Right, there’s something I really need to get off my chest.
Briefly, last year the pop band “The Gossip” were storming the charts with their hit “Standing in the Way of Control” which, while it is a banging tune and definitely still a favourite (loving Soulwax’s remix too by the by) the music was not the only focus for this band. In two words, Beth Ditto. Ditto is the lead singer and front woman of the band and was branded as a “trendsetter”, paving the way for generations of girl bands to come by the fact of not being as thin as a post. Yes, she wasn’t your average size zero bird to come into fashion, she was morbidly obese.
What’s getting to me now that even though the band itself has seen little follow-on success that Ditto is still in the spotlight and lauded for being a “real woman”. I really don’t see how celebrating the fact that someone has allowed themselves to get that obese is helping society. She’s designing a line for Evans, a British plus size clothing store, often thought of as “frumpy” or “old fashioned” and hoping to inject some trendy youth into the label while in the same breath criticising stores such as Topshop, River Island etc for on average only having sizes up to (British) size 16 in stock. Au contraire, I think these shops are doing a service by encouraging young girls to manage their weight at the average sizes of 12-16 rather than stock massive sizes and send out the message “it’s ok to be morbidly obese”. I know this isn’t a popular view but you can’t on the one hand criticise and condemn people who starve themselves while applauding people who have allowed themselves to become so fat that they are endangering their health.
There is always talk in government, in the media and in society in general of the dangers of childhood obesity, sedentary lifestyles taking over, how to eat healthily, how to have a healthy body…so why applaud someone who is obese just because she’s famous? At the moment Ditto is famous for being obese, not for anything else and declaring that she’s “proud” of her “figure”. Beth Ditto is no role model. She should be placed in the same box as the Lindsay Lohans, Mary Kate Olsens and Rachel Zoe’s of the world – as having an extreme and unhealthy body weight.