What Would It Mean To Have Adele (Or Any Other Plus-Size Woman) As The Face Of L’Oreal?
Adele has reportedly backed away from a $20 million contract with L’Oreal that she has been negotiating since March. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, sources had said the singer needed “a lot of persuasion to get her to agree” but “it looks like she’s close to landing a deal.”
Only … not. The company is apparently extremely surprised Adele backed out. Anyone who has read interviews in which she has warned about being a “sell out” and becoming “tainted” is perhaps not so surprised.
But what would it have meant for Adele, one of the most famous and beloved plus-size women, to have fronted a major beauty brand?
Even in 2013, the faces of most beauty major beauty brands that aren’t expressly for women of color still hire spokesmodels who represent a thin, long-haired, white/light-skinned beauty ideal. Just look at this list of past and present faces of L’Oreal: Scarlett Johannson, Diane Kruger, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, Lea Michele, Jennifer Lopez, Freida Pinto, Eva Longoria, Penelope Cruz, and British pop star Cheryl Cole. Even when the brand has featured a curvier woman, like Beyonce or Lopez, she’s been curvy in a va-va-voom sex-ed up way. All these women are very beautiful to be sure, but I doubt any of them has ever been called “fat.” What they offer in terms of all the sizes and shapes of beauty isn’t very diverse.
Adele would have been a new type of gorgeousness representing the brand: someone with a fuller, rounder face and a fuller, rounder body. She’s a larger woman who has publicly said she has no plans to lose weight unless it “affected my health or sex life, and it doesn’t.” I would have loved to see her — on billboards, in bus stations, in magazines — depicted by our beauty industry as what women want to aspire to. I would have hoped that the success of a larger woman would have opened more doors for other women.
We don’t know why Adele turned the offer down. Obviously, she isn’t under any obligation to be anyone’s beauty role model, especially if it means taking time away from her actual career, which is music. It just would have been cool to see.