Controversy over Kate Moss’ “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” motto


Kate Moss is getting into all sorts of trouble for saying that her motto is “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Critics are lambasting her, saying that she’s promoting eating disorders. That’s the same model that’s often quoted on a lot of pro-anorexia websites. And considering she was the face of the “heroin chic” model movement in the 1990s, it’s bringing up a lot of old issues. Kate’s modeling agency has of course tried to amend her statement, but it doesn’t appear to be doing much good.

Kate Moss needs a new motto. After she told Women’s Wear Daily that she lived by the slogan, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” the model, 35, has been attacked by eating disorder groups for her “dangerous” viewpoint.

“Comments like this make it even more difficult for young people struggling with an eating disorder,” said Mary George, a representative of a British eating disorder charity called Beat. “She probably doesn’t realize how dangerous such comments can be.”

In fact, that exact comment is a slogan posted on many Web sites that encourage girls not to eat and pushes those with anorexia or bulimia over the edge. Model Katie Green also considered her statement “shocking and irresponsible,” especially because Moss has a seven-year-old daughter, Lila Grace.

“Kate is a mother herself and how would parents with children suffering from eating disorders feel reading something like this?” said Green, who has been campaigning to stop the use of ultra-thin models in runway shows. “[Kate] should really have thought before she spoke like most of us do before giving interviews.”

Moss’ modeling agency, Storm, however, said her words were misconstrued.

“This was part of a longer answer Kate gave during a wider-ranging interview, which has unfortunately been taken out of context and completely misrepresented,” the agency said in a statement. “For the record, Kate does not support this as a lifestyle choice.”

[From Us Weekly]

In the video below, British psychotherapist Lucy Beresford talks more about why Kate’s motto is so dangerous. Importantly, she notes that the saying didn’t originate with Kate, and is thought to have been coined by Weight Watchers. I swear to God I remember Oprah saying it after she lost all that weight in the 80s and toted that wagon full of fat on her show’s stage. I’ve heard it for years – though with “thin” instead of “skinny,” which does make it sound less unhealthy. I think the original point of the motto was to say it to yourself when you’re an overweight person who’s battling cravings and over-eating desires. It wasn’t intended as a motto for skinny people to get even skinnier.

As Kaiser pointed out in her article about this, Kate’s follow up comment is very important. She says, “‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.’ That’s one of them. You try and remember, but it never works.” So while Kate’s repeating the phrase – and still saying it’s her motto, which is very dangerous – she did also say that she can’t stick to it. It’s not a great motto for a skinny model to have, but it’s not surprising. And I absolutely see why it’s dangerous. I’m just trying to point out that there’s more to it, and others have said it as well.

Okay, I hope that’s the last time I ever have to defend Kate Moss.

Here’s Kate Moss and a friend arriving at a London Hotel on November 16th. Images thanks to .

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61 Responses to “Controversy over Kate Moss’ “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” motto”

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  1. ccoop says:

    “Nothing tastes as good as cocaine feels” – is that more what you meant, Kate?

  2. fizXgirl314 says:

    and look how well it worked out for oprah? :-p

  3. Puppybrite says:

    Ow, ccoop, zing!

  4. Sumodo says:

    Nothing tastes as good as the souvlaki sandwich I just finished!

  5. Ana says:

    Sumodo– what is souvlaki??? I have never heard of ti.

    I found this comment coming from her ridiculous in the first place. She probably uses coke and adderall.

  6. Lenore says:

    I found it pretty refreshing to read a model admit, basically, “I forgo food and starve myself for my looks”.

    First Liz Hurley, now Kate Moss – makes a change from all those airheads weighing 120 lbs at five foot ten tall, telling the world they eat burgers and fries all the time and can’t be bothered to exercise. Or that they lost 30lbs baby weight in a fortnight by doing the odd sesh of pilates. Give me a king-sized break.

    Look, ladies, if you want to starve yourself to stay skinny, then fine, that’s your choice, but to women and girls around the world who are being bombarded constantly with images of perfect (skinny) beauty and struggling with their self-esteem, the look is not as harmful as the lie. They’re looking in the mirror and thinking they’re at fault because they eat healthily and still have meat on their bones. There’s always this sense of “If models can eat burgers and stay thin, what am I doing wrong?”

