Rumor has it that Adele‘s trying to get healthy in light of her recent throat surgery…or is it that she’s trying to look skinny? Judging by the headlines, it’s the latter; judging by most of the facts and everything she’s said about her body and weight, it’s obviously the former. But tabloids don’t acknowledge that there’s a difference at all, and as a result, most of us have become just as confused about the difference between exercising and eating well—even trying to lose weight—for health, and embarking on a diet or fitness plan solely for the sake of looking skinny.
This isn’t the first time rumors have circulated about Adele’s efforts at weight loss and improved health. Last fall, headlines claimed she was losing weight (or trying) to better cope with her throat surgery; fans responded with fury at the prospect of Adele’s transformation, but she’s since reassured everyone that she’s not concerned with conforming to pop culture norms. But this time rumors are back with a vengeance. Based on a couple of anonymous quotes in The Sun about the fact that Adele quit smoking and started pilates, a flurry of headlines has come out in the past few hours, most asserting that the singer is now obsessed with slimming down. To give a few:
And the worst:
Just to be clear: Adele hasn’t discussed her efforts at a healthier lifestyle with any publication, let alone told them that she’s trying to drop two dress sizes or lose weight for summer. But the media’s obsession with her weight—and what she should or might be doing about it—is rampant, despite the fact that most of her fans are actually pretty enamored by her just as she is.
If Adele has indeed quit smoking, then all she really deserves is an applause for protecting her health and voice. And as I’ve said before: It shouldn’t be a problem if Adele wants to lose weight, get fit, or improve her diet (even if her motivation involves wanting to be smaller for vanity’s sake). I’m perfectly willing to criticize a celebrity for sending messed-up messages to their fans about body image and health, but I don’t think it’s our place to judge or get angry over a celebrity’s personal choices regarding their body and health when they make them without public comment.
I’m not worried about Adele, but I am worried about the media’s insistence that anytime a woman puts effort into improving their health, it must be spurred by unhappiness with our bodies, or a desire to change our outward appearance. There are so many reasons to eat less processed food and sugar, go to the gym, and quit smoking. And while doing those things can definitely make your skin look better and help you fit into smaller clothes, that doesn’t mean that’s what every woman wants when they set out to get healthy.
I’ll leave you with this, courtesy of arthlete.tumblr.com: