Back in November, supermodel Kate Moss told an interviewer from Women’s Wear Daily that one of her dieting slogans was, ”Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Her quote was assailed by many, who said it promoted eating disorders and encouraged young women to shun food altogether in order to reach dangerously low weights. From the UK Telegraph:
Katie Green, a former Ultimo model, who launched the Say No To Size Zero campaign with Lembit Öpik, the Liberal Democrat MP, told The Sun: “There are 1.1 million eating disorders in the UK alone. Kate Moss’s comments are likely to cause many more. If you read any of the pro-anorexia websites, they go crazy for quotes like this.”
“Comments like this make it even more difficult for young people struggling with an eating disorder,” said Mary George, a representative of a British eating disorder charity called Beat. “She probably doesn’t realize how dangerous such comments can be.”
You get the idea.
Moss has long denied ever having an eating disorder, despite giving quotes that would suggest otherwise. You don’t call yourself “Rexy” (slang for sexy and anorexic) without being somewhat familiar with not eating. Moss has also been caught doing cocaine and been caught dating Pete Doherty, the latter possibly the most unhealthy habit one can subject oneself to. So she’s not the world’s best role model for young girls.
All that said, the furor over Moss’ quote overlooks one aspect of it: that it’s kind of right. Take it from someone in the midst of trying to lose 50 pounds: For those of us who are NOT prone to body dysmorphic disorders, Moss’ quote actually makes a whole lot of sense. I’ve eaten a lot of things in my lifetime, and most of the very best food (or what I consider the very best food) ends up making you feel terrible.
I love chili dogs. I could eat 50 in one sitting. But that would probably end badly. I’ve eaten four chili dogs at once, become convinced I’m having a heart attack, and then said nothing to anyone because I’m terrified at being labeled a fatty who had a heart attack at 33. It’s a fact: fattening, delicious food often makes you feel horrid.
I’ve lost 15 pounds so far in my quest to get healthier. And you know what? It DOES feel better than anything tastes. It really does. It’s nice to walk up stairs and not sweat. It’s nice to not hear your chin flap when you talk. For people suffering from anorexia and bulimia, Moss’ quotes only add fuel to the fire.
But really, is Moss going to cause anyone to BEGIN having an eating disorder? Eating disorders are very personal diseases, often borne out of much more than spurring on from a celebrity. Moss’ choice of words was poor, to be sure. If she had said, “Nothing fattening tastes as good as being healthy feels,” she would have been lauded. Instead, she put it in the bluntest terms possible. The most effective terms.
And, if you’re a fat person like me who wants to lose weight but is in no danger of becoming bulimic or anorexic, the motto is a legitimate help. Should I have that Slim Jim? No, because then I wouldn’t be losing weight, and I’d still feel awful. You see? Kate was right!
So if you’re one of the many people out there trying to slim down after the holidays, you’d best heed the words of our supermodel friend. Don’t heed them TOO MUCH. But heed them nonetheless.