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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 September 2007, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Talking Shop: Beth Ditto
Beth Ditto
Beth Ditto was named the coolest person in music by NME last year
Thanks to her fiery vocals and charismatic stage presence, Gossip singer Beth Ditto has become one of 2007's fastest-rising stars.

More often than not, however, it is her 15 stone (95 kg) body that tends to dominate the headlines.

On the eve of London Fashion Week, the Arkansas-born performer spoke to BBC Radio 1 about role models, size zero and body fascism.

Beth on weight:

I am pretty happy. I think what makes me unhappy is how unhappy people are with me. If you're not big you really cannot possibly understand. You can be dead, you could be a drug addict as long as you're not fat. And I think that's so absurd.

Miss Piggy
The "girly and tough" Miss Piggy was a childhood idol
Beth on role models:

When I was a kid I had weird idols. I was really into Miss Piggy - she was extremely girly and extremely tough.

I feel like when I was a kid it was just so different. At least you had Cyndi Lauper who totally looked so weird and now it's so Hollywood Paris Hilton. It's a joke.

Beth on Top Shop:

We said no to Top Shop - it was really important for me not to take money that they offered, not to take the bait and be sure and strong in myself. But the thing is I'd still wear Top Shop. I'm full of contradictions - I'm a human.

Beth on size zero:

It's so obvious but so deep about our culture, and what it says about women and their worth in the world.

To be a zero and like, that is your ultimate goal - not to be smart, or appreciated, or be an amazing artist, or be an amazing nurse or doctor or lawyer.

The biggest thing in your world is to be nothing - I think that is so intense. How about getting rid of the zero and putting a number to that, even if it's a small number? People are naturally small.

Beth on image:

People want to tell you the real world is harsh and cruel and if you're fat and ugly no-one will ever like you - that's not true
Some people are just really big, some people are short, some people are tall, some people have blue eyes, some people are completely blind - that's the real world.

But what people want to tell you is that the real world is harsh and cruel and the reality is that if you're fat and ugly no one will ever like you.

That's not true - that's not reality. Real life is your skin, your flesh, your heart, your blood, walking down the street. That's real life.

Beth Ditto features in the Radio 1 Surgery: Food for Thought on Sunday at 2200 BST.

Women top list of music's coolest
22 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Talking Shop: Gail Porter
06 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Talking Shop: The Hoosiers
20 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Talking shop: Paul McGann
25 Jun 07 |  Entertainment


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