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The reaction to Adele's latest Instagram post says more about us than it does her

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Hollie Richardson
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Adele divorce meme

Adele has ‘finally addressed her divorce’ according to the press headlines - but why was there an expectation for her to post anything following the split? 

The expectation for high profile women to ‘speak out’ or break their silence’ after the end of a relationship is prevalent. Until there’s hard evidence that a woman is living her best life after heartbreak – whether that be through a candid social media post or glamorous press outing – the press seems to pity them and assume they’ve been crying into a mountain of pasta and ice cream every night.

See Jennifer Aniston for a classic, and weirdly ongoing, example.

Now, it’s the turn of Grammy Award winner Adele, who separated from her husband of three years last month.

The singer shared her first social media post since the split in meme form. It’s made with two photos which show stark emotions: the left one shows her crying; the right one shows her happily rapping along to a Nicki Minaj song. She captioned it: “When you catch yourself in your feelings then remember who you are.”

The headlines came thick and fast - with a strange sense of relief that the singer seems to be able to function and have a laugh even though she’s been through a breakup (shocker!).  It is, undeniably, a very relatable post. But, although Adele famously has a sharp sense of humour and has made a career out of writing personal songs - was the meme shared for the benefit of herself or to appease speculators? Did she need to publicly poke fun at herself to validate what happened in her private life, and assure people that she’s OK? After all, she has far bigger fish to fry (new music is rumoured to be on the way, people!).

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That brings us to the next clichéd expectation: a heartbreak album. Sure, Adele is queen of the tear-jerking ballads, but comments such as, “Adele’s I Will Survive is coming, I feel it in my bones,” and, “I really hope she’s spitting the ‘you’re gunna wish you’d - never had met me’ lyrics,” assume that she needs to address her romantic life to make brilliant music. We only need to look at Taylor Swift – another female who endures such expectations – and the recent success of her saccharine hit ME! to prove this assumption wrong. 

We obviously cannot wait to see what Adele does next, but if she chooses to never talk about her marriage again - that’s fine by us. 

Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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