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Rosie Scribble

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels… oh really, Kate?

in Anorexia, Celebrity, Health, Mental health

When Kate Moss revealed in a recent interview that one of her mottos is the phrase “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, a number of people contacted me to ask my response to this in light of my Skinny Mummies post.

In case you haven’t read my post, it  basically says that I use to be a skinny mummy and now I’m a healthy one which I feel makes me a much better role model for my daughter. The same would apply if  had a son because boys get eating disorders too and their number is, in fact, on the increase. Child do as you do, not as you do, so trying to be skinny while expecting them to eat a healthy, balanced diet is a fast route to disaster.

Then, despite all the work that many eating disorders charities have done to prevent the descent into anorexia (and bulimia) for many young people, and their efforts to influence opinion on the size zero debate, comes the comment from Kate Moss, who is more influential when it comes to fashion and body size than most women on the planet.

Much has been written about Ms Moss’s comment in the newspapers and in the blogosphere. Metropolitan Mum writes an excellent post here. A spokesperson from Ms Moss’s modelling agency Storm argues that the quote has been taken out or context and Kate has been misrepresented.

Of course they are going to say that. They will be doing everything in their power to protect the Kate brand. They have done it before.

But the fact remains that Kate’s particular motto has been a ‘size zero’ slogan for some time. It is one that many eating disorder sufferers use and it one now branded across far too many pro-anorexia websites to mention. It is now being used by eating disorders on a daily basis to try and prevent themselves from eating.

Kate is a ‘thinspirational’ pin-up on these sites. Her image has been used as a motivator for eating disorder sufferers for decades and Kate will know this. That is why any ‘size zero’ motto from Kate is worse than from anyone else, added to this is the fact that she is a role model for young girls, she is hugely influential, she designs teenage clothes for Top Shop, she has a young daughter.

Her comment is therefore highly irresponsible and the damage is done, sadly.

There is a difference of course between skinny and emaciated, but many girls (and boys) who are struggling to cope with life go in search of skinny and end up emaciated. Eating disorders affect 1.6 million people in the UK.

Thin model

So what does skinny feel like?

It doesn’t taste good.

The best person to tell you what skinny feels like is my dear friend Natasha. She was underweight for years and experienced osteoporosis, broken bones, thinning hair,stomach cramps, fainting spells, depression, confusion and a whole range of other physical and emotional complaints that all resulted from her inability to eat.

It doesn’t feel good and it does not look good either. I know, I’ve been there.

Natasha set out to experience skinny. She died from anorexia two years ago, aged 34.

You see, Kate, skinny doesn’t taste good.

Healthy tastes much better. I can vouch for that.

37 comments… add one
  • Well put.

  • I think her comments have been blown out of proportion because of who she is. If Beth Ditto had said this then she would have been lauded as helping to stop the tide of obese people getting fatter. I’m dieting now to get into the healthy range for my height. My motto is & has been for months ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feel’. It doesn’t mean I’m going to go to far. And yes, I have experienced an eating disorder for 2 years in my teens.
    She may have been ill advised in saying it but she has been unfarily treated in my (probably unpopular) opinion.

  • Thank you!

  • Yes, I can understand your argument. I think the point I am making is that her comments are unhelpful in light of the fact that her image is aleady used as ‘thinspiration’ on pro-anorexia sights and so I feel she should have been more responsible in her remarks.

  • I think years of too much cocaine has supressed her appetite because I can tell you that banoffee pie tastes much better than skinny feels…

  • Oh yes, too true!

  • Dan

    I’ve had a look at some of those pro-anna sites in the past and it’s scary stuff.
    Despite my profession anorexia is something I rarely deal with – mainly because it’s treatment is quite specialized and I don’t have the skillset. People I’ve encountered with it have usually had something else that I’ve been dealing wit (i.e suicidal ideas or OCD)
    i’m with rosie in that it’s her position as a pin up for people with anorexia that means she should be particularly sensitive to what she says.

