We Got Your Punk Rock Sex Symbols Right Here

Indie music lovers are already aware, but this is awesome: Beth Ditto of The Gossip posing nude for the cover of NME magazine (see additional photos from the shoot).

Nekkid pic below the fold, may not be safe for work, unless work is punk rawk.

bethdittonude

Get’cher free download of The Gossip’s “Listen Up” at Pandagon’s new mp3 blog.

Text of the article from Brooklyn Vegan:

Yet one of the things Beth Ditto does gives a f*ck about, is body image. So much so, that Beth recently refused for The Gossip to play instores at Topshop, citing her dissatisfaction that there isn’t a clothes range available in her size. She even went as far as to offer to design clothes for them. She’s never claimed to promote her body size (“I’m just saying people should be empowered about who they are,” she tells us), yet it’s worth asking, does she feel a responsibility to pick a side in the size zero debate?

“Not at all,” says Beth, immediately. “Things are more complicated than that – there’s too many factors to pick a side. The older I get and the more models and designers I meet… sometimes models are naturally just thin. Like, that’s their size.”

When you talk about meeting models, do you mean Kate Moss?
“Kate is amazing,” purrs Beth. “I spent one night talking to her and she just said the most amazing things about bodies. 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? When people tell my big girlfriends, ‘You have a beautiful face…’’ I mean, that’s a really radical concept.”

Do you not think Kate Moss actually has a responsibility to answer to the size debate, though?
“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. 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 of that machine and the messages the machine gives out.”

But surely Kate Moss is that machine?
“I had those conversations with Kate,” says Beth, “and Kate agreed with me. She’s a smart person.”

Do you think she’s happy doing what she’s doing?
“I don’t know.”

But if she agreed with you…
“I have this thing where I don’t ever want to bad-mouth a woman. Except for Paris Hilton.” She laughs again. “Please tell me you saw that thing where she was crying in the newspapers, about her going to prison. It was so funny. I was laughing until I was crying.”

Tell me more about not wanting to bad-mouth women…
Beth speaks quietly again. “I pick and choose my battles. I think Condoleezza Rice is more of a goddamn shame than Kate Moss, and I think those are the things people should concentrate on. What I’m saying is that, if there’s anyone to blame for size zero, it’s not women. Blame the media. Blame gay men who work in the fashion industry who want these women as dolls.”

What’s with the boner for Kate Moss? Dear NME magazine, next time you want Kate Moss’s opinion on body size and the diet industry, interview Kate Moss.

And before anyone else calls it, Beth Ditto is My Other Girlfriend™, so there.


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18 Responses to We Got Your Punk Rock Sex Symbols Right Here

  1. ilyka says:

    What’s with the boner for Kate Moss?

    It’s not a Kate Moss boner, it’s a Female Celebrity Catfight boner, is my guess.

    Because I am Old, not just in body but in spirit, I had no idea who Beth Ditto was–but I LOVE her for resisting that trap. You could practically see drool hanging from the interviewer’s mouth at the prospect of getting some good old-fashioned “meow” quotes from Ditto about Moss, and hahaha too bad, interviewer, because she’s not playing that, and fuck you for even trying to get her to.

  2. If says:

    On another forum that I read, a woman posted recently saying that she’s in a rock band and people have been showing up to their shows and telling people associated with the band afterward that they didn’t want to see a fat performer on stage and that the band should ditch her because nobody will want to come see them with her in the band. She was really bummed out about it.

    One of the first replies was someone pasting in this magazine cover image. It was awesome to have a positive and assured image of a successful rocker to throw in to the thread rather than just vague textual reassurances.

  3. She’s so smart and sweet. I want to be Beth Ditto when I grow up.

  4. BStu says:

    Word. Kudos to Ditto for not playing into the media’s desired narrative. It sucks that she only gets asked questions in that vein as it doesn’t allow her to really challenge the system, but its nice that she ducked the stupidity and landed some solid jabs all the same. She’s getting attention, unlike a few plus-size rockers before her (Debora Iyall, Nomy Lamm, et al) and its awesome that she’s making the most of it. Here’s hoping she gets less questions trying to instigate fights and more questions about fat activism.

