Adele discounted as positive role model?

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3210
Adele discounted as positive role model?

Top singer, Adele, swept the Billboard awards -- walking away with 12 wins. She has an amazing voice and will likely continue to succeed in years to come.

That said, I've seen a few bloggers mention that despite her talent that Adele should not be viewed as a positive role model for children -- particularly young girls. The reason? Her weight.

You can view an image of her in this article.

What are your thoughts? Can someone that is overweight not be a positive role model?

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I think that is ridiculous. People come in all sizes and I think discounting anyone for their size is silly. It doesn't matter if someone is over or under weight or average. Role models should be about what someone does not how they look. Personally I think it is awesome that Adele is being honoured for her talent and that people are seeing past her size. I think she is a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice and she makes a fine role model.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Its hard to answer without links to the specific blogs you are thinking of. Are they truly knocking her solely for her size, or for her attitude on weight in general? I've read quotes of Adeles saying that she "would never want to be skinny", that "smoking is her favorite thing on earth" and other things which may be anti role model worthy. I would not consider someone a worthy role model were they anti one body type, be it fat or thin. I will admit that I find overweight people who admit to disliking or looking down on skinny people just as odious as those who look down on the overweight just because of their size. I recently read a blog of someone who admitted to "Hating skinny people" and it really struck me just how okay it is to admit that in this world, yet how jumped on someone would be for saying the opposite. With so many overweight young women in the world I would assume that she may serve as a role model to many of them simply because she is a super successful beautiful woman who LOOKS like them, unlike the majority of young talent in hollywood at the moment. Her girth alone should no more make her a role model than someone's waif likeness ought to. To me, a role model would encompass a heck of a lot more than just what someone looks like.

So, to sum up my super long winded answer, without seeing the blogs you mention reading, its impossible to answer.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1533

Adele is very open about her unhealthy lifestyle. She has said she loves smoking and drinking and never wants to be skinny. I do not think her weight is discounting her as a role model, but I think her attitude should. I really dont think that any entertainers are good role models.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

"Potter75" wrote:

"Hating skinny people"

I strongly dislike the "skinny ideal" because I think that it promotes unhealthy dieting and can lead people to anorexia. But if the idea that society promotes was the "fat ideal" I would have the same, yet opposite, problems with it. I with we had a "healthy ideal" where perceived beauty was based on what is healthy and works for the individual.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Tough one.

I think Adele is a good role model in sense that she is talented and rose to fame despite not having the stereotypical body that almost seems mandatory these days to the famous. I think seeing a beautiful, successful, larger woman is encouraging to a lot of people.

However, her comments about loving smoking and things like that are not okay with me. Those are not traits I would want in a role model for my daughters and trump a lot of what she has achieved.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

I love Adele. I hate her general life style choices though. Are young kids really her target audience though? Are there many young children listening to "Rolling in the Deep" or "Someone Like You"? Is she really a role model for them?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

She's just like Marilyn Monroe. I wouldnt' want my younger daughter looking up to her, but as an adult, I admire her energy and drive to get where she wanted to be.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I think that comparing her size to Marilyn Monroe's size shows how Americans perception of size has changed in a generation or two. At least, from the (admittedly few) photos I've seen of Adele. She's mucho bigger. The only picture where she looks similar is the grotesquely photoshopped Vogue cover, IMO.

Were you comparing their lifestyles, or their size?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Meh. I don't really look at her as a role model. Her voice I think is okay, but I'm not like a huge fan and I don't get why she even had/has role model status. Icon, maybe. Role model? No, not IMO. Like a pp said, I don't think being a successful overweight singer deserves anymore laud than a successful stick-thin singer. Anything positive she's accomplished is pretty much overshadowed by her unhealthy lifestyle, for me. I would not want my daughter to look up to her.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
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Lifestyle.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"wlillie" wrote:

Lifestyle.

How so? I mean, back then teachers smoked cigarettes at their desk. Smoking was hardly villanized or known to be the hazard it is today (nor was obesity, though Marilyn was not Adele's size). I've also seen lots of images of her (Monroe) riding horses or surfing or golfing or whatnot ~ I don't know if that was just part of an image or they really were things that she enjoyed, but I don't remember her saying that she enjoyed being overweight and eschewed thinness. I also don't remember Adele being a drug addict or having some of Monroe's tragic problems (or horrific childhood, at least, not publicly revealed), so I guess I'm unclear as to the comparison. They both love cigs? Maybe I don't know enough about either one to get what you are going at? Could you explain?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"wlillie" wrote:

She's just like Marilyn Monroe. I wouldnt' want my younger daughter looking up to her, but as an adult, I admire her energy and drive to get where she wanted to be.

