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Too Fat For Fashion: Naked Ambition
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Naked Ambition

We are in the midst of a pop culture event, the latest issue of NME features a very nude Beth Ditto and an equally revealing interview. How ever you may feel about Beth this is a big deal. I don't think I've ever seen an image quite like this in a magazine let alone on its cover. Usually when one thinks "nude + singer" it conjures images of uber svelte women like Christina Aguilera or Fergie. Those are the sorts of pictures were used to, quite frankly I don't think magazines like Blender would actually exist without that sort of imagery but this is the first time (at least as far as I can remember) that I've seen a plus sized woman represented in such an overtly sexual manner by a mainstream publication. What I like about this cover is how she is represented as sexy and cool, there is a certain devil may care attitude but its paired with a very pin-up look. Kudos to the powers that be for leaving her rolls intact. Its rare to see a plus sized girl in a magazine without every roll airbrushed into oblivion.

Click for NSFW version

Her NME interview features a few interesting tidbits about her views on celebrity, fashion and her new friend Kate Moss:

"You can't hate a person for dieting, and you can't blame a person for feeling shit about themselves. You have to blame the machine that feeds it, the thing that makes people feel like that. There are lots of things that are part of that machine, and it's too easy to lay the blame at the feet of women - men don't know what it feels like to be a woman and be expected to look a particular way all the time.

. . .

"Kate is amazing. I spent one night talking to her and she just said the most amazing things about bodies," explained Ditto. At first I didn't think I was going to like her, but she just turned up to one of our shows and said, 'Do you know what I hate Beth? I hate it when people tell my big girlfriends, 'You have a beautiful face...' I mean, that's a really radical concept."

- Beth Ditto

I find it interesting that she and Kate would mention the "such a pretty face" syndrome. I have always had a problem with all variants of that statement. There is almost nothing more patronizing than to hear that you have a beautiful face knowing full well that what the person really means is "You have a pretty face, too bad about the rest of you." Its one of those rather brutal backhanded complements that many women have to deal with on a daily basis. I don't know how others feel but personally I get irked each time I hear that.

Though I'm pretty sure Beth's title as coolest woman on earth will remain unchallenged for some time I am also very curious to see how people respond to this cover. Granted this isn't the first time Beth has posed nude but this is easily the most revealing NME cover I've ever seen. Do you love it or do you hate it?


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