Watch: Adele talks new love, upcoming album and more in Vogue interview
Adele is so much more than a body shape. She's one of the best-loved singers in the world, with sales of over 120 million, and is about to release 30, her delayed fourth album, to follow mega-hits 19, 21 and 25, all named after her ages at the time of recording.
Down to earth, outspoken and young, London-born Adele, 33, made fans feel she was speaking for them in her music, and many also related to her 'normal' body shape. In a world of stick-thin dancers prancing in lingerie, Adele had curves, draped in old-school sparkling evening gowns, and she let her incredible voice do the talking.
Now however, Adele has emerged from lockdown looking very different from her old self. She appears simultaneously on the November covers of British and US Vogue, to promote her new music, and it's clear she's no longer the cuddly twenty-something beating herself up about bad exes.
Adele 2.0 has lost so much weight she's barely recognisable, her long hair is an A-list blonde blow-out, and she looks like a cross between a young Elizabeth Taylor and '60s Brigitte Bardot.
So what happened? Did she finally give in to music-industry pressure to look a certain way - or did she just develop the confidence to become who she always wanted to be?
In the British Vogue interview, Adele told interviewer Giles Hattersley, "It was because of my anxiety. Working out, I would just feel better.
"It was never about losing weight, it was always about becoming strong and giving myself as much time every day without my phone. I got quite addicted to it. I work out two or three times a day.
"So I do my weights in the morning, then I normally hike or I box in the afternoon, and then I go and do my cardio at night. I was basically unemployed when I was doing it. And I do it with (personal) trainers."
Typically forthright, she added, "People are shocked because I didn’t share my ‘journey’. They’re used to people documenting everything on Instagram, and most people in my position would get a big deal with a diet brand.
"I couldn’t give a flying f**k. I did it for myself and not anyone else. So why would I ever share it? I don’t find it fascinating. It’s my body."
Asked whether she had tried any particular diet, she said: "Ain’t done that. No intermittent fasting. Nothing. If anything, I eat more than I used to because I work out so hard.
"And also, that whole thing of like, ‘Gets Revenge Body’…" she added, mocking the headlines, "Oh my god.
“I did it for myself and not anyone else.”
Explaining that her 100lb weight loss was gradual, taking place over a two year period, Adele added, "People have been talking about my body for 12 years.
"They used to talk about it before I lost weight. But yeah, whatever, I don’t care...
"You don’t need to be overweight to be body positive, you can be any shape or size."
Some have queried the intensity of her daily workouts, suggesting exercise addiction can be dangerous, and damaging to muscles and organs, but Adele insists that working out keeps her happy and motivated.
She added,"You know, a hundred per cent of the stories written about me have been absolutely fake. The people that came out being like, ‘I trained her,’ I’ve never met in my life.
"It’s disgusting. I cannot get over it," she went on. "Some Pilates lady I’ve never met in my life! And I haven’t done any diet."
Responding to shock from fans who felt let down that Adele had apparently bought into the 'thin-is-beautiful' messaging of social media, she responded, "My body’s been objectified my entire career. It’s not just now. I understand why it’s a shock. I understand why some women especially were hurt.
"Visually, I represented a lot of women. But I’m still the same person."
She was equally direct when it came to 'body shaming' on social media, and the criticism she's endured for changing her familiar shape.
"The most brutal conversations were being had by other women about my body." Said Adele. "I was very f**king disappointed with that. That hurt my feelings."
We have been warned. Adele can do whatever she likes with her own body - and besides, she has a new song, Easy on Me, out next week - and the return of That Voice should push all other issues aside.
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