Adele’s ‘stunning’ birthday photo sparks body image debate: ‘Can we please not celebrate’

Dillon Thompson

Adele’s latest social media post has spawned a wide-ranging debate about beauty standards and body positivity.

The Instagram photo, which the singer shared on her 32nd birthday, May 5, featured a thank-you to her fans and a message of support for essential workers “risking their lives” amid the global health crisis.

It was Adele’s appearance in the image, however, that drew a large response online. Countless fans commented that the “Hello” singer, who has shared occasional updates on her weight loss in recent months, looked “stunning” and “beautiful.”

“YOU LOOK AMAZING,” one fan wrote.

“The greatest glow up,” another added.

“Didn’t realize it was Adele, I am shocked!” another commented.


But while the responses to Adele’s appearance were largely positive, several social media users found the reactions problematic. Many argued that it was “disgusting” to glorify the singer just for losing weight, as that practice conflates thinness with beauty.

“Can we please not celebrate Adele for losing weight like it’s the ultimate achievement? The news articles & tweets are disgusting,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Please stop saying Adele had a ‘glow up’ we have no idea what her health was/is like and this is just reinforcing the ‘skinny ideal’ or the concept that the skinnier you get the prettier you get,” another added.


Others argued that the focus on Adele’s weight also ignored her beauty throughout her career, as well as her numerous achievements as an artist.

“Yes Adele looks amazing, Adele looked amazing before she lost weight too, Adele is amazing,” another Twitter user wrote.

“Never mind Adele’s weight loss, her achievements so far are MAD,” another user noted. “120 million records, 15 Grammys, 18 Billboard Awards, 5 AMAs, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, the fastest selling album in iTunes history and the best selling album of the year 4 times in a decade.”


The birthday photo isn’t the first time Adele has sparked a conversation about her weight loss. In December, she shared a Christmas-themed photo that garnered similarly positive reactions.

A few weeks later, the New York Post reported on details surrounding the diet she allegedly used to lose “nearly 50 pounds.”

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