Friday, December 4, 2009

Moss: "Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels"

The syntax of Kate Moss's currently controversial quote intrigues me. The fashion model reportedly said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." She deserves a poetry prize.

Disregarding syntax for the moment, I think the eating disorder critics might not be out of line: "Healthy tastes better than skinny hurts." On the other hand, I don't know her, but I suspect Ms. Moss meant to say "thin" instead of "skinny." "Skinny" means "unattractively thin." "Thin" offers alternatives.

That takes care of that. Now for the intrigue, her comparison of taste with feel. I know less about Ms. Moss than I do about Fyodor Dostoevsky, whose novel Crime and Punishment my online book club is reading. Giving Ms. Moss the benefit of the doubt, let's treat her as kindly as we would Mr. Dostoevsky.

1. When she said "feels," she probably wasn't, but might have been, attempting to compare two of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing). Picture her hugging herself, thinking "thinness feels good. I'd rather feel this than taste my favorite food."

2. More likely, she was associating taste with emotional feeling. Now picture her sitting in her favorite armchair, eyes closed, arms resting lightly on soft upholstery, thinking how wonderful it is to be thin.

3. I doubt it, but she, like Tommy, the pinball wizard, might have been suggesting that someone else compare two of the senses, as in "Lover of mine, wouldn't you rather feel me thin than taste your favorite food?"

4. We could also consider her choice of the word "taste" over "eat," which casts a very different light on her possible intent. Think of a taster -- of wine or food -- who sees the object, smells it, touches it, tastes it, and maybe even hears it (compare, for example, marshmallows and peanuts), and doesn't swallow. Eat your hearts out, eating disorder critics.

Virginia whispers, "Nothing tastes as good as thinness feels with a little fat and muscle."

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