I didn’t watch the Grammy’s last night. Sorry, but after a two week hiatus, I was too excited to watch my lady Big Ang on the show Mob Wives (wow, saying that out loud really makes me feel pathetic) and I knew that the important parts of the Grammy’s would be recapped heavily on YouTube today.
This morning, the first thing I did was Google Adele’s performance at the Grammy’s last night and completely understood why my Facebook feed was buzzing with adoring Adele comments last night. Her performance was amazing, and what I loved most was that her voice is so powerful (even after surgery) that all she had to do was stand behind a microphone to completely draw me in. I love her voice, I love her music…I love her.
However, it’s not just her voice and music that makes me a forever Adele fan. This past week, she responded to Karl Lagerfeld’s “fat comments” with such grace reminding me that the person who has the smallest issue with the size of Adele’s body is, well, Adele.
The whole body image topic is so terribly annoying, yet important. Between the CFDA imposing health regulations for models at fashion week to commercials and articles attempting to boost the self esteem and egos of girls who aren’t built like blades of grass, I’m starting to get tired of watching pleasantly plump women dance around in their underwear encouraging us to accept our bodies in this patronizing “I’m every woman” manner…while also pimping slenderizing products or telling us that eating a certain cereal diet for two weeks will get us ready for bikini season. Yes, the topic of body image is important, yet, when Adele responded to Karl Lagerfeld’s comment so coolly in such an “I didn’t know this was an issue” sort of way, made me realize that the true body image role model out there is Adele, simply because she doesn’t make it an issue. The more she accepts herself, and not in a Stuart Smalley “I’m good enough I’m smart enough and doggonit people like me” way, but, instead, with an unapologetic, “Really, my weight is even a topic?’ manner, snaps me into my own reality and I think to myself, “Am I seriously wasting my own time worrying about the size of my body?”
While Adele has admitted to insecurities about her body size she has also said that she refuses to hang out with people who points them out to her. This key way of handling it clearly points out the fact that, while women will probably always be inundated with overly sexualized women objectified in advertising, rail thin models personifying what we as women “should” strive for, Photoshop magically erasing any natural human flaw, diet commercials making us feel fat so we can use them to get thin and fashion creating adult clothes cut for twelve year old girls, at the end of the day, we still have the power to decide what we will and won’t allow into the lane of our own lives; we have the power to say whether or not these messages are interesting to us and worth listening to. Adele is a role model without really caring to be one. She’s not on her soapbox encouraging all of us to accept our bodies; yet, instead, she is living her life happily in the skin she is in. That is empowering. So, if you’re sitting around waiting for fashion to suddenly change its tune or for all the commercials, products and potions, that make you feel insecure, to suddenly go away in order for you to finally find acceptance with yourself, you’ll be waiting a very, very, very, very long time. Empowerment will only come when you decide that you’re done playing around with this crap.
And, this attitude of self-acceptance, pride and extreme self-care (also something more women can use more of), as naturally seen by Adele, goes way beyond the way she accepts her body. She also displays tremendous self-care when it comes to her career. When asked post-Grammy win when she would be releasing another album, she simply said, “Oh no, I’m too busy being happy.” On the heels of Whitney Houston’s death, and spending time watching some of Whitney’s past interviews yesterday, I was reminded, while this may not have been the thing that ultimately killed her, the pressure that Whitney Houston lived under when considered by others to the “The Voice of our generation” and that her voice was a “National Treasure” that she ruined, I couldn’t help but think that these pressures were partly responsible for ruining her. Yes, we all loved Whitney Houston’s voice, yet her voice didn’t belong to us, it belonged to her, just like Adele’s does. We may want more Adele, right now, but, ultimately, Adele decides when Adele is going to put out another album, not us. So, kudos to you Adele for creating healthy boundaries in an industry where it is so darn easy to become a dead carcass that a bunch of buzzards pick over until there is nothing left.
In the end, for me, the next time I can’t get my bulbous thighs into a pair of pants and want to cry in the dressing room because I’ve, again, jumped up another size, or when I want to cave from the pressures of others, I shall think of Adele with her unapologetic acceptance of herself, and, most importantly, remember that I too have better things to do, that I call the shots in my own life and, most importantly, don’t owe anyone an explanation for any of it.