Like every other journalist on the planet, I’m writing a magazine piece this week about Amy Winehouse. But the above quote made me think of another famous British woman: Kate Moss.
When I interviewed Moss last year for Aussie ladymag Cleo, people were eager to know “what she was like”. Which, now that I reflect on the questions I was asked, pretty much meant “what she looked like in the flesh”.
“What was she wearing?”* “Was she insanely beautiful?” “Did you just want to kill yourself looking at her?”
Most of the time, I told them she was small. Boring, I know, but that was my first and most overwhelming impression: that she was shorter than I expected. Not the 5’7” she is officially promoted as. More like 5’6” or 5’5”.
My other thought - and I couldn’t find the words to explain this until I read Laura Barton’s article on Amy Winehouse - was that she looked like a woman who was too busy living to be overly invested in how she looked.
By which I guess I mean that I imagine that if you spent 20 minutes in a room with someone like, say, Jennifer Aniston, you be bowled over by her glow. The toned limbs from her daily yoga classes with a personal trainer, the glossy blowdry, the prenaturally dewy skin, the fact that the woman hasn’t had a slice of cake since the second season of Friends (okay, so maybe I exaggerate a little…).
Such comments aren’t an insult to Aniston anymore than Moss’s “messiness” is an insult to her. The woman is a beacon of health, and it shows.
But if Aniston is yoga and vegetables, Kate Moss is cocaine and clubbing. And again, it shows.
Our interview was part of a beauty promo day, but the only make-up she was wearing was thick black eyeliner. She looked like a good looking 37-year-old who has taken lots of drugs, drunk a lot of alcohol, and spent years sunbathing on the Mediterranean and partying at music festivals - which is of course, exactly who and what she is.
Moss has a face could light up any camera, but she’s also a woman who - as Barton’s article about Winehouse put it, has chosen to “live a little wild” and “follow her heart”. It’s not what everyone’s heart would choose, but I kind of liked the fact that - despite being a supermodel - she didn’t feel the need to play that role every day. That she’d rather live her live in a way that she obviously enjoys than have perfect skin. Which is probably why people like her so much.
* She was wearing black, if you’re curious. I don’t remember the outfit in any further detail.