    There ought to be a moratorium against models who don’t have their regulation 2000 calories a day – if you’re skinny by nature, and Lord knows I’ve known some girls who stuffed their faces and never put on a pound, then all well and groovy. But if your beauty rests on your willingness to harm yourself by undereating and living off cigarettes and coke, then it’s a fraud.

    If advertising and modelling are supposed to be presenting an aspirational image, surely the first thing we ought to be aspiring to is good health? And if the designers out there find it too difficult to shape their fashions to fit women with or without curves, then maybe they need to go back and learn to do their job all over again.

  7. Meow Mix says:

    I know that I am going to get slammed for saying this but I kind of agree.
    I feel much better when I’m thinner. I’m only talking between 5 & 10 pounds but it makes a big difference emotionally for me. My clothes fit better and I don’t have that heavy bloated feeling. I’m just plain happier. Does that mean I have an eating disorder? No I don’t think so, I just feel gross when I eat too much. So before I stuff food in my mouth I think how is it going to make me feel?

  8. javelin says:

    I first read that motto in Vogue, where it was used by Andre Leon Talley in describing a conversation with Oprah about their weight loss strategies. It’s a pretty common phrase, and there are a lot of delicious foods we all know contradict it.

  9. seriously says:

    For those of us on a sensible, healthy, short-term diet, her motto is a wonderful reminder for getting through the day without cheating.

  10. Lantana says:

    I’m with Meow Mix. I’m 100% on board. Someone might feel good 20 pounds overweight, I might feel good 20 pounds underweight. You can preach to me about cardiac events and I can preach to you about hypertension and diabetes. I say live and let live. Or die, as the case may be.

  11. javelin says:

    Meow Mix,
    there’s nothing wrong with valuing your happiness and satisfaction over excess food, good for you.

  12. Ana says:

    I agree with you Meow Mix. I have put on about 4 pounds and it really bothers me. It makes me feel bloated and listless.
    My clothes get tight and I feel squished.
    I guess I can buy some bigger clothes for times like these but I would rather lose the weight. I don’t want it to snowball.
    But if I mention gaining weight people roll their eyes at me.

  13. gaby says:

    Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? Yeah how about a molten chocolate cake 🙂 I’m a 21 year old girl, I worry about my weight and my body but I love food too much!

  14. Maria86 says:

    A common motto I think of when I’m about to bite into a guilty pleasure is: “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!”

    I use that motto to prove it wrong. I can enjoy its moment on my lips and then work it off my hips! 😉

  15. Tia C says:

    Yeah, I thought that was a Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig slogan. A friend of mine had it up on her fridge when she was dieting. I’ve never been able to live by it!

  16. Stephie says:

    Yeah, we should all be an anorexic coke-head like her. Eat a sandwich Kate, it’ll doyagood.

  17. Sumodo says:

    @Ana Go to any Greek restaurant and order one Souvlaki sandwich, or, as I do, make it yourself. You have to have pita bread, a thin, boneless pork chop, tsadziki sauce (thick yoghurt with shredded cucumber, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper, green onion, sliced tomato. Optional mint or dried mint.
    1. Salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides of the meat and cook on both sides until done. 2 Soften pita bread by putting it atop the meat and covering the pan, with heat off. 3. Shred or julienne a little of the cucumber and mix it into yoghurt. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, and if you have it,chopped mint or dried mint. 4. Slice some green onion and some tomato. With a plate, start assembling sandwich. Pita goes down, lighter side up. Spread on yoghurt sauce,and on one half, layer meat, tomato, green onion. Fold over and eat.

  18. Just a Poster says:

    This saying has been around forever. Why bash Kate for it, she didn’t coin it.

    One would think that “critics” would be bashing Ralph Lauren for that horrid photo shop and firing of that model first.

