Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Beth Ditto naked statement

This week's NME features Beth Ditto as naked as Avril Lavigne on the cover. For confused but well-intentioned reasons. Those of you with long memories will recall the last time a semi-naked woman was on the front of the NME, it was Lesley Rankine and Silverfish, who were in turn parodying the Polly Jean Harvey cover from a few weeks before. PJ and Beth Ditto were both on the cover as a riposte to traditional ideas of female beauty and societal nomrs - both had hairy armpits, for example.

The trouble is, it's all a bit muddled. Because NME, for all its other faults, doesn't usually have FHM-style covers, so the value of putting Ditto on the front, without pants, is a little lost. Kate Jackson, it's fairly safe to say, hasn't been lined up to slip out of her corset for the next Long Blondes piece, because that would bring a stream of letters calling them for trying to flog magazines with sexist pictures. Likewise, the Twang don't turn up with only a well-positioned tree to preserve their modesty.

So, is NME they saying it's okay for Beth to be on the front nude, because she isn't 'conventionally attractive'? And if that is the case, isn't that simply endorsing the idea of there being 'conventionally attractive' in the first place?

Or does the paper feel that a naked Beth Ditto is, from its reader's point of view, every bit as desirable as, say, a naked Amy Winehouse? In which case, isn't it a little bit Felix Dennis to be selling music magazines with female flesh?

Well meaning, but not thought through.

Which is probably more than you can say for Beth's thoughts in the interview, where she places the blame for women with eating disorders on, erm, gay men:

“If there’s anyone to blame for size zero, it’s not women.

“Blame gay men who work in the fashion industry who want these women as dolls.

“Men don’t know what it feels like to be a woman and be expected to look a particular way. The Beckhams are part of the machine; Paris Hilton is part of the machine.

“There’s that thing Paris Hilton said about Lindsay Lohan – ‘You’re poor, ugly and fat’.

“It’s always women who are victims.”

Isn't this just a tiny bit oversimplistic? After all, a large number of the people who run the fashion industry aren't "gay men" but straight, hyper-capitalist women; the magazines which run fuelled entirely on "celebrity fat bits" and "who's eaten a doughnut" aren't aimed at gay men, but are hoovered up by women; with the fastest rising incidence of eating disorders amongst young men, the "men don't know how it feels" schtick is outmoded and plain wrong; and eating disorders are anyway about far more complex influences than Paris Hilton's clothing range.

Still, you know who isn't to blame? Kate Moss. Before Christmas, of course, Kate Moss was part of the problem, but since then, she's become chums with Beth:
“I spent one night talking to Kate and she said the most amazing things about bodies.

“I didn’t think I was going to like her, but she said, ‘Do you know what I hate, Beth? When people tell my big girlfriends, ‘You have a beautiful face . . .’

“That’s a really radical concept.”

Kate Moss' genuine concern for people who aren't stick thin can be seen in the plus size range of clothes she hasn't designed for Top Shop. To us, it sounds like Moss managed to get away with patronising Ditto without Beth realising it - could that quote have been any more "some of my friends are black"? - but even if Beth did get it, she'd probably have assumed it was an evil, evil gay man throwing his voice.


Anonymous said...

I assume that the cover shot is supposed to be shocking or thought provoking in some way? The most depressing thing about the whole article is that the interviewer doesn't call Ditto on any of the crap she spouts.

Anonymous said...

gosh, she's a fat minger, isn't she?

Anonymous said...

No, Beth Ditto might be fat, be she's no minger.

Kate Moss is more of a minger than Beth Ditto - just take all make up and production off her, and Kate Moss is at best, just ordinary.

There's lots of skinny mingers out there, but people don't realise that "pretty" and "thin" don't have to go hand-in-hand.

Anonymous said...

tbh this is an amazing cover Beth looks so beautiful, how bold and confident is she!
I think it rocks that she will get her kit off even though she's bound to get slagged off for not being a size 8.
I don't even care what The Gossip's music is like, she rocks

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the NME hires photographers who can't tell the difference between manatees and singers... oh wait... oh ... right... sorry my mistake.

Anonymous said...

The Gossip's music is great, and I admire Beth Ditto for it. However good it is that she feels confident enough to strip down to the skin, it isn't something we should all be forced to look at if we want to read NME.
There is a 'conventionally attractive' anyone who says there isn't doesn't fit it. I'm not stick thin, but I know I'll never be as pretty as those who are. Then again, perhaps this is just how teenage girls everywhere feel. If guys don't like skinny girls, then they need to say it more. The fat girls need to get the boyfriends, the 'normal' girls need to. But they never do. I know my boyfriend wouldn't love me 1/2 as much if there was twice as much to me.
We live in a shallow society, encouraged by the media and celebrities, get over it.

