No, Adele did not “Glow-Up”


Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Adele has been a prominent figure in the music industry since 2008, the year when she released her debut album, “19”. For more than a decade she has been in the spotlight for her emotional ballads and powerful vocals. Now, the singer is in the spotlight for more superficial reasons.

15 Grammys. 4 Billboard #1 singles. 1 Academy Award. Adele has received all of these accolades and many more. Her newest album, 30, is to be released on November 19. Why is it that her numerous achievements are being overshadowed by her recent 100-pound weight loss?

The subsequent change in the singer’s appearance and the attention it has garnered has revealed greater problems in the entertainment industry.

Many are dubbing the change a “glow-up”, which is inherently offensive, given that the only thing that has changed about Adele’s appearance is her weight. Everything else, her hair, her face, her personal style, has remained the same. She was equally as beautiful before the weight loss as she is after. To say anything less is degrading and harmful to plus-sized women everywhere.

The music industry has a long history of tying an artist’s beauty and general worth to their size. The majority of successful female artists fit into the same, skinny body type. While there are many exceptions, it seems that the higher up a woman’s clothing size goes, the harder it becomes for her to succeed.

The pressures the industry places on its stars to remain thin has detrimental effects, causing many to adopt unhealthy mindsets and lifestyle habits. Many have admitted to struggling with eating disorders at some points in their careers, including Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift. Other celebrities will even promote their unhealthy, disordered diets, influencing their thousands of fans to fall into the same dangerous habits.

The commendation and validation that Adele is receiving for becoming thinner may influence other women to attempt to achieve the same results through unhealthier means. 

— Anna Ho

On top of the toxic history behind complimenting Adele’s “glow-up”, fans have begun praising Adele for adopting a “healthier lifestyle”. The issue with this, however, is that they are making these claims based solely on what they have seen in images. This is dangerous, as someone’s apparent weight does not have a direct correlation to their personal health. Weight loss can often be a marker of a medical condition or disorder. 

In this case, Adele has spoken out that over the pandemic, she adopted a consistent exercise routine to cope with her anxiety. This transition into healthier habits should deservedly be celebrated. 

Despite this, commenting on her outward appearance is unnecessary and potentially harmful. The commendation and validation that Adele is receiving for becoming thinner may influence other women to attempt to achieve the same results through unhealthier means.  

We should be praising artists like Adele for pursuing what is best for their happiness and health, not for conforming to our preconceived standards of beauty. Ideally, the appearance of an artist should never outweigh their musical talents and achievements.