Friday, September 23, 2005

Shearwater -- The Ice Covered Everything

It's Shabbat again already. I think I got a few important things done this week. Maybe next week I'll try for a few more.

If I was a single-minded person, I'd stay focused on waste and corruption in Washington. Because if enough people get mad about it, maybe things will change.

But with a daughter who is becoming a teenager, I am worried about women and body image, and so my focus is on the Kate Moss debacle. Not because I care about Kate Moss or fashion models, but because I am angry at the nasty hypocrisy of the media and fashion industry. Moss has been using all sorts of drugs for years, and now she is tossed out on her ear because she was caught snorting on film? There are two facts that are clear:



(Sure, we have "plus size" models. Recently, there was an uproar over Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty and its "real" models. The company's ads feature attractive women with attractive bodies of different shapes and sizes. Sure, Dove is selling stuff, but the message is a good one -- beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. But this very message was drowned out by negative comments, because our perception of beauty has become so skewed and narrow that the average American apparently thinks that the average American -- themselves! -- is just unappealing and unattractive, and that beauty is a rare quality possessed only by fashion models and certain movie actresses.

Anyone with half a brain knows that for models to stay unnaturally thin, they must be doing unnatural things. The phrase "heroin chic" MEANS something, people. The fashion and music industries are fueled by legal and illegal stimulants and depressives of all kinds, and no one cares as long as the results are good. Our culture accepts and endorses drug use, as long as you hold it together.

LA's Stew (the best damn singer/songwriter in America, dangit) says in the last line of "Re-hab,"

When she got out of re-hab for the twenty-second time
her new take on life was very deep and empty
she traded mainline for online then she took up web design
now she's paid in full and blows the horn of plenty
once she said "hey listen baby I ain't gonna lie
there just ain't nothing I like more than getting high"
and funny how the maniacs who took the time to sob
seem to not mind a junkie with a well paying job--

Or as David Lee Roth and many other people have said "I used to have a drug problem, but now I make enough money." Because no one has a drug problem unless one has to get a fix and is reduced to prostitution or theft to get the money.

Or as Cher says in the great 90s film Clueless "It is one thing to spark up a dubie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day." Because it's OK to USE drugs, just not ABUSE drugs.

And how do you know the difference? Well, it's all how you carry yourself. It's a matter of poise and class. A model ought to do everything with style, with her body and hair and clothes just so. Kate Moss committed the worst crime possible. She was caught doing something properly kept private and discreet, sure -- this IS a great crime in America (and the reason Clinton was impeached). But worse than that, Kate Moss the fashion model, someone who must have poise and style and grace at all times, was caught in the most tacky poses possible, snorting with no sense of panache or style. She made cocaine and its users seem crass, dirty, and pathetic. And this, my friends, not the fact that she uses, it what the fashion companies could not stand.

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