Beth Ditto, great for you, but put it away!

Anonymous said...

so it really isn't about the music anymore? Utterly disgraceful gimmick from Miss Ditto which completely contradicts everything she gobs on about.

Frankly I think this is also exploitation on the part of the NME. It has nothing to do with music. It has nothing to do with the supposed "idealistic" image of celebrities. All I see is a fat girl who by the looks of it, if she wants to keep on being an active live performer, could really be doing with losing a few pounds for her own health. Beth, if the NME were interested in what you had to say then they wouldn't put a picture of you naked on the cover. You've been exploited, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I do think size zeroes are stupid and really horrible to look at but so is this. I'm all for this confidence but there is a limit to being too "curvy"...just as there is to being too skinny. People say the more curves the better...but what's the limit? 8 curves of flab rolls on each side...thought so...

Anonymous said...

"big is beautiful", but please...she could have at least shaved her pits!

Anonymous said...

A case of McNicholas overcompensating for the Ditto Cool List cover debacle?

Alice Bag said...

Beth is one of the sexiest women I know. I know that some people find rail-thin females attractive and that's fine but it doesn't do it for me. Women who are curvaceous are much more attractive to me. Aside from that, women who are curvaceous, intelligent, talented and self-confident have every right to flaunt their sexuality if they want to.

I don't have a problem with any individual appearing naked on the cover of a magazine but I am thrilled to see Beth on this particular cover. She IS the Queen of Cool.

Another super sexy, super talented and confident woman is Candye Kane.

In the early 80's, Candye also posed nude for a magazine, but it wasn't a music magazine. Her photos were considered pornography and were the object of controversy. I'm one of those people who enjoys pornography, strong, talented women, and the female form. Anyway, the point is that both women were sending the same message, which is that they are unabashedly sexual with every part of their beings, from their big, beautiful voices to their big, beautiful bodies.

It's no coincidence that both Candye and Beth are continuing the tradition of the great women blues singers like Bessie Smith. Bessie was just as free and forward with her own sexuality and she was not afraid to express it in her music.

Women like Bessie, Candye and Beth are women's women. They inspire us to let go of the hang-ups of trying to achieve physical perfection. They accept themselves and invite us to accept ourselves. They are bold sexual predators, much more exciting and dangerous than the countless little sex kittens that litter TV and radio.

Anonymous said...

Look lads and lasses, the great thing abt Beth is that she has a BIG fat pair of TITS a fat arse and probably a hairy minge. She talks loud and brash but beneath that hard lesbian exterior is a fat girl who would relish some jamacian cock inside her pussy and moth with that hot load dripping all over her face. Poor girl, she is in denial that is all kittens.

Anonymous said...

For the other side of the story check out...

Anonymous said...

NME should be ashamed of the opportunism and Beth should be ashamed for not see this as nothing more than exploitation. It's not a statement of feminine power or rallying against the body image, it's a fucking car crash and everyone slowed down for a week to take a look.

Ed said...

Some of these comments are Radio Rental. ;D

Especially the Jamaican one.

Personally, I don't care that much. The NME is bumpaper and The Gossip will probably shift some units from it. Fair enough.

Anonymous said...

Oh the in-hue-Manatee.


Anonymous said...

Beth's disturbing nude cover shoot for NME maagzine. WARNING: Seriously view at your own risk... shes real fat

Unknown said...

jayd1313 says:
I am a heterosexual female.
I have just discovered Beth Ditto through Rosie's O'Donnell's blog.
Beth is being compared to Janis Joplin and other great artists.
I find this women to be sensational!
She is bold and beautiful!
Her voice is amazing. She is multitalented and magnetic.
Her naked photo on the cover of NME is incredibly beautiful.
She seems to be headed toward a brilliant future in the entertainment world.
I love her voice. I love her presence.
Go Beth!
Posted 1 second ago. ( permalink | delete | edit )

Anonymous said...

After looking at this picture, I am determined to get back onto my diet.

Fat is NOT, I repeat NOT pretty and nobody should flaunt it.

Anonymous said...

Airbrushed to buggery and the pictures on the NME site show she was complicit in this.

