Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Skinny on Kate Moss

Kate Moss has caused outrage after revealing that one of her mottos is the phrase "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".

Health experts branded her comments to fashion website WWD "absolutely appalling".

Dr Carol Cooper told Sky News Online: "I was horrified when I heard it. We know she's a role model for a lot of girls and young women...and they will be adversely influenced by this."

Mary George, from UK eating disorder charity Beat, told Sky Moss' remarks "make life difficult for those struggling to beat eating disorders". She added "It's very unfortunate that comments like this are made and put on pro-anorexic websites. I'm sure she regrets making them."

A spokesperson for Storm, Moss's model agency, said: "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. For the record - Kate does not support this as a lifestyle choice."

Despite the official comment from Moss's agency, the damage has been done.

It would be interesting to know in what context Kate Moss made such a statement, for that kind of statement can really only be construed one way. At a time where eating disorders amongst young people are on the rise more care needs to be taken by high profile role models in terms of the messages they are putting out there.

In contrast, the other day I was in my local Gloria Jeans ordering a takeaway coffee when a lady tapped me on the arm and said "I read about you in (the Sunday Telegraph's) Body & Soul a few weeks ago" and produced a copy of my book Why Can't I Look the Way I Want from her bag. I was amazed to notice the array of crooked post-it notes protruding from the pages. She went on to tell me how her niece had suffered anorexia for three years and the family were devastated because nothing seemed to be working. She said the section in my book 'Helping Someone You Love' had given the family some much needed guidance in terms of what to say - and importantly, what not to say, and the stories about people who had suffered through the turbulent and lonely existence of an eating disorder and then gone on to create happy and successful lives was also inspiring.

"I am going to visit my niece this afternoon and show her your book," she said. I picked up my latte, smiled and wished her well. As I watched her walk away tears filled my eyes. The process of writing my book was intensely emotional as it was rewarding - and random encounters like these warm my heart because it's proof that my book is out there helping people.

If Kate Moss had looked into this woman's eyes when she spoke of her niece and seen the pain and helplessness, perhaps she would have a different take on what "skinny" tastes like.

Now more than ever, we need to empower our young people to love themselves from the inside out, because self-love inspires confidence which inspires positive body image.


  1. Nice post Melinda. So glad you are getting positive feedback re: your book.

    As for Dr Cooper thinking that Kate Moss is somehow a role model for girls and women - not sure where that has come from. This is where half the problem stems from - we should not be looking to people like Kate Moss as a role model. That is very dangerous indeed especially when things like this are said.

  2. What an amazing, amazing story re: encounter. I hope her niece manages to get the help she needs.