Does Adele get a free pass from the media on her weight gain? Lady Gaga thinks so. Gaga tells her stylist, “Adele is bigger than me, how come nobody says anything about it? She’s so wonderful and I think her confidence is something I have to match. She has set the bar very high for a lot of woman. I need to be a confident woman and just say politically active things when I can that are helpful to young people.”
Critics pounced on Gaga’s statement indicating Karl Lagerfeld called Adele fat. While that is true, the media at large responded with condemnation forcing Lagerfeld to apologize. In Lady Gaga’s case the media took approximately 3 unflattering/photoshopped pictures from a concert to ridicule her for a weight gain. A few days later, Gaga posted pictures of herself in a bikini showing she hadn’t had such an extreme weight gain.
Instead of defending Lady Gaga or researching the accuracy of the original fat pictures the media, for the most part, piled on: On The View the ladies joked “Gaga ate her meat dress,” on Anderson Maria Manudoes said she “shouldn’t wear such revealing clothes” and Kelly Osborne accused her of being pregnant (code word for you’re fat).
So why did everyone rush to Adele’s defense, but left Lady Gaga hanging until she posted pictures of herself in a bikini with a caption about her troubles with bulimia and anorexia. The simple answer is we have always known Adele to be heavy, we like her the way she is. Once a bully like Karl Lagerfeld called Adele fat we sprung into action as we should.
Adele, who you might think would be sensitive to weight issues, seems to blame the victim (Gaga) for her troubles with the media telling The Sun, “Exploiting yourself sexually is not a good look. I don’t find it encouraging,” going on to say “I just stand there and sing. I’m not worried that I’m a ‘plus size’ and so much bigger than other artists.”
Adele is right in a sense. Lady Gaga while being a talented vocalist, songwriter and performer has sexualized herself. But the subtext of Adele’s augment is: if you were really talented there is no need to exploit yourself. Of course that’s an unfair criticism of Lady Gaga, she has proven herself to be a talented musician and performer.
We are human. We like attractive things. So lets not be hypocritical by condemning a star for giving us what we want. Would women really swoon over a fat George Clooney? Would girls really go ape-shit over a pudgy Justin Bieber? Would we even know Britney Spears’ name if she was obese?
Adele’s style of music lends itself to a performer that can just stand there and sing. I do like Adele, but I can guarantee after one hour I’m going to be checking my watch to see when her concert is over.
When I go to a Lady Gaga concert I want to dance, sing and have an interaction with the artist. I expect to see a full-out production with lights, staging, choreography, half-naked dancers and some sexual provocation. Lady Gaga delivers that experience to her fans. If Lady Gaga weighed the same as Adele would she be able to deliver the same experience to her fans–probably not.
I am by no means saying its ‘ok’ to make fun of Lady Gaga because she’s fat, especially by so-called legitimate media based on doctored pictures. What I am saying is for Lady Gaga to deliver what her fans enjoy, being fit is part of the complex package that makes her a superstar. How do you reconcile that with the message you send to kids? That’s a tricky question–I certainly don’t the answer. All I can say is bullying a person in media for a weight gain, that’s not really a weight gain, is not the answer.