplishment.” Is the Twitter debate really about weight loss at this point in time? Arguably, the issue at hand is really about how society assumes that losing weight is meticulously planned and done with the intention of becoming a “healthier” version of oneself.
Twitter user @Phaeleigh shares their disappointment with the wave of positive feedback Adele received for her visible weight loss.
On the other hand, Twitter users who frown upon the intense amount of compliments that rained down on Adele following her Instagram post point out that the praise she is receiving may trigger those who have an eating disorder (ED) or may be recovering from one. Twitter user @Phaeleigh urges others to keep people with an eating disorder in mind when fawning over Adele’s body transformation. Words of praise, she notes, can easily be registered as validation that one’s value and weight go hand in hand.
Twitter user @heartstarlet claims that discussions about weight could potentially be triggering for people with eating disorders (EDs). Source: Twitter.com
Twitter user @heartstartlet also argues that positive reactions surrounding significant weight loss could prove to be triggering for those struggling with an eating disorder, or those recovering from one. Rapid weight loss, specifically, is idealized and seen as a symbol of success. This user makes it a point to share that Adele has always been someone that holds great beauty, regardless of her weight, and those who disagree are discriminatory toward fat people or in other words, “fatphobic.”
The topic of diet culture perpetuation is introduced by Twitter user @curvesncurlsuk. Source: Twitter.com
This tweet, written by Twitter user @curvesncurlsuk, introduces the hugely popularized term, “diet culture.” In summary, diet culture promotes and romanticizes food-restrictive diets. Dominant culture norms have made it so women are confined to their physical appearances — especially their weight. Adele’s “illustrious career,” as this Twitter user confirms, is seen as an important achievement, or milestone, in her notable career.
Is a celebration of weight loss encouraging unhealthy relationships with food? Twitter user @Nikki_Swift13 thinks so. Source: Twitter.com
Twitter user @Nikki_Swift13 also affirms that dignifying Adele’s rapid weight loss celebrates diet culture, food restrictive diets and disordered eating.
Losing weight often welcomes unsolicited compliments. Twitter user @johnsonave paints a darker picture for those who have unfortunately experienced or are currently living through an eating disorder.
Acclaimed publication, Vogue Magazine, suggests we cut out the weight talk altogether and await her new album instead.
We don’t have to dwell on the meaning of weight loss at all, according to Twitter user @taffyakner. Doing so only perpetuates the idea that women do not have agency over their own bodies.