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5 Quotes from Adele on Style, Beauty, & Body Image

by Ashley on March 14, 2012

adele, adele vogue shoot

Adele gets a lot of flack– for being a “fat girl” (hint: Adele admits to being a size 14-16 which, if those are UK sizes, is a US 10-12: smaller than the average US woman. If not, she’s approximately a US 16-18.); for playing it “too safe” with her fashion choices (I say? A preference for stunning, simple black dresses is not a bad thing).

Don’t worry girl– ah gotcha back.  Not that you need it! I’m like Johnny Cash. I only wear black.” — The Daily Mail

“I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, you know, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down. And I just don’t want that in my life.” – Vogue

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. I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.” — The Daily Mail

“I like eating fine foods and drinking nice wine. Even if I had a really good figure, I don’t think I’d get my t**s and a** out for no one.” – Rolling Stone

No matter what you look like, I think the key is to be happy with yourself. Exploiting yourself sexually is not a good look.” –60 Minutes

And a bonus on humility: “You can’t complain about your dressing room, or you’ll look like Celine Dion.” – The Observer

Cheeky and blunt, I can’t help but admire Adele’s candor on her style and body image.  Sometimes her bluntness may be alienating (like her comments towards thin girls), but I can’t help but love how unabashedly confident & unapologetic she is about herself.

If you were to be that cheeky & blunt about yourself, what would you say?

Mine may say something like, “I love the way I look and feel when I doll myself up, but most of the time I can’t keep my mascara from running by the end of the day.  I’ve accepted that I can never be THAT girl.


For Those About To Shop March 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

I love these quotes and it drives me crazy when people try to turn it around and say she is dissing skinny people. She’s not! The only one I take issue with is the Celine Dion crack – Celine is a sweet French Canadian girl not a demanding diva. I think Celine is known for NOT making obscene demands and she says the secret to her success is going home after the show. She doesn’t get caught up in the celebrity life- it’s strictly a job.

Erin March 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

I love her candidness and how she’s confident in who she is and how she inspires other women. But I can’t help but see #2 as a crack at thinner girls. (“I don’t find thin girls attractive”) I think if we’re advocating that women not be judged by their body types but be seen for their merits and talents and personalities, it seems unfair to dub all thin girls as unattractive. Some women have naturally fast metabolisms or petite body frames or enjoy working out (in a healthy way), so is it fair to say they’re unattractive just because your body type is different? I would never make that general of a comment about someone who looked different than me, even if it was to defend myself from previous critiques. We can’t fight criticism with more criticism. Everyone should live healthy lifestyles that aren’t ruled by how much we weigh… whatever end of the spectrum that may be.

Ashe March 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

I don’t personally read #2 as a crack at thin girls, but I can see how it can be one.

I think it’s easy for reporters to a) take things out of context (and for readers to forget this), b) comments to made in defensiveness that come across as critical the other way. If I were constantly, CONSTANTLY being interviewed as the “fat performer” (like I’m a mythical creature), I imagine I’d make comments in a way that came across negatively towards other women as well.

When she says thin, I also don’t get the idea she’s dissing women who are NATURALLY that way. In pop culture (and she specifically mentions this in relation to FASHION), there is a strong history of things like eating disorders and drug abuse to maintain a weight ideal– and I personally think that’s why she follows it up with “be healthy and happy.” I don’t think she’d begrudge that girl who has the fast metabolism or petite frame, but rather the influx of ideas that say, “be thin at any cost.” So again, I think it’s taking one segment of the quote out of context, because if it were an equation I think it would be read something like, comfort > fashion /= thin at any cost.

Ashe March 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm

That’s crazy– I guess Celine is vocally SUCH a diva that people would assume otherwise? I don’t know much about her in that sense, but now I’m curious & googling “Celine Dion Diva Demands” ;)

Jamillah March 24, 2012 at 10:32 am

I LOVE Adele and the quotes you’ve chosen. Really I think she is a woman that is into living her life and being herself and I think that is really something to look up to.

P.S The dialogue above with Courtney is really interesting to me. I had not heard of all these divides quite honestly and I’m curious to what these arguments are. Googling time :).

Ashe March 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Oh man– it seems like there are divides everywhere on the internet! It’s all… very eye-opening, and sad, loving, heartfelt, angering, and more. It’s also very easy to see where people are coming from on many sides.

the clothes horse March 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

She really seems like such a wonderful person. I wish her weight wasn’t a subject she had to address. I especially hate when people shield fat-shaming in health concerns; it’s absurd.

arielle March 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I love how blunt she is too! I featured her on my blog last week. There’s so many skinny girl quotes out there that it’s only fair she throw in some big girl quotes too!