  19. ligeia says:

    at least she is being honest about what is required of most models especially ones who aren’t 15 years old *shrugs*

  20. Firestarter says:

    Can’t wait until Thurs. when I will be enjoying a HUGE plate of food! Nothing tastes as good as Turkey!

  21. katyusha says:

    “There ought to be a moratorium against models who don’t have their regulation 2000 calories a day…”


    In all fairness, I don’t even eat 2000 calories a day, and my body is a far cry from a model’s and I work out 4 days a week. In fact, I don’t know any girl that eats 2000 calories – unless, they are overwieght. I don’t know where you got that 2000 calorie firgure from, but for people who eat healthy and don’t consume calorie-burdened food, that’s not realistic.

    So, don’t hold your breath.

  22. GatsbyGal says:

    I disagree, chips and queso taste muuuuuch better. 😀

  23. rose says:

    katyusha. i definitely eat 2000 calories a day. and i’m slim though not skinny. if i ate less i’d lose weight, if i ate more i’d gain. everyone has different metabolic rates but i think 2000 calories for most women actually is a good amount. our perception has been so distorted by diets and magazines that 2000 calories seems excessive when it simply isn’t

  24. princess pea says:

    @ Just a Poster – re: Ralph Lauren – We did. Like crazy, around the time it happened. Where were you? Bash bash bashy-bash, it was nuts up in here.

    @ Firestarter – *sniffle* I was all smug when I got to have Thanksgiving last month, but now I’m sad that it’s over and yours is still coming… want to invite me over? (I couldn’t come, because my passport is expired, but I’m so sad. I want turkey.)

  25. Firestarter says:

    Princess Pea- I am prepared to Fed Ex a meal your way! Thnaksgiving dinner is my specialty, if I do say so myself!

  26. longduck says:

    kate moss has been doing some hard living
    *winky winky*
    she looks like hell without the help of a bucket of makeup and photoshop magic
    *stares at wall*
    she doesn’t look like she works out. she may be thin but she has a GUT – everyone is always saying she looks pregnant. her body is not toned at all. she looks cracked out *throws up lunch*

  27. Sumodo says:

    Ahhh! Just had wild rice with mushrooms, steamed vegetables, and a nice piece of fish, with a couple of glasses of wine. Eat THAT, Coke-kate! I dare you. Dark chocolate for dessert!

  28. Rosanna says:

    @Meow Mix: I’m with you too. To some, eating in excess feels better than being skinny. To others, eating less feels better than being fat. Besides, I don’t understand how come that “fat is beautiful” but somehow “skinny is sick”. As always in life it’s a matter of choices… being fat is as unhealthy as being underweight. I keep my BMI between 18 and 19 and that’s about where it should be.

  29. WTF?!? says:

    I don’t understand why everyone’s making such a huge deal about the phrase, it has been the pro-ana mantra for decades. Late to the party much?

    Rosanna– please cite your “fat is beautiful” source– I have never heard that anywhere for general consumption.

  30. Kathie says:

    Sumodo, that sounds like an awesome sandwich and I am going to advise my meat eating friends that there is a new Sheriff in town and its name is souvlaki sandwich

  31. Babs says:

    People need to stop being so sensitive and stupid.
    It’s not like she went to some eating disorder treatment facility, barged into an anorexia group meeting and started screaming, ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!’ Leave her the hell alone. People need to stop being crybabies.

  32. Dorrie says:

    Katyusha and friends: Here’s a one-day, 2000 calorie menu. If you think this is a lot of food, you aren’t measuring your portions correctly.

    1 cup bran flakes w/1 cup fat-free milk
    1 small banana
    1 slice whole wheat toast w/1 tsp soft margarine
    1 cup prune juice (editor’s note-yech!)