This.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Oh. So, you mean that you think that she is going to end up like Marilyn Monroe? I guess I don't get the Marilyn Monroe reference. Lots of people (in fact, most people who are successful) have some iota of energy or drive that gets them to where they want to be (some just have famous parents or get lots of surgery or whatnot). Marilyn, coming from such a troubled background, had a lot more than most. That, I guess, is why I assumed your analogy to have more to do with something physical (or, like you said, lifestyle related). One being a singer and one being an actress the normal relation is lost on me. I'm confused I guess.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I meant in correlation to being a role model for kids; I wouldn't want my kids (male or female) to have the general attitude toward life that both Adele and Marilyn seem to have. The knowing what they are doing is harmful and having the I don't give a damn attitude. Not the specific detrimental behaviors because they are obviously both totally different in their means of destroying their bodies.

I think it takes a lot in most cases to become famous even if you are gifted with a talent to become successful enough to be called by your first name and everyone knows who you are talking about. I assumed from the first post that Adelle doesn't look like most of the singers that are popular today and a quick google shows that she isn't stunning. I have a feeling there are just as many singers that would be able to sing like she does that just didn't have the push to get through the average looks to the top.

I sure hope Adele doesn't end up like Marilyn. I don't know anything about her, but really enjoy her songs.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Gotcha. That's why I was confused. I LOVE her songs (and Jess, I admit, my little kids love her songs too, we have dance parties to "someone like you" in the kitchen while I cook, they have no idea who she is or what she looks like). The difference is that Marilyn was an adult icon in her time. Adele isn't. It is hard to compare them as far as their impact as role models. One was a sex icon to MUCH older teens and men.........one is a new voice for overweight young tweens and struggling young women. How many of her songs focus on rejection? HavI know that if my 4 year old daughter can sing the words to the chorus of that song (and we don't watch TV, so she knows it from my docking station while I cook or from XM) LOTS of young kids know this woman's presence. And if I was young, and internet savvy, as so many young tweens are, and I saw someone that talented who looked like me, and I read her words, and I saw her fame, and her acclaim, it may absolutely affect me. I love her songs Smile Rolling in the deep is actually in my running mix. Love it. I actually think that she IS stunning.

I admit that I completely think that you are backtracking. I don't think that Marilyn had that attitude while she was alive. I mean, NOT publicly. She fought her demons and died from them, she didn't go out telling people that the demons were too hard. I still don't get the comparison. If it is about fighting hard to become successful, or being a single name, you could have picked anyone. Madonna. Gaga. Boy George. Michael.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

No, I just didn't clearly communicate apparently. I've read four or five biographies on Marilyn since I was 14 (albeit the last one was probably about 7 years ago) and she definitely knew she was harming herself and did publicly talk about it. It has been awhile though so I'd have to look the references I remember up.

I disagree. I think Marilyn was an icon for much more than just sex, she was the beginning of a lot of changes about how women (both young and old) felt about men and following the rules that they were raised with. That's obviously just an opinion. She didn't just play up to her figure and face or appeal.

I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt ...it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the '50s. She personally called the owner of the club, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him—and it was true, due to Marilyn's superstar status—that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman—a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.

I think she was one of the most interesting people ever and I actually like her while I think Madonna, Gaga, Boy George, and Michael Jackson weren't even close to as complex. But that's just me and I've never really delved into their personal lives. Adelle will be lucky if she's remembered the way Marilyn was.

eta-Just look at this. I mean, seriously, Adele, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Gaga and Boy George will never be able to come up with this kind of stuff.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/82952.Marilyn_Monroe

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

Melissa~my littlest sings along to her songs too but I thought she was just an oddball.

I guess to me little kids don't quite understand "the bad things" a celebrity does. I LOVED Madonna as a kid. Had no freaking idea what 1/2 her songs were about or who she was but I thought she was great.

And if it is a teenager...I guess I don't think that this is the worst they could pick. No one is perfect. She's just saying that she is not going to apologize or feel bad for her smoking or her eating habits. If those are her demons I'll pick those over Lindsay Lohan's demons.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

So you admire someone who you knew was harming themselves?

