Monday, November 23, 2015

Someone Like You


Listening to the radio while driving home from work last week I happened upon a SiriusXM “town hall” with music icon Adele during which she answered questions about aspects of her life and career with a natural genuineness, confidence, and common sense.  I’m a huge fan of her music and think she is an amazing lyricist, composer and vocalist.  But what I also admire is how seemingly “down-to-earth” and honest is she when discussing body image.  In the spotlight and constantly critiqued, she gives good advice for all young women to take to heart:

"I do have body image problems for sure but I've had them all my life. There's bigger issues going on in the world than how I might feel about myself."  "There's only one of you, so why would you want to look like anyone else? Why would you want the same hairstyle as everyone else? And have the same opinions as everyone else?"  “The first thing to do is be happy with yourself and appreciate your body-- only then should you try to change things about yourself.”
As she’s said in the past:
“I've always been a size 14-16 and been fine with it. I would only lose weight if it affected my health or sex life”.    "I've seen people where it rules their lives, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down…  And I don't want that in my life. I have insecurities, of course, but I don't hang out with anyone who points them out to me."      
“I like having my hair and face done, but I’m not going to lose weight because someone tells me to. I make music to be a musician not to be on the cover of Playboy”.   
“I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion. I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy. I’ve never had a problem with the way I look”.

But given her celebrity, there are plenty of people who have made pointed comments.  For example, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld described her as “a little too fat".   And there were comments by others like Joan Rivers: “People got angry about me calling Adele fat, but she is chubby, come on it’s okay… the only book she reads cover to cover is the menu.”

So, how does Adele deal with this?   In a previous interview with Anderson Cooper (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/adele-on-body-image-female-pop-stars-602/2012/02/13/gIQAOBQWBR_video.html) Adele said she “feels no pressure to be a ‘skinny-mini’ or wear revealing, hyper-sexual clothing…"

In my opinion, however, this is the quote to remember:  “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”
And that’s why Adele is ‘someone like you’.


                                                                                                     Judith Wolf, MD                              
                                                                                      Associate Director, WHEP

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