How 'right on'

Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is probably one of the best pictures I have ever seen on the front of NME. yeah she might be big girl, but so what? doesnt mean she can't be as or more beautiful than people with perfect figures. shes so pretty naturally.

Anonymous said...

love it! gossip rock!

Anonymous said...

I've no problem with big girls, I think Beth is attractive (certainly not a minger!) and while I wouldn't chose to be that big, I admire (and envy) her being comfortable and happy being how she is.

I think the thing here actually is that she is unhealthy. I don't know how much she weighs but to me she looks obese. That's not healthy and she is setting herself up for all sorts of problems if she doesn't lose weight. She doesn't have to be skinny but I do think she should think about her health.

Gosh, I'm boring aren't i?!

Anonymous said...

Wow, She's gross. And sadly she has so many of you drooling over her godliness. She has major attitude problems, she cares nothing at all for her hygeine (she smells and doesn't even shave her pits) she is totally fat and has this hideous in your face typical redneck attitude. I see no difference between her and the other thousands of trashy, classless slobs you see on Jerry Springer every day. Sorry to all who are fans. I just don't get it. She is gross, yuck!!!!!

FRITZ said...

I'm an American, so I can speak for fat women. I'm a bit smaller than Beth Ditto, but not by much. And when anyone calls me disgusting or manatee or any of these terms flung about the comment section, I am horrified.

We have been told that racism and prejudice and slander are intolerable acts of hatred. Yet, a fat woman is still fodder for sexist and cruel taunts. It befuddles me. Here I am--very well educated, married, and a professional. I pay my taxes, I look after my neighbors, and I'm a terrific knitter. Disgusting? Hardly.

Beth Ditto may be uncouth. She might not shave. She might be friends with Kate Moss. Call her out for her personality tics, but do not base your criticism on her body. That makes you no different than the intolerant bastards that are out to screw up the world.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Fritz on this.

Going after Ditto for what she says is one thing--she's certainly given Simon a good bit of ammo here and elsewhere--but resorting to "well she's fat/ugly" is a poor tactic unless you're eight years old (and even then, still rude).

It's amateur-hour for taunters, the equivalent of beating up a quadriplegic and then maybe bragging about it.

Anonymous said...

But Ditto attacks other woman for being too thin. So why is she above attack for being quite obviously dangerously overweight?

Anonymous said...

You'll have to provide more context, anon..from the quotes supplied here, I see Ditto talking about being friends with a really thin woman (Kate Moss) and opining as to why size zero exists, but not attacking skinny women for existing.

If she did do so, then yes that's unfair _as well_. At either extreme, the tactic is a dishonourable one.

auntiecoagualant said...

I love how people hide behind concern for an individual's health when picking on a woman for being fat. Where is all the "concern" for Jack Black or John Goodman or Seth Rogen? Shouldn't we be ripping them to shreds as well? I mean they need to be taught a lesson about the health risks of obesity right? In the entertainment industry being fat or thin has NOTHING to do with health when you're a FEMALE. According to a show I was watching recently Tyra Banks was referred to as a "big girl" and I've heard Kate Winslet and others being accused of being fat too. I'm sure the commentary was out of concern for their health. "Wow, her ass is huge! I hope she talks to her doctor about a weight loss program so she doesn't risk getting diabetes or heart disease." Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big girl. So the solidarity part of me wants to be on her side. But weight aside, this kid is just kind of vile. I was reading the wikipedia entry about her and her quotes are all stupid, like she will say controversal and shocking things just for the sake of being shocking and controversal.In one sentence she said she was a fat,lesibian on her period and having sex with a transman. dude, TMI. No one cares unless you put it out there... She's seems like the kind of girl who didnt fit in, so now she has to make a name for herself by being counter-culture...which is fine. I am all about being an individual, but She's the kind of person that if you had kids, you wouldnt want them hanging around with, which is why im a bit confused that she is being embraced as some kind of cultural hero or culture warrior. Lots of woman are fat or don't shave their armpits or both...BFD. When she does something courages then i will celebrate her courage.
As a music lover...i am offended by her attempts to be politcal and not just shut up and sing! She is in the news for stunts and her horrid fashion choices but to this this very day i have never heard a Gossip song.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen anyone in my life be such a try hard. Beth Ditto is a joke. Tell me one thing about her that is cool? Her band is the biggest collection of tryhards i've ever seen. Her feminist rants sound like recycled crap from feminist independent films, and basically her size is hardly a good impression to set. I mean seriously if my child ever took to being dangerously overweight because this fat mole makes it "cool" and "non-conformist" i'll send her to the nearest doctor and demand she's diagnosed with Down Syndrome. She's an unhealthy fat mole who can't be stuffed to work the weight off so instead of putting in the effort she makes herself believe "no i'm actually being cool and non-conformist". BLINK-182 was less conformist than this sweaty hog. Stuff an apple in her mouth before she goes on another moronic rant. It especially sh!ts me because i have a sister with an eating disorder. We're trying to help her get HEALTHY and if this neckless manittee had any negative effect on her progress i'd be sending the Japanese to her house and saying "Screw harpooning Australian whales, here's the mother load!!!"

