'Some do coke. Others do ciggies instead of eating'... Who do you mean, Beth?

The singer insists that, though fat, she is not unhealthy, and challenges the belief that skinny people are healthier.

Beth Ditto, the larger- than-life lead singer of the Gossip, has charged into battle with her size-challenged sisters. Forced to defend her weight once too often, Ditto cracked last week and launched an attack on the conventional belief that it is healthier to be thin.

Although she is several belt notches bigger than the average, size-16, British woman, this is no reason to believe she is unhealthy, Ditto declared. Her ample size-28 frame puts her firmly in the red danger zone of a body-mass-index chart, but Ditto insisted: "I'm not an unhealthy person and... one of the most tiring parts of being fat and being proud of it is... you do a lot of proving yourself all the time."

She added: "It's really interesting to me that people will look at a thin person and go, 'That's a healthy person'. I want to go: 'Come, open my refrigerator and look, and then let's talk about what you think is so bad.' To be thin and to stay really thin... some people literally do coke all the time. Some people smoke cigarettes instead of eating. That's crazy. But that's OK, because you look healthier."

And looking healthier is not enough, doctors have found. MRI body scans have shown that even thin people can have major internal fat deposits surrounding vital organs such as the heart, liver or pancreas. The most vulnerable are those who starve themselves thin because a look in the mirror convinces them they are healthy. Some doctors fear that being fat inside is just as dangerous as the more obvious external fat covering Ditto.

The Gossip singer's tirade, captured in an interview with the broadcaster Fearne Cotton, went right to the heart of the size-zero controversy that has dogged the fashion world in recent years. Campaigners, worried about the toll that being slim takes on models' bodies, have tried to persuade designers to avoid anyone who looks dangerously thin. But with even Mark Fast, the Canadian who kicked up a storm by using plus-sized models a year ago, having only one larger woman in his show last week, it is clear that the skinny aesthetic still dominates. Not that there isn't a demand for larger sizes. The launch of Ditto's second collection for Evans, the plus-sized retailer, last week prompted a global frenzy for her designs from so-called fatshionistas.

The skinny woman's view

Kate Moss The stick-thin model, who was snapped wearing the tiniest of leather hot pants last week, will never live down her admission that one of her personal mottoes was "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".

The starver's view

Elizabeth Hurley The actress wrote in a tweet earlier this summer that she broke every nutritional rule in the book by never eating breakfast. "Woken up to sunshine and lots of my best friends. Watching them eat pain au chocolat. Me drinking hot water," she tweeted.

The eater's view

Ashley Greene The Twilight actress spoke for many when she said recently: "A lot of people like to be super-tiny, but I don't want a child's body – I want a woman's body that is extremely fit. It's so much sexier. I'm a big believer in feeding your body what it needs. Deny yourself something and you're going to end up shoving your face full of it."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor