Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

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Pop music had often cast women as sweet, bright creatures, but Winehouse’s lyrics revealed something messier. Here was … a woman who chose to live a little wild, follow her heart and sing of the simple stew of being female. Her songs were filled with broad talk, cussing, drink and drugs and dicks, songs that could hinge on one magnificent, unladylike question: “What kind of fuckery is this?”

Laura Barton on Amy Winehouse

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.