Anonymous said...

HMMM... I don't care what her motivation is, she is confident in herself and her beauty. Doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks of her, she is proud of herself. I wish I was as strong as her. And if I had to choose, I would take her over someone like Amy Winehouse anyday.

Anonymous said...

WTF? she is ugly and fat, she isnt pretty at all, i have seen pretty fat chicks but she isnt one of them, as a heavy girl myself (5'6, 180lbs) there is no way she should be naked on the cover. Its gross. just plain gross, she should lose some weight, at least i had a kid and gained weight. i think she ate one too many squirrels. fat bitch.

Anonymous said...

She's great and she's sexy, to be honest how many skinny girls has any guy slept with here who were good in bed. No lust for life skinny girls, give me someone with some body and spirit any day.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I was that big for most of my life and was quite ashamed. (I've since had weight loss surgery.)

I'm an outgoing person, but I still always wear long sleeves and long pants, even in summer. I don't know how she does it! And I don't know if I'm awed by her bravery or ashamed of it.....

Anonymous said...

Fat is fat and it all is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I've heard Gossip, and I think they're a pretty good band (she's not the only one in it, you know.) I do think it's interesting, and I know that someone above me already said this, that it's only women who are attacked on "health" grounds for being fat. I dare any of you to provide me with a source (a good one) for any overweight male actor/celebrity criticized - in a health-based way - for being overweight. Should Ditto lose weight for her health? I don't know, ask her doctor. But before any of you talk any more shit about Ditto, you might want to stop and think about why you're doing it at all. Is it because she makes you uncomfortable? If you think she's full of shit, and she's just a sellout, fake conformist...fine. But don't talk about her weight like it's this huge personality flaw. Do we automatically think that thin women are smart and interesting? No, but fat women are automatically lazy and disgusting. Double standard, anyone?

Anonymous said...

She really inspires me. I'm a curvy girl, not fat, but I have a shape to my body. She makes me think of how great it is to overcome all the hatred in the world. I really love her for that.

I think skinny people are disgusting, I can't stand it when I can see bones sticking out.It's revolting, eat some freakin food.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I think it's amazing that some people here have written that Ms. Ditto is doing a bad publicity stunt. There have been several thin celebrities like Scarlett Johansson or Kiera Knightley who've posed nude for magazines, the backlash minimized to words like "racy" or "naughty."

And for those of you attacking her comments from the past, it's funny how no one seems to remember Paris Hilton being taped repetitively using the *N*-word to describe black people.

Why is it that you've relegated all of your negative comments to someone who is not thin, suntanned, and/or artificially rendered?

Beauty is supposed to be in the eye of the beholder, yet it seems to me that those who are focusing only on Ms. Ditto have simply swallowed whole what corporations and the media have recommended to them what is beautiful.

It is a failure of the imagination and of the intellect to choose only one way of viewing others, based on conformity to someone else's subjective vision.

Might I also add that the freaking National Institute of Health published a study saying 95% of all diets are failures; university studies subsequently have had the same results (Here's proof:!

And while most women do not fit into anything under a size 10, many still live long, productive lives filled with exercise, good eating habits, & sex (Don't believe me?: )!

If it was so unhealthy to be fat, why haven't most of the "obese" just keeled over already? More importantly, why aren't people like you asking yourself who these doctors and obesity experts are working for?

Anonymous said...

you people better stop and look in the mirror soon lest i point out some of your more gross attributes. as far as i am concerned the general public wich includes all of you and myself as well dont have a whole lot of romm to talk. what a bunch of ignorant stupid mfs you people are!

Anonymous said...

I just have to say as a fellow curvy girl, not nearly as "curvy" as Beth. This is an utter disgrace, honestly most curvy girls hate their bodies and don't want to be reminded of what it looks like naked. This is disgusting she should be ashamed of herself!

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