I'll be honest, glancing through those quotes was terminally depressing and hardly inspiring.

It was lonely, and drunk, and wanton, and outrageous, and vapid, and......sad. ****, given a fifth and a night out who couldn't come up with this ****? I've met lots of people just that despondent and outrageous in high school listening to the Cure's "desolation"'s album. OOOOhhhh Marilyn. I don't get it. Wiki the rest of them and I bet that you will see the like. Add F Scott, Janis Joplin. Jerry Garcia, Rumi, Jack Kerouac, I could go on, from ancient mystics from modern singers. Marilyn and Adele share no special, unique, transgenerational bond. If anything Marilyn was the one of the first of the sex icons and Adele is one of the first to rail AGAINST the sex icons.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Ok. We can disagree. Wink

I like their honesty about their faults but wouldn't want my kids to look up to them. I like the effort they put into their trade, but not their actions towards preserving their health.

And to the last sentence- don't you see that they both went against the norm of their time to be true to themselves?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Unfortunately, I just see them fighting against what they have unwittingly created.

I don't agree that Monroe was "true to herself". She was true to a driven, beautiful, and talented abuse victim with a VERY imited moral base. That is not he "herself" that I would want my daughter to be true to herself to. I know you don't have a daughter, but really?

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I actually do admire Adele for not conforming to the usual entertainment industry beauty standards. It's refreshing to see someone who is large & lovely and happy living in her own skin. It would be nice if she would maybe not brag so much about smoking & drinking, but I don't think the fact that one likes Adele's singing means she's "a role model," so I don't take too much issue with it. I liked Michael Jackson, still do. I was playing one of his albums the other day & DH made a comment about him being a child molester. Tiven overheard and asked what that meant. I said, "Some people think that he touched kids in their private parts & hurt them. And he died from using too many drugs." She thought for a minute and said, "That's really sad, but it's still a good song to dance to." I can only imagine how empty my music shelf would be if I didn't have anyone up there who was "a role model" material -- someone who wasn't too fat or too skinny, who didn't smoke or do drugs, who didn't have sex with strangers or leave behind a couple of heartbroken wives. The Maccabeats would be the only ones left, LOL!

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"Spacers" wrote:

I actually do admire Adele for not conforming to the usual entertainment industry beauty standards. It's refreshing to see someone who is large & lovely and happy living in her own skin. It would be nice if she would maybe not brag so much about smoking & drinking, but I don't think the fact that one likes Adele's singing means she's "a role model," so I don't take too much issue with it. I liked Michael Jackson, still do. I was playing one of his albums the other day & DH made a comment about him being a child molester. Tiven overheard and asked what that meant. I said, "Some people think that he touched kids in their private parts & hurt them. And he died from using too many drugs." She thought for a minute and said, "That's really sad, but it's still a good song to dance to." I can only imagine how empty my music shelf would be if I didn't have anyone up there who was "a role model" material -- someone who wasn't too fat or too skinny, who didn't smoke or do drugs, who didn't have sex with strangers or leave behind a couple of heartbroken wives. The Maccabeats would be the only ones left, LOL!

I'll just say ditto on this response minus very last part of the final sentence. The who? The one band left on my shelf would be the Cufflinks only because I never researched their personal history, haha!

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I have never heard of her before reading this debate, but I think the lady linked in the OP is beautiful. Her feelings on smoking and drinking aside, I do not think her weight would make the biggest difference in if I felt she was a suitable role model for my kids or not. There are many ultra skinny woman with eating disorders that people look up to. Being over weight does not automatically make you a terrible person.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I have never heard of her before reading this debate, but I think the lady linked in the OP is beautiful. Her feelings on smoking and drinking aside, I do not think her weight would make the biggest difference in if I felt she was a suitable role model for my kids or not. There are many ultra skinny woman with eating disorders that people look up to. Being over weight does not automatically make you a terrible person.

No, it definitely doesn't, but I think the opposite (in terms of weight) is true too: Being overweight doesn't automatically mean that your accomplishments should make you a role model any more than the accomplishments of an average or underweight person, especially coupled with terrible lifestyle choices.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I am just saying weight should not be a defining factor in whether or not to look up to someone. I know some wonderful virtues woman who I admire greatly who happen to struggle with their weight. I still think they are great roll models.