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Kate Moss Says Skinny Is Better Than Healthy

Kate Moss Says Skinny Is Better Than Healthy

There’s a point at which I’ve been told to stop listening to what models and actors (and indeed, most celebrities) say – but the fact is, even if I’m not listening, others do, and they sometimes make some fairly wacky and damaging comments.  Kate Moss’ latest defense of her lifestyle (one which seems to find food to be unnecessary) is a case in point.  In a recent interview with fashion magazine WWD, Moss talked about some of her mantras, saying, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

Cue instant (and justified) outrage.  This was after, in the interview, Moss said, “I think that if you’re beautiful inside, it shows on the outside for sure.”  So for those of us who don’t think being incredibly skinny feels good, what are we?  Ugly people with ugly exteriors?  And the idea that food can’t be a source of pleasure, or that deprivation is somehow a good feeling – well, too many problems with that statement, not enough time.  Suffice to say that to suggest that physical nourishment should be sacrified for a constructed standard of beauty is wrong, and very damaging.  Moss’s motto is often used on pro-anorexia and bulimia websites, and eating disorder activists have decried her comment as “dangerous” and “very unhelpful.”

Moss’s spokespeople immediately tried to back down, saying that Moss’s responses were taken out of context.  Other activists said that they merely thought Moss was out-of-touch.  Storm, Moss’s modeling agency, said in a statement, “For the record, Kate does not support this as a lifestyle choice.”  This is despite the fact that Kate Moss is known for popularizing super-thin models in the 1990s, and made the “waif” look trendy.  In the rest of the interview, Moss made some other questionable statements, deciding that men cannot multitask, and that women are good at it because of “something about babies.”

There’s a point at which we can try to stop listening to celebrities.  But the fact is that they have a platform from which to speak that most people don’t have, and they often don’t set a good example – in their lives or in their words.

Katie Green, a former Ultimo underwear model, who has launched a Say No To Size Zero campaign with a Parliament member, said the comments were “irresponsible.”  She said, “I think Kate Moss should really have thought before she spoke like most of us do before giving interviews. Kate is a mother herself and how would parents with children suffering from eating disorders feel reading something like this?  We are trying to get the government to put something in place to stamp out size zero models and comments like this aren’t doing anything to help.”

We’ve written pretty extensively on body image at Care2 – especially recently about sizeism and the saga of the plus-size model.  But my response: how do we dismiss comments like Kate Moss’s – comments that, as much as her modeling agency may want to deny it, clearly reflect her lifestyle?  Whether or not we like it, Kate Moss is visible, and when she makes comments like this, it matters.  This is why it’s even more crucial to draw attention to the need for better female role models, and calling for accountability is crucial.

What do you think?  Do Kate Moss’s comments matter, and if they do, what can we do to make sure they’re not impacting girls and women?

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Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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156 comments

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2:59PM PDT on May 13, 2013

My niece is 11 years old and is self-concious about her body: She thinks she's fat, although she's not. No girl needs women like Kate Moss saying things like that. It would be much better if they just keep their mouth shut!

8:36PM PDT on May 11, 2013

its time we adults grew up. There is enough information out there about the dangers of not eating correctly and sacrificing health for body image. People need to make their choices. Some people are naturally skinny which is fine, but most people aren't, basically because of the very static life we lead.

Personally, I could not care less what somebody thinks of my body (I'm not overweight, nor am I skinny). I try to maintain a healthy physical and spiritual lifestyle. I'm only interested in having friends who accept me as I am, the whole package.

I do however, see the dangers of these skinny models as role models for children and teenagers particularly when the parents can't find ways to convince their children the importance of health and proper eating habits.

9:37AM PDT on May 9, 2013

Does anyone really live their lives by the Gospel According to Kate?

8:11PM PST on Dec 20, 2009

I understand what she meant. I'm not a fan of food either. I know we need to eat and I know that most people enjoy eating. I don't enjoy eating and I am skinny. Everyone is different. We all should do what we can to stay healthy and ignore the critics.

2:04PM PST on Dec 16, 2009

I didn't read the article so I'm not sure what she meant. But I need to lose 40 pounds right now, so I just might tape these words to my refrigerator door! We have an epidemic of obesity, which affects far more people than anorexia/bulimia. Would this sound offensive if she was speaking to a group of morbidly obese people to inspire them to keep trying? Maybe she said it badly, but overeating isn't healthy either.

8:54AM PST on Dec 16, 2009

We need to take responsibility for our own body image dispite what Kate Moss or whoever it happens to be this week says. And yeah...that motto certainly has a lot of pro-ana-mia conotations

4:46PM PST on Nov 24, 2009

Kate Moss is not known for her knowledge, morality or insight but as the article says, and the writer about 'freedom of expression' doesn't understand, she is in a priveleged position where she can get her 'thoughts' out there while more aware and expert people and those affected such as females with anorexia and eating disorders often do not have the same access to the popular media which is where most people get their news and information from these days - the modelling industry of course is such an amoral system for even continuing to use this drug-addled bimbo

5:15AM PST on Nov 24, 2009

Well, freedom of expression is one of the good things of western societies. But this means anybody can say whatever they want, either it's really stupid or not. I think us, common citizens, should ignore this kind of comments and keep in my celebrities' world is different from ours, thus their facts and opinions don't apply to us. And we should even laugh at comments like this, and explain our kids how ridiculous they are :)

4:35PM PST on Nov 23, 2009

She didn't say that skinny was better than healthy though did she?

4:20PM PST on Nov 23, 2009

Who cares what she says? She has no braincells left if ever she had. Have ever looked at her? She's not pretty and according to her she can't have a beautiful inner self then. Case closed.

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