In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Adele, woman with the voice of a zillion sparkling angels, discussed fame, how she quit smoking, and how she would gladly extend an invite to Rihanna to be in her squad (wouldn’t we all?). She likely doubled Kleenex sales, and it was an exciting glimpse into what it would be like to ride shotgun in a Mini Cooper speeding through London with Adele at the wheel. As interviews with female celebrities often do, the conversation eventually spotlighted Adele’s image and her body because, you know, priorities. I never expected to feel outrage from an Adele interview because of her reputation as a gentle, rational human. However, one quote really illuminated for me everything that’s wrong in this world. On her body, Adele said:
“Would I show my body off if I was thinner? Probably not, because my body is mine. But sometimes I’m curious to know if I would have been as successful if I wasn’t plus-size. I think I remind everyone of themselves. Not saying everyone is my size, but it’s relatable because I’m not perfect, and I think a lot of people are portrayed as perfect, unreachable and untouchable.”
Adele, the woman who has received an academy award, a golden globe award, 10 Grammy Awards, 13 Billboard Music Awards, who turned down a song with Beyoncé, and caused a bunch of celebrities to freak out on social media with the release of her single is wondering if her extreme success is in any way linked with the size of her body. What kind of INSANE idea is that?
Certainly, she brings up a good point. The music industry is filled with thin and talented women by the bushel, and you’ve either got to befriend Kanye or really make yourself stand out to make it big.
But obviously Adele’s differentiating quality is her soulful voice and the raw emotions she injects into her lyrics — not her body.
She brings such a unique and welcomed sound to pop that you can’t even be mad that her songs make you want to curl up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor.
But the fact that we live in a world where Adele, who could bring a grown man to tears with her windpipes, would even have such doubts about her success is upsetting. The fact that there are so few body types represented in the film and music industries that Adele feels the public is only latching on to her because she feels like a much-needed, relatable ally is sad and further highlights the need for more diversity in the media — not just in the fashion industry alone, as we frequently point out here at RunwayRiot.
Adele might be relatable because she possibly represents the majority of women, but she’s also relatable because of her music. Listening to an Adele song feels a lot like reading the pages of her diary. She lets us in on her true pains and longings, and she doesn’t try to spice them up with poppy Taylor Swift-like choruses and distracting music videos with gothic cheerleaders. Even if I had never seen a picture of Adele, I’d still feel I could relate to her because of her honest music. And her music alone is what we need to focus on.