Beth Ditto, lead singer of rock outfit The Gossip, has appeared totally starkers on the front cover of the NME.
Beth has gained notoriety not just for her music, but for having notoriety and not being skinny.
But looking at the image on the cover, despite her arguments that she is smashing typical notions of female beauty, I can’t help but ponder… has this been photoshopped?
She is a curvy girl, yet there is not a stretch mark in sight. Not any sign of cellulite on her thighs or bum. Maybe she is extremely fortunate… but it makes me think that this image has been airbrushed.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s cool that she is confident enough to do this and that something like this is getting on the front cover of a music press institution like the NME, but if we are going to smash the idea that beauty fits certain ideals, shouldn’t we down the digital paintbrush as well?
There is an interesting post about it on this blog, and some varied comments (some insightful, some highly immature), so check it out. I agree with what is said in the post there in a way…. a photo of Beth Ditto with her kit on might have meant more in terms of trying to defy the idea of conventional beauty… but the shock value of the nude photo also brings greater publicity to the cause, and possibly sparks more public debate on the issue. A clothed shot might not have got people talking so much. So I’m not sure what I think about it.
I’m glad though that her size hasn’t stopped her getting recognition for her music though… but her band is pretty alternative, so I doubt we will be seeing anyone like this appearing in the pop charts soon. But the indie scene is pretty skinnycentric as well (just look at all those guys in skinny jeans and tight shirts at your local indie venue…), so I guess this is refreshing.
And the other thing that springs to mind is whether Australia would be willing to support Casey Donovan in a career relaunch. Would they go for a cover like this on the front of the TV Week? Apparently she is trying to lose weight with the help of ironman Guy Richie before relaunching her career… because I guess fat girls can’t sing or something like that…