Ashe March 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I think everyone gets so used to hearing pro-skinny comments, that it’s just jarring to hear pro-big comments! Let’s just be pro-bodies, yeah? Let everyone love themselves and share it, at any size.

Lisa March 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

I love Adele and one of the things that is so wonderful about her is her confidence. Her comments let that shine though. She enjoys life, including food and why shouldn’t she? I find that confidence is the most beautiful quality in a woman. She has found a style that works for her and embraces it. I think that is the key too. She has a great look…a unique hair and makeup style that becomes her and a wardrobe that allows her to feel good, comfortable & look great. Does it get any better than that?

Ashe March 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I absolutely agree, Lisa! Confidence is so becoming, and I think not only does it make you have a great sense of appreciation for yourself, a confident gal will appreciate others in their natural beauty, too.

I love that you bring up her style, too– that was actually going to be part of this post, but I had SO much on her it’s getting split up in to 2! (Hopefully with the 2nd next week :)

Courtney March 14, 2012 at 9:35 am

I love Adele. I don’t think she’s fat. I think her music is great.

However, I think her comments glorify unhealthiness. I don’t blame her, though, she’s constantly in the spotlight, and every month or so there’s some ridiculous comment on her weight.

I’ve been thinking about writing a post soon asking the question: Are bigger women the only ones who can have a healthy body image? I hate this argument that started about 7 years ago that basically restates: If you’re skinny, you can’t be seen as happy. And if you have a healthy body image, then that must mean you are overweight and love yourself. My point is, people should be allowed to love themselves either way.

I don’t know where this comment is going. Haha!

Ashe March 14, 2012 at 9:44 am

While I don’t think it’s Adele’s goal to glorify unhealthiness (I imagine it’s just a blunt reaction towards being constantly asked questions about her weight & getting fed up & not having a filter on), I can see how it can read, for the wrong person, as a justification for an unhealthy lifestyle.

(Actually, of all those quotes, I only really see #3 as doing so– I think #4 COULD be, but I read that more along the lines of not selling your sexuality, like the last one does.)

On the internet, I do see a strong division between Health at Any Size, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred (because it’s there), and I don’t know where the divides are. I think each of those groups has valid points. I think the Fat Acceptance sounds like it has a louder voice lately, because it’s not one we are used to hearing– where it’s much easier to bow our heads down and believe that thin = healthy = confident. Like, we’re SO innundated with those messages, I don’t think we realize how strong they are anymore.

I do think we should be allowed to love ourselves as we are, any way we are, and I think healthy should be the goal for any person looking to make changes in their life. Which I think is what a lot of these quotes mean. Even #3– because I’ve known girls who may even seem healthy– they work out a lot, but starve their bodies of the nutrients they really need to sustain their activity levels and such. And I think it’s OKAY for a woman to say– I want to make my friends & enjoying my life a priority– even if it means making a sacrifice in another area. Because I’ll admit it– I’d pass going to the gym over a rare date with my girlfriends! (And Adele has talked a LOT about how much she’s missing out on with her friends because of her career– so out of that context, I can see MORESO how it can be justified one way and promoting unhealthiness, rather than a comment on priorities in life.)

Ashe March 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

Also– as an aside, because I just realized it. You actually make a comment, innocently enough, that feeds in to the problem: “are bigger women the only ones…”

To be honest, that’s something that drives me crazy. I’m a woman. I’m a woman, and my size has nothing to do with being a woman or not being one.

I have girl friends who always go, “You’re a bigger girl…” when talking about something and usually my size is irrelevant. At what point does/doesn’t my size matter? If the point is that people should love themselves any which way, maybe we should also stop subconsciously dividing people in to bigger/smaller/average?

mambogitana March 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Why do you automatically associate weight with unhealthiness? It’s lifestyle that’s unhealthy… for example, eating too few calories and too little fat in an attempt to have a socially acceptable figure often leads to heart disease later. :-) Thin rarely equates with perfect health, from all the thin people I have ever known. They get sick just like everyone else.

déjà pseu March 14, 2012 at 7:52 am

Love these quotes! Let’s hope she doesn’t get worn down by the media machine.

Ashe March 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

I’m hoping with her upcoming 5 year break (lawd that’s a LONG time), she’ll come back fresh and even more grounded. Maybe that time away will be even better for her sense of self! (She’s taking the time off to recover her voice after surgery.)

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