  5. Yeah, I agree with the above commenter. Beth outsmarted the interviewer. Good for her.
    Though I don’t know what to make of this: Blame gay men who work in the fashion industry who want these women as dolls.”

    That seems a little unfair, and out of left field as well (especially the dolls part.) Oh well.

  6. zuzu says:

    Very cool.

    Though I see from the other photos from the shoot that the 80s are coming back.

    Sigh.

  7. SJ says:

    Eighties are BACK, at least in Seattle. COOOOL link. I love this lady.

  8. zuzu says:

    I better not see any peplums.

  9. Janie says:

    I was waiting for someone on feministe to post about Beth Ditto. She’s also outspoken about gay rights issues too. The song standing in the way of control (youtube link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=kyeALsmTn98) is about gay marriage more or less (and is a really good song)
    quote from wikipedia: The band’s breakthrough song “Standing in the Way of Control” was written by Ditto as a response to her government’s decision to deny gays the right to marriage in the US. “Nobody in the States was that surprised or shocked by what Bush did, but it made everyone I know feel helpless and cheated,” Beth says. “I wrote the chorus to try and encourage people not to give up. It’s a scary time for civil rights, but I really believe the only way to survive is to stick together and keep fighting.”

    she also has an advice column in the guardian which is quite good. but like most awesome people the gossip caught on in the uk first, she came in second, i think, in an nme readers poll for sexiest woman of the year (behind kate moss)
    but anyway, i think she’s awesome and i also want to be her when i grow up.

  10. Okay I am now a MAJOR Beth Ditto fan. She ran rings around the interviewer and made the points she wanted to make.

    I am grown up but now I want to go bacl and start over so I can be her this time around.

  11. Nick says:

    Hey, folks, I’m in no way offended by the picture, but NSFW warnings don’t work for those of us who read your blog at work via RSS feeds. I’ve fended off “inappropriate content” complaints before by pointing out that frank discussion of topics like rape and porn are reasonable and pretty much inevitable on a feminist web site, but stuff like this is a little more difficult.

  12. Moira says:

    The comment about fashion designers isn’t quite out of nowhere, though specifying gay men is letting way too many people in fashion who aren’t gay men off the hook. Thing is, flat cloth drapes better when it doesn’t have to contend with the curves most women have. So to make their clothes look their very best, fashion designers use women who are very tall and very thin. Because it’s all hard and stuff to design clothes that fit around curves. Like math!

    Excellent interviewing skills on the part of Ms. Ditto. Rock all the way the fuck on, woman.

  13. r@d@r says:

    if you haven’t heard the gossip, i urge all of you to go out and buy their records. they kick major ass. beth ditto is sort of a mashup of poly styrene of x-ray spex and bessie smith. they owe a certain amount to late 70’s punk but are by no means unoriginal or slavish revivalists. if you ever liked pj harvey you’ll like the gossip even better. i’m super picky and hate everything, being an old codger from the old old school, and this is rebel rock the way i like it.

    even if the lead singer wasn’t as extraordinarily beautiful as she obviously is – her voice is enough to make any person with nerves left in their body melt. backed with the raw power of her band, they are very formidable.

  14. ellenbrenna says:

    You have to kind of love the fact that at one point they did mix together “Standing in the Way of Control” and “SexyBack” thereby improving “SexyBack” to no end.

    If one must have pop songs stuck in their heads they should have their bass lines provided by the Gossip all the time.

  15. Janie says:

    oooh, ellen, that sounds great, i love mashups, i have one of standing in the way of control mashed up with elastica’s connection which i’m in love with…i’m also in love with beth’s duet with jarvis cocker doing heaven 17’s temptation…so good…

  16. ellenbrenna says:

    I only heard it on their Myspace page a couple of months ago but I do not know if it is up there anymore. I did not download it or get a copy.

  17. 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. 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 of that machine and the messages the machine gives out.”

    Indeed. Good for her.

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