If you’re alive on planet earth, you probably know by now that Adele is newly-thin and people have big feelings about it. Unsurprisingly, most people are loving it — our culture is always ready to celebrate thinness. But some people went online to express feelings of disappointment or betrayal when Adele shed her plus-size bod for a smaller size. Her weight loss bummed some folks out, and the ladies of CBS’s The Talk decided to give that idea a little screen time last week.
Enter Sharon Osbourne’s big mouth.
Look, it’s not like I expect The Talk to be a major source of diet culture takedown inspiration. Like, at all. I know what I’m getting when I tune in. I actually kind of like Sharon Osbourne, usually. She’s plucky. Fun.
It’s just that this time, Sharon took this conversation to a really obnoxious place, and I’m just so sick of this particular kind of shit.
Let’s break it down.
Her take on the whole situation started out kind of okay-ish, tbh.
“It was [Adele’s] time to lose weight, that’s all, in her journey, in her life. She must have felt, ‘You know what, I’m going try to lose some weight.’ For whatever reason, health, I’m sure, and you know what, she looks absolutely fantastic. I’m happy for her, and everybody should be happy for her, because it was her choice. She didn’t do it for anybody else but herself, and so everybody should be happy for her.”
Okay, fine Sharon. I’m not going to make an issue of every single word you said here. I would have said it all a lot differently, but if this was all you had said, I wouldn’t be here discussing it.
Wait, no. I do need to address one part. Assuming Adele lost weight “for health” is weird. You’re not “sure,” actually. You literally don’t know a thing about her health or whether it’s improved via weight loss. You can’t tell by looking at a newly-thin person if they changed their weight in a healthy way or a disordered nightmare way.
But, ya know, whatever. Aside from that ignorant bit in the middle, I’m actually kind of with you. Adele presumably chose to change the size of her own body, and she’s allowed to do that. I don’t give a shit what size Adele is. She’s not a decoration. I mean, hello? Have you heard this woman sing? The fact that we are even discussing her body size at all is baffling.
I watched Adele soar to superstardom in a body that defied conventional beauty standards, and her current size doesn’t diminish or enhance the badassery of that for me one bit. As a fat girl, I loved watching a plus-size woman on her quest for world domination, but like, you did it, girl. You’re there. You want to be thin now, Adele? Yes, honey. You have the resources to make that happen, so do what makes you happy. You didn’t have to lose an ounce to prove that you were a queen, and you can have any freaking body you want while you rule the world. You’re a legend at any size.
But anyway, back to you, Sharon. After that first part, you turned this conversation into a really gross mess.
You said, “When really big women say they’re really happy in their body, I don’t believe them. Because I was really, really big and I wasn’t happy. Sure, on the surface, ha, ha, but at night, in bed, alone, I was very unhappy.”
WOW. That sentiment truly sucks.
You never found peace in your larger body so that means fat women are lying about our own experiences? None of us can possibly be happy because you weren’t?
I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be able to find happiness if I had to go to sleep every night surrounded by nine dogs, mere inches from Ozzy Osbourne, but I believe you when you say that it’s working for you, Sharon.
It sucks that you think fat is such a terrible thing to be that you willingly admit that you don’t even bother to believe fat women when we say we are happy living in our bodies.
Can you kindly put your mic back on the stand, back the hell up, and stop speaking for fat women? When you pull shit like this, it just makes it harder for the rest of us. We get to endure an extra portion of fatphobic bullshit because assholes feel validated and emboldened by your stance. To them, you’re verifying the misguided belief behind every faux “health concern” and snide comment: To be fat is to somehow be less-than, and who could possibly be happier that way?
I’m not here to defend my happiness. I could make a long list of the beautiful things and people that make my life amazing. It is tempting to try to prove to you, and the world, that all the good in my life outweighs my round belly and my jiggly thighs and my double chin. I could tell you all the ways my body has come through for me, and outline my medical history to prove that I’m not falling apart at the seams.
But I shouldn’t fucking have to, because my word should be enough.
Being at peace in my body doesn’t mean I actively work to make sure I don’t lose or gain an ounce because this is the only body I could ever be happy in. It’s means I have chosen to be happy in my body no matter how it looks. Every day. Even when the entire world tells me I’m too much, I choose to feel like just enough.
That’s true even if you don’t believe me.
And here’s the really crucial bit: I believe you, Sharon.
I believe that you never found happiness in a larger body. You have spent your entire life entrenched in the entertainment industry, surrounded by people who are paid to be impossibly beautiful. Thinness is not just the ideal in your world—most of the time, it is the only option. I cannot say with certainty that I could find peace in my body if I lived your life.
I believe you.
And you’re not alone. There are a lot of fat women who are unhappy in their bodies. The world is cruel to fat people, and it’s so damn hard to drown out the voices that tell us every single moment of the day that we are ugly, lazy, sick and unlovable. It’s not easy to hear mean, degrading shit day in and day out. It becomes your inner voice after a while, and once that happens, you don’t get a single minute free from the crushing negativity. Yeah, plenty of fat women are miserable, and nobody can fucking blame them for that.
But not all of us, Mrs. Osbourne. Not. All. Of. Us.
It’s 2020, and a lot of us got really fucking tired of hating ourselves, so we decided that shit was over. We’re out here watching Lizzo and Chrissy and Tess and Whitney and Ashley and a bunch of other amazing fat babes slay their games exactly as they are. We haven’t forgotten that Adele’s voice carried her to the top even while her body was outside the ideal, either. She’s still one of us, Sharon.
Fat women are done hiding in oversized clothes and accepting the idea that our bodies suck just because they’re not thin. Happy fat women exist, even if you couldn’t figure out how to be one. You don’t get to call us liars.
I’m sorry you wasted time being miserable. I’m glad you’re happier in your body now.
Everyone deserves to feel confident in their skin.
I’m not clear why you think fat women can’t be happy in ours, but I assure you, Mrs. O, lots of us are out here feeling good as hell.
“Believe us” or not.