A couple of months ago Kate Moss openly responded to a question asked by WWD.com what the supermodel’s motto is. Kate not hesitating to answer, responding in a willing manner said:
"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
This short comment began a media wildfire that Kate Moss was influencing girls to develop eating disorders, leaving Kate’s spokeswoman quickly responding:
"This was part of a longer answer Kate gave during a wider ranging interview – which has unfortunately been taken out of context and completely misrepresented."
The British Timesonline.co.uk writes in Kate’s defense thinking the whole thing is "so stupid and hysterical and infuriating," continuing to say,
Of course being thin is better than being fat. (The very paper that was “outraged” by Kate’s comments on page 21 ran an interview on page 53 celebrating the weight-loss achievements of a Casualty actress under the headline: “Anyone who says they’re fat and happy is lying. And I should know. I went from this . . . to this . . .” alongside a grotesque ‘before’ picture of a woman you could render down to grease a fleet of battleships, and an ‘after’ pic of a woman not much bigger than Kate Moss.) And they were right the second time. “Fat and happy” is a myth, a monstrous lie, and I thoroughly endorse Kate’s statement. I don’t eat anything like as much as I’d like to — despite eating for a living — because I don’t want to be fat. And if my saying that leads half a dozen boys to stop eating altogether because they want to be like me, well then, frankly, those are boys we’re probably better off without.
As such, Kate’s apparently simple philosophy is wonderfully advanced and extremely timely. To every action there is a consequence, that is all she is saying. But it is something that is being increasingly forgotten in our instant-gratification, bling-bling, X Factor, fizzy pop, white-bread world. Kate owes all she has to her shape, and she accepts the acts of denial on which that shape depends. Cigarettes, hard drugs and a rock’n’roll lifestyle are things that do not appear to do her any harm, so she feels no need to eschew them. Lucky girl. I wish I was made of the same stuff. She is an absolute icon of willpower, self-knowledge and strength — she is cut from the same cloth as the brave Tommies who won us two world wars.
The wider application of Kate’s consequence-aware behavioural code might see impressionable young people being told, “No drunken night out with the girls is as fun as not being raped by an unlicensed minicab driver and left for dead in a grimy back street”; or “no summer of bunking off and smoking joints in the park when you should be revising for your GCSEs is as much fun as a life spent not being a dustman”. The message that every action in life has a consequence is a glorious and honourable one to propound.
Apart from anything else, what we have in the developed world is an obesity crisis, not an anorexia crisis. Sure, it is sad that a handful of young women harm themselves every year in the pursuit of the size-zero mirage, but it is nothing compared with the 100,000 Britons who die every year from diseases related to obesity. If Kate’s bon mots are really so influential that they will stop people eating, reverse the obesity tide (especially in children), save the £4 billion a year lost to the national purse as a consequence of mass fatness and bring our life expectancy averages back on track then, frankly, a few emaciated teenagers is a small price to pay.
And anyway, Kate is only being honest. She is admitting that to look the way she does she has to eat less. That is a much less dangerous message to young girls than all those models who claim to eat normally.
“I love fast food, especially burgers,” most models say in interviews, trying to seem normal, “and I’m forever bingeing on chocolate”.
But the truth is they have livid skin, foul breath and hairy backs because not a morsel passes their lips from one week to the next. These sour-faced, lying vixens are the ones who are making young girls on healthy diets think there must be something wrong with them. Not honest Kate.
I did a lame-arse television food quiz in the summer with, among others, the theoretically more womanly-sized supermodel Sophie Dahl. At one point Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall handed round a bag of cherries. We all tucked in. Afterwards, the more-than-womanly- sized Clarissa Dickson Wright gestured towards the lovely Sophie, who now has her own cookery show, and said:
“That’s the first time I have ever seen someone taking bites out of a cherry.”
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