  • Thank you, Dan. The difference with KM compared to other celebrities is that she is a pin-up for anorexics and worshipped in those quarters. That is why, as you rightly say, she should be particularly sensitive to what she says. She will be fully aware of her ‘pin-up’ status, I have no doubt.

  • I got here by following a Tweet from Denyse and I’m glad I arrived. Lots of sense and sadness too (your friend)

  • Thank you, the power of Twitter, eh? There is nothing like losing a friend to an illness to make you shout from the rooftops as soon as the topic hits the press. Hope it does some good even to a handful of people.

  • What a thought provoking and moving post. It is so sad that food, which should fuel us and be there to be enjoyed becomes an enemy. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, but I think that people need to know that being too thin can kill. It is wrong that anyone in the media would perpetrate the myth that it is healthy to be underweight.
    Kate Moss is lucky that she managed to get pregnant, many people who are underweight no longer have any periods.
    We need to all set examples to our children. My favorite time of the day is when we sit down for our evening meal as a family, I would hate for it to become a battle ground.

  • As someone who struggled with bulimia during my 20’s I find comments like Kate’s dangerous.
    When your weight is constantly at the forefront of your mind a throwaway comment like Kate’s only leads to strengthen your resolve to be thin.
    There is a part of me that wants to still be thin (not that I ever have been, size 10 was my physical limit) and experience that euphoria, then there is my rational mind telling me it is unhealthy and dangerous.
    Sadly I still struggle but now I tend to comfort eat so am constantly admonishing myself for being weak.
    I’m not crazy, honest. I know I need to get rid of these neurosis fast before my children pick up on them.
    So yes, after pouring out the contents of my mind I think Kate Moss has done ALOT of damage.

  • what is inspirational weightloss advice for one is ‘permission’ to seek ultra skinny via whatever method for others. As someone who has had to diet and exercise a lot after the birth of two children to become healthy again I can see it as being an insprational quote to keep me out of the biscuit tin, however as a ‘pin-up’ for many of the pro-ana sites, irresponsible.
    I think i prefer a version more like – Nothing tastes as good as slim and healthy feels. Although it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so well.

  • What a shocking pic of Kate. Having a baby must have done even more irreparable damage to her undernourished body. I’m so sorry that you lost your dear friend to this dreadful disease. I am so glad you embraced the way out of this killer when you still had the chance. We cant change what celebrities are putting out there but we can control the message we are giving to our daughters and ultimately the parents are the primary role model.

  • Well said. As soon as we can get past this ridiculous media/cultural obsession with below-size-0 women the better. Artifically controlling your weight – whether it’s by purging, or starving, or cocaine abuse – has dire consequences for your health and the ultimate price is dying.

  • Yes, it is terribly sad that food becomes the enemy for so many people. You are right, we do need to set examples for our children, that should counteract some of the negative messages out there.

  • So sorry to hear you struggle. Sounds like a dreadful battle you are having with yourself when you deserve to be much kinder to yourself.

  • I think the ‘motto’ originated at Weightwatchers in fact so I can understand it is motivational for some people, but perhaps others take it too seriously and live their life by it, which is sad really in so many ways.

  • You are absolutely right. It isn’t infact a picture of kate, but it IS what you get if you type ‘Size Zero’ into Google. Shocking, I know.

  • Quite right. So many people don’t seem to think about the physical consequences associated with thinness and starvation. They are only after the end result. The dreadful side effects seem to get overlooked, which is highly dangerous.

  • Tim

    The year before I started my, erm, sabbatical I dealt with my first case of male anorexia. It wasn’t pleasant. Male or female, it’s so sad that so many are unhappy in their own skin.

  • Thanks, Tim. It is easy to forget then men and boys suffer too. Your comment is an excellent reminder.

  • Well said! The trouble with eating disorders is that skinny doesn’t feel good because you can never be skinny enough ….. And girls don’t realise they are risking sterility and osteoporosis – what will Kate do when her daughter stops eating?

