In fact, why don’t we stop talking about everyone else’s weight while we’re at it.
After an agonizing drought, Adele is finally back to save us all with her first new music in six years. Her forthcoming album “30” drops November 19th, the first single off which, “Easy on Me” has already had us all crying in our showers, in our cars, and at the grocery store. At the time of writing this, “Easy on Me” is number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Adele simultaneously graced the October covers of both American Vogue and British Vogue‘s (a first for the magazine), her 73 Questions video has raked in more than 10 million views in five days on the Vogue YouTube channel, and she’s set for a highly-anticipated evening with Oprah on November 14th. Adele is back, baby, and clearly there’s a ravenous appetite for all things Adele.
But when it comes to the discourse around Adele, let’s go easy on the weight loss talk, shall we?
Indeed, it’s tempting to make Adele’s physical transformation a point of discussion. Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no wifi (which actually sounds kinda delightful?) you know that tongues first started wagging about Adele’s weight loss when she turned up at Drake’s birthday party in October of 2019 sporting a noticeably slimmer figure. It’s estimated she’s lost about 100 pounds in total, and while it’s human nature to want to know how she did it and why she did it, the fact of the matter is, it’s none of our God damned business. It’s not anybody’s business why anyone does anything with their own body and while complimenting someone on their weight loss seems harmless, the fact of the matter is, it can sometimes be anything but.
And it’s not just Adele whose body over whom the public feels ownership. Actor Jonah Hill became so exasperated at the dialogue around his body that he recently took to Instagram to ask people to stop, posting, “I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and does not feel good. Much respect.”
Actress Rebel Wilson, who has been quite forthcoming about her ongoing weight loss, is becoming frustrated about how her size is seemingly the only thing the media want to talk to her about, telling Australia’s Daily Telegraph, “in 2019, I had, like, four movies come out, two of which I produced and one, Jojo Rabbit, which got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture…yet I get more press the following year when I do nothing except lose weight.” Turns out, appearing in an Oscar-nominated film just isn’t quite as interesting as dropping a bunch of weight from your body.
No one knows how emphasis on the size and shape of your body can outweigh your professional accomplishments more than Lizzo who has had to deal with the particularly vile cocktail of fatphobia and racism. We’d be hard-pressed to find another celebrity whose body the public and media feel they have the right to have an opinion on than her. In her 2020 interview with David Letterman for his Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction the singer opened up about how frustrating it can be, “It bothered me for a long time. That all people could talk about or think about was my size. I didn’t like when people condemned me for it and it also kinda rubbed me the wrong way when I was praised like, ‘you’re so brave,'” adding, “they thought that they were complimenting me by saying I was unapologetic and I’m like what do I have to apologize for?” Lizzo has been hailed a body positivity activist and advocate just by the mere fact she dares to exist in a large Black body and it’s not lost on her, telling Letterman, “I’m sick of being an activist just because I’m fat and Black. I wanna be an activist because I’m intelligent, because I care about issues, because my music is good, because I want to help the world.”
Often, we like to convince ourselves that our obsession or fixation with someone else’s weight is out of concern. We care SO much about this person and we just want them to be healthy! And clearly a larger body cannot be healthy, right? Please! Concern-trolling is just another way we mask our discomfort with larger bodies. In the aforementioned interview with Lizzo, David Letterman notes that his own body has never been a topic of conversation. I’m old enough to remember when, in 2000, Dave had to take five weeks off his late night show because he needed an emergency quintuple bypass, and let me tell you, ALL the discussion and dialogue around it at the time was of the “get well, Dave!” “We love you Dave!” “You got this, Dave!” ilk, and none of it speculated on how his lifestyle choices could have potentially resulted in his heart issues. Why? Because David Letterman is thin. Imagine, for just a moment, if Lizzo had to cancel a slew of concerts because she needed heart surgery and how ugly the dialogue around that would be?
The fact of the matter is, as much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise thanks to a lifetime of fatphobic conditioning, a person’s outward appearance is rarely an indication of their overall health. Have you SEEN Lizzo in concert? I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege and let me tell you, all the rumours are true, she is 100% that bitch! The energy she brings on stage would exhaust people half her size. Trust me when I say Lizzo is feeling good as hell and does not need your faux concern. She confirmed as much in an old Instagram video post saying, “So i’ve been working out consistently for the past five years and it may come as a surprise to some of y’all, but I’m not working out to have your ideal body type, I’m working out to have MY ideal body type. And you know what type that is? None of your fucking business.”