    Tuna fish sandwich–see below for ingredients:
    2 slices rye bread
    3 ounces tuna, which is 1/2 a small can(packed in water, honey, not oil)
    2 tsp mayonnaise
    1 tbsp diced celery
    1/4 cup shredded romaine lettuce
    2 slices tomato
    1 medium pear
    1 cup fat-free milk
    Roasted chicken breast
    (3 ounces boneless skinless
    chicken breast, about the size of a pack of cards)
    1 large baked sweetpotato
    1/2 cup peas and onions (again, yech!)
    1 tsp soft magarine
    1 ounce whole wheat dinner roll
    1 tsp soft margarine
    1 cup leafy greens salad
    3 tsp sunflower oil and vinegar
    1/4 cup dried apricots
    1 cup low-fat fruited yogurt

    And yes, “tsp” stands for “teaspoon,” not “tablespoon.”

  33. RaraAvis says:

    Yea, when you use drugs as a substitute for food you feel pretty good about yourself. High five, Kate!

  34. fizXgirl314 says:

    Rosanna, the reason that people iterate that “fat is beautiful” is because it’s not the default and the point needs to be driven home… Skinny is already well accepted… just look around you… people are dying to be thin… billions are spent on trying to make people thin and almost zero dollars on trying to make them fat…

    it’s like the question “why is there a mother’s day and not a kid’s day” or “why is there no white history month, but there is a black history month”… it’s because it’s ALWAYS white history month and ALWAYS kids day…

    I often find it difficult to understand how a person can be thin and not have any sympathy… if you’re a female and you’re thin, you don’t have to deal with a major MAJOR problem in your life… doesn’t that free you up for some sympathy? I mean I was kind of a chunky teen when I was growing up and I lost the weight but I never lost my perspective :/

  35. original kate says:

    i’ve been skinny, and then i was chubby, and now i’m skinny again, and skinny feels way better. i love food, but sorry, she’s right. i think the key is moderation.

  36. fizXgirl314 says:

    I don’t think anybody is saying there isn’t any truth to the concept that when women gain weight, it tends to be stressful… Hell, I might be the worst case scenerio… If I gain a pound or two, I go into some depressive state…. I don’t wanna go to work, I don’t wanna see my friends and I feel like a big failure… AND I HAVE A PHD… but I grew up with some major psychological trauma about weight so I may have it worse than most people…

    HOWEVER… I think the beauty of it is that we can look at the way things are and perceive change… I don’t think it’s right that a woman should have so much of her self worth tied to her weight… just because that is the way things are right now doesn’t mean they should ALWAYS be that way… and it certainly doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to be better…

    If a person is significantly overweight, they have their own issues to deal with… and they may or may not do so of their own free will… however, I really feel that if you gained 5 or 10 pounds and you’re feeling like shit, and you think that’s the way it SHOULD be… then you’re not seeing the potential for growth…

    Statistically speaking, weight gain is almomst inevitable for a woman… metabolisms slow down over the years, people get pregnant, they get stressed out, they get happy, whatever and what not… and they put on a few pounds… there NEEDS to be some level acceptance to allow for some room for fluctuation… As women, if we are so strict in our definition of beauty and so rigid with ourselves, we’re just going to set up roadblocks for us that we’ll have to eventually contend with…

    I’m just saying, I’d like to be able to gain five pounds at some point in my life without having to feel like the end is near… I definitely see it as a possibility because people are just naturally getting fatter because lifestyles are changing… most manual labor is handled by machines nowadays and there is plenty of food (at least in some countries)… so either we’re gonna have to accept it or we’re just going to continue to marinade in self loathing… I guess the choice is ours…

  37. la chica says:

    i’m surprised that she got slammed for this. i rather like the expression. it’s not like she said “nothing tastes as good as anorexia feels”. she said “skinny”. skinny can also be healthy. in fact all of the medical guidelines favor being skinny and healthy over being overweight.

    i am going to put up this mantra on my fridge as a reminder to not reach for that second helping.

  38. Lantana says:

    My BMI is usually around 15. My family (all medical professionals) have a fit about it. My own doctor (not family), who’s done bloodwork and all the other annual check up stuff, says, “don’t worry about it.” I eat between 900 and 1100 HEALTHY calories a day. Raw vegetables, salmon, a portion of lean beef at times (and a portion is considered to be the size and thickness of a pack of playing cards – not half the size of a dinner plate). Anyway, I can not find any place on the internet that says I am unhealthy. I don’t eat and puke. I don’t eat junk food. I do take a multivitamin. I do workout at least 6 hours per week. I do have a higher power that I believe in. So why does everyone (but me) think I am going to kill myself? (I am 5’8″ and currently 101 lbs) Does anyone know of any information that links ill health solely to low BMI? (Low-BMI reports that I have read disappear if you exclude life ending diseases which often result in low BMI before death. Death is not from low BMI, but from the disease that caused it.)

