How Thin is too Thin?

November 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm (Uncategorized)


Yet another case of celebrity stupidity that has lead to a PR nightmare for those in charge of representing their image.
Thursday, Kate Moss made a comment in an interview that has many people angry. During the interview she used the phrase, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” The phrase is commonly used on Web sites that encourage girls to not eat. Moss’ representatives at her agency, Storm, have tried to say that the comment was taken out of context, but I have no clue how a quote like that can be twisted to sound negative if it wasn’t positive to begin with. Even by itself it is plain and simple what that phrase represents to many young girls worldwide: it perpetuates the stereotype that unless you are 5’ 10” and 120 pounds, you are not pretty.
This is yet another blow to the fashion industry that has promoted pin-thin models for the past few decades. The feeling of the general public lately has been turning back the clock to favor fuller-figured, healthier looking models. I feel like this will be a good move for the fashion industry. People want to buy clothes that will look good on their body type, and having models that represent an attainable, regular body shape can only help the industry thrive.
Mishaps like this, on top of retouching drama with Ralph Lauren, seem to signal that people no longer want to aspire to be like these models. France is even working on a bill right now to force companies to make note of any digital retouching made to the model’s image on the ad itself.
Moss’ representatives are going to have to do a lot of work to put Kate back in favorable public opinion, and have their work cut out for them.

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6 Comments

  1. Claudine said,

    big oy vey! i can’t believe she said that… well maybe i can…

    as if her coke issue wasn’t hard enough for her PR people now this! it is definitely troubling for a ‘celebrity’ to be conveying that kind of a message, especially with the life style she leads it makes it sound like thinness is the road to happiness.

    it seems bizarre to me that in EVERY other industry the consumer opinion rules the roost. why has the fashion world remained so stubborn? i guess it’s because people need clothes no matter what. it really is strange that with so many people against the skinny models and excessive retouching that they still get away with it.

    in honor of this article.. im going to go eat a big bowl of pasta!

  2. petersonliz said,

    A comment like that from a celebrity makes me so mad! I guess that’s what little girls will continue to grow up believing, that they should starve themselves because “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

    Claudine, you bring up a great point: Why is it that every industry is interested in giving consumers what they want, but the fashion industry refuses to listen? Maybe although consumers say they want fuller-figured models, realistic models, the beauty standard has been so ingrained into us that we secretly want skinny models because that’s what we want to be. Maybe, maybe not…just a thought.

  3. Alex Klaes said,

    I totally agree, the fashion industry promotes the abnormally tiny body as the symbol of pretty. I fear for the affect that these tiny models, such as the Ralph Lauren fiasco, will have on the young generation of girls. I have known many girls who have fallen vicitim to the pressures of society to be skinny and developed harmful eating disorders as a result.

    I think that unfortunately young Hollywood is starting to trend toward the 00 size as well. For example, the new shows on the CW feature all skinny women in their leads.

  4. aglo1315 said,

    Wow, that’s crazy that she would say something like that. It’s obvious that she said exactly what she felt and practices in an everyday life, and not thinking about how this would be portrayed to the rest of the world. The sad thing is that most people in the Hollywood industry probably share her sentiment but don’t say it to the public. It’s even more sad that some women in the “real world” feel that way as well. I’m kind of glad that she was so honest because it’s hard for us to imagine life in the limelight and she gave us a little insight. She was being honest. I don’t believe that that’s a positive way of thinking, but it just shows us that we need to change the industry because we are mistaken if we think she’s the only one who feels that way.

  5. rosannacruz said,

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/BeautySecrets/story?id=8463526

    I liked your post on the modeling industry and how they deal with negative pr over their models being too thin. I think this is just like the Lizzie Miller controversy where Glamour placed a nude plus-sized model on their pages. She’s not really overweight, I think it’s more her position, and a lot of people were unhappy she was in a fashion magazine. Some women said they like the skinny models because it gives them an ideal body type to work toward. Other women were happy they’d finally placed a woman on the pages who looks like most normal women. I find it kind of sad that the super skinny model is the one people most idealize. Interesting post!

  6. Chris Cary said,

    I have heard the phrase “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” before, actually, before Kate said it in her interview, and I’m not surprised that she said that.
    To me, it almost seems that the debacle over that particular soundbite is an example of the delicate balance between publicists and their artists wanting to be “edgy” as part of their brand.
    In her mind, Kate has an image to project: to her, and her targeted public (her fanbase), she’s ‘edgy, high-fashion, high-stakes, high-rolling,’ but to those who miss her particular message, she’s ‘substance-abusing, overly-thin, risky, and on the edge.”
    It seems to be the same issue that Madonna, heavy metal bands in the 80s, and now Adam Lambert face…when you position yourself divisively, you must face the negative as well as the positive.

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