Monday, 23 April 2012

The Adele Effect (or I don't mind Adele fans but I couldn't eat a whole one).


Much like every young African American girl was inspired to put on a spangly dress and lip sync into a hairbrush by Whitney Houston in the 1980's and every white girl donned a pair of lacy gloves and mimed to Madonna, every decade (or year depending on their longevity) provides a new female icon for the girls and the gays to aspire to.
 Sometimes it's the good - Who? (I've never subscribed to diva worship). Sometimes the bad - Britney, and sometimes it's the ugly - Ga Ga. 
What I have noticed recently is a whole new army of Diva worshipping clones.


While I agree that Adele is a great inspiration for female empowerment and for body acceptance she also seems to have started a worrying and seemingly unstoppable trend amongst overweight, extremely camp and ever more obnoxious gay men.
 It's increasingly likely that every time you switch on a TV talent show like the X Factor, The Voice or BGT there will be an Adele clone, with the same hand movements, microphone style and vocal inflections.

Yet this won't be a young girl struggling to find her voice or a suburban housewife suddenly aware of her inner strength - it will be a creature of not obvious gender, with a huge fringe, hands like shovels and a name like Trevor (or something equally as homely).
 Recently on The Voice I'm sure the beatific smile Tom Jones wore on his leathered face was actually masking a feeling of abject horror when he turned around and found that it wasn't some girl with good hair "Rolling in the Deep" but another insanely camp pretender, and he's not the first. Anyone remember (insert name) from X Factor last year? No? Me neither. Pie & chips has more longevity.
 I think anything and anyone that gives someone a little hope and confidence is a good thing but each one of these Adele wannabes are so predictable in their styling and phrasing and so 100% secure of their impending divadom that each one of them truly believes they are only a high note away from their next custard slice. 
Adele sang "never mind I'll find someone like you". Well, Adele,  we have, tons of them.
 I have nothing against Adele. I don't mind her music but much like an over calorific lunch or dinner, I can only stomach little bits of her at any one time.
I appreciate her talent, her voice, her beauty and her (not sure how real this is) ability to retain her common touch and her down to earthiness. Her saying to Kylie Minogue at the Brit Awards that she made her look like a drag queen is a marketing mans dream. She got the girls, the gays and every housewife in the land on her side (with that aside) but the men she seems to inspire are like a new tribe of Amazonian drag queens who fear no one, care about nothing and want everything. 
 Every morning I see another Adele Mighty ( they are never mini ) me. On the tube they push everybody aside, normally swathed in black, with an over plucked arched eyebrow and a man bag, and there they sit with a haughty look and a don't you dare mess with me attitude.
I've watched them push to the front of the line In Pret a Manger with their chicken salads, yoga detox drinks and their banana cakes and I see them striding purposefully through Soho every evening. . . and they make me very afraid.

I wouldn't be nervous about a bald Britney, a bewigged Beyonce, an ageless Kylie or a crotchless Madonna as these are divas for the mainstream but a herd of male Adele's setting fire to the rain really does put the willys up me. It seems like every overweight gay in the land has grabbed a microphone and embraced her as the way forward and they are leaving the Muscle Mary's, the Club Kids and OAG's ( old age gays) quaking in their rather considerable wake. 
Where are the Karen Carpenter clones when you need them?
 I will leave the last word to Whitney. She sang "everybody's looking for a hero, people need someone to look up to".
I just wish the Adele fans would adopt an attitude less threatening, or at least try a little humility and stop taking their new found independence so seriously. Adele seems like the kind of girl you could go to the pub and have a laugh with whereas the boys she inspires look like they'd crack you over the head with a beer bottle if you bought them the wrong cocktail.

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