Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Can Kate Moss Make Fat Cool?

In case you missed it, “fat” is experiencing a resurgence in the beauty world as evidenced by recent photos of Kate Moss where she sports some extra weight in the form of actual breasts and hips - the latter only if caught in the right light. Of course everyone cried pregnancy first but Moss has denied all fertility rumors, instead saying she’s just getting “fat.” Has the famous model finally succumbed to critics’ demands that she “eat a sammich already”? Or has she decided to lay off the smack and take a healthier approach? Or is this some kind of grand publicity stunt? Did she just tie a gym sock to her abdomen and stuff her bra?

Fashionistas are declaring Moss’ unapologetic weight gain a coup for the healthy-girl crowd by stamping out skinny minnies everywhere. Of course anyone who has picked up a magazine, watched TV or surfed the Internet lately realizes how ludicrous that sounds. Almost as ludicrous as calling Kate Moss “fat.” Consider the evidence:

Kate Moss in her heydey

Kate Moss last month

She gained maybe 10 pounds? Maybe? The UK Times exults over Moss’ weight gain, “After 10 years of maple-syrup diets, ashtanga yoga, low-rise jeans and rib-counting, something utterly unexpected has happened. "Fat" is no longer the ultimate fashion insult.” So basically they’re calling a still-quite-thin woman “fat” and then saying “but, hey, take it as a compliment!” The Times adds that since Moss is such a trendsetter, her 10 pounds mean renewed acceptability of older but “curvier” models like Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford. Not famous women may have to just hope for the trickle down effect.

The Times article adds that the recession may be helping this “new trend” gain traction, concluding:

“[...]that wearying daily analysis of jutting celebrity pelvises and matchstick arms. Crazy as it seems, only a few months ago, Madonna's sinewy calves or Victoria Beckham's angular collarbones seemed like bona-fide dinner-party conversation-starters. Now that we have some actual problems, debating some neurotic x-ray's eating habits seems pointless, to say nothing of panicking about our own bodies. Clearly we had too little to worry about if "Is it gluten-free?" or "Should I eat carbs after 6pm?" were troubling questions. Who cares? Malnourished women aren't interesting any more. They're depressing. And the six-pack, once evidence of having luxurious amounts of time and money to devote to self-sculpture, now looks like a feeble attempt at control in an uncertain world. Even worse, it implies a desperately high level of self-involvement. Fat people, meanwhile, look better every day. Why? Because they look carefree. So heave a sigh of relief and let your gut out. Kate Moss might be "fat", but it turns out she's bang on trend, as ever. “

The skeptical part of me wonders if this is somehow a great publicity stunt or perhaps a stealth pregnancy or even just hollywood hyperbole but the rest of my fragmented, media-eroded personality hopes this is for real. That maybe our society is coming to its senses. That maybe we can start worrying about how to talk to our daughters about Darfur instead of their thighs. That maybe men will start looking for a strong woman who can pull her own weight rather than a delicate/emaciated trophy wife. That maybe women will start realizing that if we put all the energy into solving world hunger that we previously channeled into our arm fat, we could change the world. And if Kate Moss is leading that revolution? Well, I suppose stranger things have happened.