I’ve never been a consumer of romance. I don’t say that in a bid for intellectual superiority, because I like all sorts of low-brow entertainment. I once sat through three back-to-back episodes of America’s Next Top Model (wouldn’t recommend it) and I elect to watch documentaries about serial killers.
But the genre of music in which some woman howls about the end of a love affair – or the beginning of it -I can take or leave.
I don’t own Whitney, or Celine, or Mariah – despite a healthy respect for their respective lungs and top notes. Actually – fuck Celine – she’d be better placed working in Burger King for me.
What I’m saying is, I don’t like love for love’s sake. I know and love lots of women that do. And sitting around watching Dirty Dancing and listening to The Power of Love is their idea of joy – and good luck to them. But if I could sing, I can think of loads of better subjects for a record than a love of someone with a dick. Like, an album about actual dick (track 3 Girth Groove).
Given that I’m not into this genre, and am not really a fan of her music, I spend an inordinate amount of time defending Adele. So much time in fact, that I wonder whether or not she should have me on the pay roll.
Before I even start, we all know why I’m defending Adele. I’m defending her because she’s fatter than any other white female pop star making records.
On the internet a lot of you guys – mostly men, but also girls – like pointing it out a lot. There’s humour to be gleaned from the proposed imagery of her consuming too much, or weighing too much, or sweating too much etc.
I don’t like telling people what to laugh at. I laughed my arse off at half four on a neurology ward once, and in hindsight, it probably wasn’t that funny.
But I feel I must just say what prohibits me from laughing about Adele and her weight.
Fat is a feminist issue.
(Lots of people aren’t comfortable with me using the word feminist – even some women – but I’m gonna have to give them a big fuck you. It’s not about our ancestors – sex trafficking, rape, domestic violence, abuse, employment law, maternity rights, wealth, language, culture are permeated with an inherent bias against women, so I think identifying yourself as a woman who wants to change that is the absolute fucking LEAST you can do.)
To put this into perspective Angelina Jolie and her “sexy” leg is dangerously underweight. Medically. As are most film stars on television. They sit outside of the healthy weight range – the BMI. These stars are revered and idolised, and their diet “secrets” are banded around like the holy-grail in magazines that women cling to and measure themselves against.
And whilst Adele is also outside of the healthy weight range, she is definitely not so far out as to render her MORE unhealthy than those women who aren’t eating and keeping themselves alive with vitamin injections.
I accept the left argument that obesity is a growing epidemic and is linked to consumerism. I also accept that junk foods and trans fats are addictive and unhealthy, and in many cases should be outlawed. Obesity is a real problem.
But I also feel that female, cultural starvation that is not only accepted as normal but seen as the IDEAL is equally linked to capitalism. It is a patriarchal, anti-women position. Women do it to themselves, yes. But it is highly orchestrated through cultural representation that is predominantly created by men.
I would be happy if all our heroes were within a healthy weight range. And didn’t do drugs. And didn’t do crazy shit like support racists and rape people. But until then, whilst we’re accepting imperfect role models, let’s be happy that someone is famous who can just fucking sing.
NB As a side note, if it helps you, I think Adele will be thin before long anyway.