Why "25" Is Adele's Most Feminist Album Yet
Adele is a woman, a powerhouse, a mother, and a (recently disclosed) feminist. Throughout her career, she’s blown the world away with her voice — not to mention those record-breaking album sales. And while Adele’s music has always been known for its heartbreaking commentary on relationships and breakups, Adele is growing and changing, and so is her music. Her newest album 25 may be her most feminist album yet.
Adele’s albums are named for the age she was while working on them, and we first met Adele on 2008’s 19. A mostly acoustic, slightly anachronistic record full of sweet songs anchored by Adele’s sweeping vocals, 19 was a wonderful introduction to the woman who would shatter records just a few years later. And 2011’s 21 did exactly that — selling 30 million copies worldwide, with gut-wrenching songs about heartbreak. But 21 was an album about a man, and 25 is an album about Adele. Her album, which Billboard is predicting will sell over 1 million albums in its first week, shows a new, more feminist Adele, and it seems the public is more than happy to have her back. “Hello,” her first single from 25 has already shattered Taylor Swift’s VEVO record.
And, as the interviews she’s given ahead of the album’s release are any indication, feminism looks good on Adele. Here’s why 25 is shaping up to be Adele’s most feminist record yet.
1. Because She Says She’s A Feminist
This time, Adele is leaving no doubt where she stands. "I'm a feminist," she told Rolling Stone. Simple as that.
2. And An Intersectional Feminist, At That
"I believe that everyone should be treated the same, including race and sexuality," Adele said in her Rolling Stone interview, and she brings that attitude to her music.
3. She Isn’t Afraid To Wield Her Power In The Indursty
Adele flatly told Rolling Stone, “I'm the boss of everything in my work life.”
4. The Personal Is Political
She writes what she knows, which is the root of feminism. While profiling Adele for i-D, Hattie Collins notes that, “As with her past records, Adele perfectly translates individual experience into collective feeling.”
5. Because She Calls Out Sexism In The Music Industry
"It's like, 'Well, I'm the f*cking artist. So I f*cking know everything, actually," Adele said in Rolling Stone about not being taken seriously in the music industry in meetings full of men. "Like, don't f*cking talk down to me!'” Talk about a mic drop.
6. She’s Not Afraid To Talk About Motherhood
Adele is balancing her career with motherhood. She tells Rolling Stone that the song “Remedy” on her new album is about her son, Angelo. In i-D, she openly talks about how hard it is to be a parent saying flat out that, "it's fucking hard.” But she acknowledges, that it's also amazing. “It's the greatest thing I ever did," she sai. "It used to be that my own world revolved around me, but now it has to revolve around him."
7. She’s Said “Eff You” To Beauty Standards
Adele appears on the cover of November's Rolling Stone stripped down and as decidedly not someone else’s sex object. She revealed in Rolling Stone that she’s turned down cosmetics endorsements, and called out the kind of sexist questions she often gets. "I've been asked 'Would you do Playboy?' so many f*cking times, it's ridiculous," she told Hiatt. "And is that because I'm a woman or because I'm fat?"
8. She’s Prioritizing Her Family & Well-Being
Rolling Stone notes that, since Adele is raising a child, she took “an unhurried approach to making the album.” She said, "My career's not my life. It's my hobby."
9. She’s Focusing On Herself
Adele described her first single, "Hello," to Rolling Stone as being “about regrouping with myself, reconnecting with myself,” in contrast to her last album, 21, which was about heartbreak and relationships. Get it girl!
10. She Looks Up To Other Strong Women
Everyone that Adele names as musical inspirations in Hiatt’s Rolling Stone profile is a woman: Rihanna, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, Amy Winehouse, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Kate Bush. Seeing how inspired and supportive she is of other women — especially those in such a competitive industry — is inspiring.
11. She’s Not Into Pitting Women Against Each Other
"I'd rather not be the person that everyone gets pitted against," Adele told Rolling Stone. "If they do decide to get their body out, I would rather not be that person because that's just pitting a woman against another woman, and I don't hold any more moral high ground than anyone else.”
12. She’s Into Collaborating With Women
Adele told Rolling Stone that, even though the songs she worked on with Sia didn’t make it onto the album, she realized she had never collaborated with a woman before. "I actually love the dynamic of us both being in there and just f*cking being bossy."
13. She Sings About Sex
The Verge notes that Adele sings about sex, perhaps for the first time ever, on 25. It’s a sign that she’s coming into her own and growing into her womanhood. The Verge specifically notes that her song "I Miss You" is, "more primal and lusty than anything she’s recorded before,” with the lyrics "Treat me soft but touch me cruel.” Sounds like an empowered woman to me.