Mothering daughters these days, especially through the seemingly endless tween – to teen marathon- means spending a lot of time listening to a wide range of (exactly-the-same looking, sounding) Disney etc… pop stars.
By the time your daughter is 13 you know every single word to every single pop song topping the squealing tween-age charts. You've bought posters, and iTunes and T-shirts galore. You've probably done your time in any number of venues at these pop star concerts. Why, you've no doubt wondered, did I pay $$$ to have my ears blown out by this hair-flinging, lip-syncing, media-hyped confection?
This is why I love Adele
It's why so many moms of daughters I know love Adele.
The British, six-time Grammy-winning, soulful sensation is the absolute opposite, the ultimate antidote to the cotton-candified world of straight-haired, stick-thin, scripted, lip-syncing, Stepford pop sensations offered up to our girls by the relentless avalanche of television-sit-com-star/faux pop star role models available.
Our daughters got reeled in by Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana, and were hooked. By the time they were old enough to read, they were asking questions about how to lose weight to be skinny like Disney girls, how to get tattoos and body piercings, what is self-cutting, rehab and what's wrong with having older boyfriends – all because the pre-adolescent pop-star balloons were bursting at the seams, hormones raging, demanding the chance to move from good girl to sex-pot.
So I was thrilled when Anderson Cooper and 60 Minutes called it 'The Year of Adele.' I wish every year was the year of Adele.
Role Model? Maybe. The real deal? Most definitely.
The British sensation, in her mid-twenties, is anything but a Stepford corporate concoction. She's the real deal. She wrote her first break-out album about a real break up. Her voice and talent are as soul-searing and genuine as her lyrics. She's aware she doesn't fit the mold, but doesn't pay much attention to the mold. She is who she is. She writes and sings and lives from her heart. I cannot imagine having that kind of poise, self-possession, self-awareness and confidence in my mid-twenties. She's smart, dedicated, realistic, humble, funny – or cheeky- as the Brits call it. She's exactly the kind of gal I'd love my daughter to look up to! An ordinary, thoughtful young woman with extraordinary talent.
"What makes her success all the more extraordinary is that she's unlike most other contemporary female pop singers. She doesn't have runway model looks, doesn't dress provocatively, and has no gimmicks added to her music. Her popularity is due simply to the strength of her voice, and the emotional connection so many people have to her music.
With high-profile critics like this, how does Adele herself feel about her figure? When Anderson Cooper recently interviewed the star for a 60 Minutes profile, Adele said she rarely thinks about her body image and feels no pressure to be a "skinny-mini" or wear revealing, hyper-sexual clothing.
"Even if I did have, you know, a 'Sports Illustrated' body, I'd still wear elegant clothes," she said.
She offered this bit of wisdom for young girls and women, who are bombarded with images of skinny-mini models: The first thing to do is be happy with yourself and appreciate your body— only then should you try to change things about yourself.
It is also true that Adele is pregnant, and due to give birth any day now. She and her boyfriend are not married, but are apparently in a committed relationship. Frankly, I'm not interested in her marital status as much as I'm interested in her maternal opportunity. I hope she continues to be open and 'cheeky' about her life as it unfolds. Watching interviews with Adele has sparked lots of great conversations with my daughter, conversations about a whole, real person, speaking and singing her very real truth.
I'm thrilled my daughter looks up to someone like her.