  39. la chica says:

    to Lantana: at 5′ 8″, you should be eating about twice the amount of calories you are, just for your body to carry out its daily functions healthily. BMI is not the issue. health is.

  40. jean says:

    I’ve heard that line since the 80s. I bet a male fashion designer actually said it first.

    Here’s a (paraphrased)quote for Kate:

    “If you botch the raising of your children, no other successes will much matter.”
    -Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

  41. orion70 says:

    I’m with la chica, 900 calories a day is not enough for someone 5’8 , particularly if you’re working out that much.

    Am also with jean….i’ve been hearing that expression for ages.

  42. JuliaJolie says:

    @Lantana: Nobody should be eating 1100 calories a day. Even if you weighed over 200lb it’s still not enough food to just support your daily functions (tooth-brushing, cooking, showering etc).

    I don’t know how long you’ve been eating like this but even with a completely sedentary lifestyle you are burning muscle – not fat – by practically starving yourself. Eventually, you’ll be left with what looks like flab, but is metabolised muscle, and that’ll spur you to starve yourself and work out even more, and your situation will get worse. Think kidney failure, and then everything else will fall like dominoes.

    If you can’t find anything on the internet to tell you that your lifestyle is unhealthy, then you’re not looking hard enough, or you’re ignoring what your doctor is saying. By all means, eat healthy food (I’m vegetarian so it’s a little easier for me) but pack more on your plate. I’m about an inch taller than you and I need to eat twice what you’re eating just to MAINTAIN my body weight on a far, far less active lifestyle.

    I suggest you get your doctor to refer you to a nutritionist if you want to maintain a healthy diet because you seem to be neglecting normal portion size. You may feel great now, but in a few months you’ll be an irritable, bloated, drained zombie. Trust me.

  43. Oh My says:

    “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? ”
    let’s be honest, how many working models (let alone Kate moss) remember what real food tastes like?

  44. TwinkleToes says:

    At the risk of sounding like a d-bag, both Liz Hurley and Kate live in the UK, right? Not known for their food. They put corn on pizza. They’d be singing a different tune if they lived in France or Italy or the US. It’s probably easy to stay thin in England because nothing probably taste good. Lose weight, move to the UK.

  45. fizXgirl314 says:

    I notice in europe, nobody is on a diet and nobody really worries about “health” in the same sense that americans worry about it… I mean, there are a few diet items and some nutritionally enhanced protein bars or something, but not to the extent it is in the US… you’d be hard pressed to find a low fat cheese or dairy product in most places…and everyone’s thin! it’s like magic!!

  46. WTF?!? says:

    Lantana– you’ve posted your obviously anorexic predilections many times before. A BMI of a concentration camp victim is not something to brag about, and since you’re not “naturally” thin but rather take great pains to deny your body the nutrients it requires, your mental as well as your physical health are in a bad place.

    Please get professional to help you reorganize your thinking. I’d hate to see the “Where’s Lantana been?” postings after you succumb to a heart attack or renal failure from advanced ketosis.
    Take care of yourself, sweetie…

  47. NFLer says:

    Of course ciggies, pills and cocaine help too.

  48. Kate says:

    I live by “just one look at a lardass gets me off my butt and to the gym!”

  49. Emily says:

    Oh, god, I’m hungover and all this talk of souvlakis is alternately making me salivate and want to throw up. Souvlakis would have to be the bestest food ever to eat when you’re drunk. I feel sorry for people like Kate who would probably see souvlakis as devil food.

