Adele is everything I love about British womanhood

The pop star cleaned up at the BRITs last night, and it's hard not feel a bit thrilled for her 

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By Caroline O'Donoghue on

Let me lay something out right now, just so we're all on the same page: if you want to wrinkle your nose at Adele, and say that her music is mopey, and that she's overrated, and you're mystified by why everyone cares so much, you can go ahead and get out of my house. Go on, get. I don't want any of your nonsense in here. 

It's not that I'm a massive fan of Adele's music. It's that Adele, the person, is so clearly a force for joy in the world that I don't understand why anyone would take the time out of their day to hate on her. And last night's BRITs is a perfect case study of that joy. 

Looking like a sexy Mrs Claus in deep red and in a perpetual throw-your-head-right-back cackle, Adele cleaned house last night. She did it with pride, she did it with enthusiasm, and she did it with a sleek mum-bob. Winning British Female Solo Artist,  Album of the Year and the Global Success Award, Adele managed to make three separate award speeches yet still had me thinking "Where's Adele gone? I want to see more of Adele enjoying herself." 

She's resolutely female, she's soft and tough, and her laugh can be heard from two doors down

Her acceptance speeches went from funny ("Not bad for girl from Tottenham who don't like flying") to frankly emotional ("I got really lost for a while and didn't know if I would come back") to utter solidarity ("I want to take this moment to say I stand with Kesha"). 

Speaking as someone who is not British but has spent many years observing you all, let me just say that Adele encapsulates some of the things I love most about English women. She's got that "I don't give a toss" streak that makes you all so fun down the pub. She's emotionally honest in a way that means she's laughing one minute and crying her eyes out the next, swabbing underneath her eyes with her fingers while she apologises for making a scene. Adele is a pop star that only Britain could make: one that gussies up in their best clothes and their best lippy, but never forgets who their mum is. She's resolutely female, she's soft and tough, and her laugh can be heard from two doors down.

While the BRITs themselves might be deeply problematic in their perpetual blind spot for non-white artists, let's not blame Adele for this. Let's instead celebrate a woman who took a break from the music industry and then nervously came back with a collection of ballads. For a woman who has been told to take up less space since the day she released her first single, and absolutely refused to. And most of all, let's raise our glasses for who she is: a young mum enjoying a night out on razz. 

@Czaroline
 

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women we love

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