Adele, our favorite outspoken, body-confident songstress, has made some comments regarding Lady Gaga‘s recent body brouhaha. Some media outlets are reporting that the new statement “slams” pop stars who dress in skimpy outfits. I’m surprised Adele’s comments are so harsh, especially since she’s no stranger to body criticism.
Of her fellow female singers, including Gaga and Madonna, Adele said:
“They don’t look how they do in magazines or videos. I have seen them up close. They don’t even look like that. Exploiting yourself sexually is not a good look. I don’t find it encouraging.”
I’m sure they don’t look like that “up close,” but I do think it’s a tad out of turn for Adele to be criticizing other women for what they choose to do with their bodies. After all, it’s the industry as a whole who pushes women to use their bodies to sell their music; it’s not limited to Gaga or Madonna. Adele’s lucky enough to have found a way to have a successful career without feeding into the madness, so why criticize the choices of other performers?
Adele has her shtick: amazing voice, 60s-inspired style, and beautiful, emotional songs. Gaga has hers, too: crazy outfits (including ones that show off her body and ones that don’t), crazy antics, and catchy pop. It’s not a contest; Adele can do her thing and Gaga can do her thing and there’s room for everyone, right? At least there is in my iTunes library (who am I kidding, I mean my Spotify playlist).
Also, I’m not sure it’s fair to say artists like Gaga are exploiting themselves sexually. Some women find it empowering to take charge of their sexuality by wearing whatever they want, be it a burqa or a bra and undies. Gaga is certainly no stranger to sex and she’s entitled to express herself however she wants, wearing and doing whatever she wants.
Adele continued her comments:
“I have never seen magazine covers and music videos and thought: ‘I need to look like that to be a success.’ To sell more records, I don’t even need to do that. I just stand there and sing. No matter what you look like, the key is to be happy with yourself.”
It’s good to hear her speaking out about the crazy body standards that women in the public eye are subjected to, and awesome to know she doesn’t feel that pressure herself. She’s right that the key is to be happy with yourself, but I think it’s a bit presumptuous to imply that female performers who DO show their bodies onstage, in music videos and on magazine covers are somehow less responsible or less legitimate.