  50. Nebraska says:

    My mother had weight issues until the day she died; she had cancer and lost weight and was afraid of getting fat again even though she was never fat in the first place. Because of this, I never really thought skinny was attractive and was happy to gain 40 pounds in my mid thirties, and I got some boobs from gaining the weight. I like mo’nique’s saying “once you go fat, you can’t go back.” And I’m going to have a couple of creme horns for dessert and feel a little sorry for Kate Moss because she is really missing out, and if she ate some food once in a while instead of doing coke, then she might be a happier, more fulfilled person.

  51. DD says:

    tbh i don’t think a stupid saying will cause eating disorders. when a person already has an eating disorder they will search for sayings or any propaganda to fuel their disorder but the saying would not propel it. any saying can be misinterpreted or taken too far.

  52. cc says:

    kate moss is skinny for a living. who on earth was surprised at her motto? and furthermore, who cares? its HER motto, not yours. people are all up in arms because they think she is some kind of role model, to me, thats where the real tragedy lies. kate moss is no role model. in a world filled with talented, dedicated, brilliant women in all walks of life, its ridiculous that anyone would let their daughters idolize her so much as to endanger their health by adopting kate’s motto.
    if the motto concerns you, take your daughter to a museum, the library, a play. turn off the tv, shut down the computer. expose her to real woman who rock, and take hyper-sexualized advertising as a chance to talk with your girl about the messages they are trying to send.
    in short, don’t blame your lazy parenting on kate.

  53. Jess says:

    That must not be true or she wouldn’t need all of those drugs to get her through her days.

  54. Sprmcandy says:

    Pretty Lady.

  55. crash2GO2 says:

    Here you go Lantana. You can’t say now that you’ve looked and can’t find it anywhere. All I did was type BMI 15 into google.

    ‘A BMI nearing 15 is usually used as an indicator for STARVATION and the health risks involved, with a BMI <17.5 being an informal criterion for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.’

  56. Cheyenne says:

    @ Lantana: There’s thin, and there’s skinny. Thin is healthy. Skinny is not. At 5 feet 8 inches and 101 lbs, you are beyond skinny — you are skeletal.

    I’m 5-6 and weigh 128. My BMI is 20.7. According to the BMI tables, that is in the lower half of normal (18.5 to 24.9). According to those same tables, the minimum healthy weight for your height is 130 lbs.

    You don’t have to pile your plate up with food, but a portion the size of a pack of cards? Who eats like that?

    There is nothing healthy about being severely underweight. Nothing.

  57. Cheyenne says:

    @cc: Most of those super-skinny models are living off black coffee and cigarettes, not to mention an occasional hit of heroin and/or cocaine.

  58. spiceh says:

    wow, I’m 5′ and weight 100 lbs, yet ppl keep saying that I’m skinny. Just imagine myself 8 inches taller and still weight the same like Latana, that’s just way too skinny. I don’t think myself as skinny, just thin. And I rather be thin than eating all the good food and deal with gaining weight. Even with 5 lbs extra, I feel sluggish and less energetic already.

    Many ppl say that they rather eating good food than starving themselves, but then I ask myself if they exercise and being active and eating everything in moderation? Or are they saying that just to make up the fact that they’re not thin? I love to eat good food too, as a matter of fact, I don’t cook and I eat out pretty much 5 nights a week. However, I try to eat everything in consideration and make better choices.

    Someone mentioned earlier that the ppl in Europe don’t worry as much about weight and don’t diet as much as the ppl in the States, yet they’re more in shape. Maybe because they don’t eat such large portions and simply enjoy the food instead of devour it like the ppl in the States? I have tried chocolate from different countries in Europe and also from the States. The chocolate from Europe are so much less sweet, yet more satisfying. I could never go for a second piece with the American chocolate simply because it’s too sweet even with dark chocolate (Godiva, Hershey which I can’t stand the smell, etc).

  59. Susie says:

    I think people should stop worrying about the skinny people getting skinnier. What about the fact that more than half the adults in the us are overweight?

    Also, it is wrong to assume that working models never eat any real food. I am a working model and I eat plenty… Just not at mcdonalds. There are far more obese people in the world than there are anorexics. People are blowing up over what Kate said but it is a motto that more than half US adults should follow.

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