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I Can't Believe We Are Talking About Adele's Weight Loss. Again.

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Editor's Note

If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.

Adele has been turning heads for a long time. The soulful singer with the rich, sultry voice, haunting lyrics and timeless eyeliner has long been captivating hearts and minds since 2008’s hit album, “19.” However, over the past few months, the public conversation about Adele has started to change, and for the worst reason. Because she lost weight.

People, the world over, are obsessed with weight loss. And this was no different when Adele posted a photo of herself on Instagram this week. Fans were quick to take to Twitter and praise Adele on the “revenge body.” One fan called her apparent body transformation “glow up after breaking up with her ex.”

This isn’t the first time people have zeroed in on the singer’s weight. In December of last year, Adele posted a photo that prompted the exact same conversation about her weight loss. While disappointing, it isn’t a shock that people in 2020 still hold toxic ideas about fatness. After all, you can hardly escape the sexualizing of women’s bodies in media. Even with adblockers, you’re subject to tropes about women and unrealistic body expectations.

I get it. It’s hard to admit when you’ve been harmful to your fat friend, but we need to find some common ground, here. The fat people, we are tired.

It’s never appropriate to comment on someone’s body in an unsolicited way, and we have to stop normalizing it. Here’s why:

1. You don’t know their history with dieting and weight loss.

First, you don’t know what someone has been through in their weight journey. When you compliment weight loss, you could be talking to someone who is suffering from an eating disorder or was recently treated for a chronic illness.

That’s just it. You don’t know.

Maybe you’re talking to serial dieter with a long history of yo-yo dieting, perhaps it’s someone who binges and purges to maintain their ideal weight? A small body does not equal a healthy body, and any time someone has undergone rapid or extreme, noticeable weight loss, there could be an underlying medical or personal reason that is painful to discuss.

2. Unsolicited weight loss remarks are inherently fatphobic and steeped in systemic racism.

What it boils down to is if you compliment someone for losing weight, the implication is that their prior weight was worse because it was fatter. This idea that fatness is bad. This is a relatively new concept in the span of history.

Artwork depicting Venus from more than 20,000 years ago shows a historical preference for fat bodies. Up until the 1990s, some areas of the world including Puerto Rico and American Samoa were fat-positive. It is globalism that has pushed the Western ideal the small, thin bodies are superior.

3. Viewing women’s bodies as a tool for “revenge” is not in concert with our best interests.

Finally, if you made it to this point in my TEDTalk, bless you. Because now, we are going to talk about the “revenge body” toxicity.

Long story short, the “revenge body” is a notion steeped in fatphobia and misogyny. Hands down! Speculating and commenting on Adele’s body transformation is disrespectful, promotes the notion that a woman’s body must conform to societal standards, and it’s just flipping rude.

Not to mention, viewing a woman’s body as a mechanism for revenge takes a page out of the incel playbook. For example, take the case of David K. Elam II, who leaked revenge porn as a way to get back at a former partner. I’m not saying calling weight loss “revenge” is the same as revenge porn, but that said, they are both fueled by the similarly toxic notion that the female body can be weaponized and used to hurt men. It’s objectifying and steamrolls the idea that women should be able to steer the discussion about their achievements.

Ultimately, while a body comment may seem confident or inspiring, it comes from the deeply ingrained bias that fat is bad. It’s this mindset that allows systemic barriers to exist for this group. If you love Adele, you’d do best to keep scrolling before commenting on her weight online.

Lead image via’s Adele’s Instagram

Originally published: May 6, 2020
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