  • In direct contrast to what Emma said above, I have to agree very strongly with what you say here, Rosie. I have been fat, very fat and quite slim, I’m currently at the very fat end of the scale but as each month passes my attitude to losing weight improves – what do I mean? I mean I have accepted that I am not weak, greedy or lacking in willpower when I slip up on a ‘diet’ but showing my own learned behaviour. Actually I’m not so fat as I was. While I would prefer to be slimmer and recognise that only I can make this happen, I also recognise that even for people like me, the phrase ‘nothing tastes as good as being slim feels’ as trotted out at various weekly weigh-in is absolute nonsense. Nothing tastes as good as recognising that fat or thin, we are just as worthy of love and praise, of the love of our friends and family and we should recognise that there is much more to us than our body shape. I have judged myself so much in the past for allowing myself to get this fat and have written about it a lot too – but the sooner people realise that it is life long attitudes to food that need to change when you are overweight rather than being caught up in a ‘eat too much, derove yourself, feel guilty’ cycle the better.

  • DD, you may an excellent point – you can never be skinny enough. So many people get ill in the persuit of skinny because they never fell they are ‘skinny’ enough, when in fact they are far too skinny and the reason for their unhappiness and desperation to be thin, in fact, has very little to do with size.

  • Thank you for agreeing with me, Linda. The subject is a difficult one for many people and I was aware of that when I wrote this post. It isn’t just people with eating disorders – we are all affecting by mantras and mottos which knock are self-esteem and leave us feeling inadequate. You are damn right – there is so much more to us than our body shape!

  • Great post. After reading it, it makes me worry so much less about the extra 10 pounds I’m carrying around since I had my last baby.

  • It certainly puts it in perspective doesn’t it?! Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed you recent post on celebrities who seem to want to lose all their post-baby weight within days of giving birth. It’s a shame they feel they have to do this, and once again it sends out completely the wrong message.

  • so sorry to hear about your friend. It must ahve been awful for you all to watch. I think you hit the nail on the head. I;mno skinny mummy but i try so hard not to do anytihg that might give my girls reasons to have bad associations with food, one way or the other. it would be one of ym worst fears. I think it was important to say what you did – it’s prtty hard to take what she said out of context!

  • The anti-skinny argument’s been going on forever! Really, don’t you think these stick insects would have learnt by now?

  • Hi Rosie, I only now saw your great great great post! (Sorry, I am traveling…)
    As you know, I have been there, too. And I saw so many girls who failed to get rid of this nightmare ‘friend skinny’ – women our age who today still deal with this illness and who are bound to share their lives with it, rather than having kids, a relationship and a normal life.
    Thank you for speaking up!

  • MummyTips

    Rosie, what a great post. It never stops amazing me how the media (and by that I mean the Daily Mail) can be on one hand so critical of one ‘celeb’s words only to be shouting the glory of another’s amazing transformation from size 16 fatty to a size 6 cover girl (yes Hannah Waterman).
    All we need here is a little consistency. I can’t keep up – so how are our children expected to?
    Those of us who work in media circles know that you have to take with a pinch of salt (not sugar) most of what is printed. But our impressionable friends and children do not. This isn’t a food issue. It is a sensational, paper selling tactic that the general public falls for again and again.
    xx to your pal. I have seen the dark place too.

  • Linda, I love your comment as I’ve been there too. The most important thing is to realise that what ever size you are, you are still valuable and worth loving. Having been both much bigger and smaller than I am now, and having suffered with bulimia from age 14, Rosie and I have talked so much about this. I will NEVER diet again, and I will NEVER encourage my children too. It buggers up your relationship with food and makes you feel worthless and a failure. There is so much more to life. I’m learning that, at long last.

  • Brilliant brilliant post Rosie. When I think I might never have known you the way I do it breaks my heart because you are amazing and I’m so lucky to have you. It makes me so angry that Kate, knowing her ‘role’, even if it wasn’t voluntary, as thinspiration on pro Anna sites, could say something so tactless and thoughtless and potentially damaging. She’s our age, she has a child, and she’ll have seen the dangers of anorexia first hand in her profession. I hope she puts it right some how.

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