Can We Talk About Adele and the Rampant Fatphobia?

By: Malak Atwa

Trigger Warning: mentions of eating disorders, weight loss and weight gain.

Special thanks to Zeina Amr for helping me write this article.

I really didn’t want to talk about this and make it into a bigger deal than it actually is, because it is not. However, the last picture that singer/ songwriter Adele posted to her instagram started a huge and incredibly unnecessary controversy and conversation that she had zero say in whatsoever. I didn’t want more people to talk about her and her own body without her consent, to start a conversation that she did not sign up for. However, the conversation is still ongoing, so I think it’s finally time that I talk about this.

Weight gain and weight loss are not as clear-cut as people continuously assume. It’s very frustrating. Reasons why someone might be gaining weight – or losing it – are literally indefinite. They are endless. Some people suffer privately and in secret with eating disorders and/ or physical and mental illness, which play a huge role in weight gain and loss. Not to mention of course the basis of biology which is genes, and yes those also can affect someone’s weight. Illnesses like PCOS, Hypothyroidism, ED and even depression can cause serious weight fluctuation. 

Something that makes me sick to my stomach is that people actually think that healthy is equivalent to being “skinny”, or that it’s a “glow up”. Everyone is always so quick to judge you if you gain or lose weight without asking how it happened. Before you “congratulate” someone for losing or gaining weight it is crucial that you ask them how they did it. You need to make sure that they used the correct and safe methods to lose or gain that weight. Because there is a huge possibility that they used incorrect, unhealthy and dangerous methods. If they have established unhealthy eating habits to maintain, lose or gain weight, you would essentially be fueling and encouraging their bad eating habits and you would be putting them in danger and their lives at risk by “congratulating” them.

Adele – and other artists like her who went through a similar situation – is incredibly talented, so why is it such a huge achievement that she lost weight? Why are so many people gushing and praising her weight loss, and comparing how she looked like in old photos versus how she looks now. She has won Golden globes, Grammy awards, Billboard awards, Brit awards, MTV video music awards and so much more. Her work has touched so many lives, so why does it matter if she lost or gained weight? The fact that people are choosing to congratulate her on her weight loss without even knowing how she lost that weight only proves that they don’t care about her health and only care about her being skinny, which is misogynistic and incredibly fatphobic. Adele is such a successful woman and deserves so much more than that.

Please stop forming your own opinions about other people’s bodies. It is a huge invasion of privacy especially when it’s without their consent or permission. You never know what someone is going through, so please choose your words more carefully and stay out of other people’s business. Health is the number one priority right now with everything going on in the world. Do not take your health for granted, and don’t feel the need to lose or gain weight to satisfy other people. Enjoy some konafa.

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