Letter: No reason to get one's knickers in a twist

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The Independent Online
Sir: On learning of an anorexic- looking, eroticised child in high- fashion underwear being featured in Vogue's pages, I, of course, rushed out and bought a copy of the magazine to which your writer had drawn attention and which you illustrated in your pages.

I am bound to report that it does not live up to the prurient suggestiveness foisted on it. Clearer inspection of the original does show a young girl, Kate Moss, but she might be in her late teens and is most certainly not 'pre-pubescent'.

The shot of her face and well-covered upper body which introduces the photospread even suggests a woman in her early twenties because of the tilted back and foreshortened angle of her head. The other shots of her show a girl who is slim, yes, even skinny, but not wasted or exhibiting any perverse sense of self-inflicted malnutrition.

Her underwear is what one would expect to find in shop windows of the non-erotic trades: in one case, she has wrapped herself in an eiderdown or duvet. She has not got very nice kneecaps: this is the surprise, perhaps. The offence, if any there be, is perhaps the shapeliness of the rest of her to those women who have lost their own figures and resent Kate Moss putting hers about: your writer, Marion Hume, admits this, but still condemns the model for using her 'child-woman' body to sell the underwear of 'a little Lolita dressed up in the private clothes of a woman' - wanting it both ways, in short.

Good heavens, little girls have wanted to do this for generations and woman have tried to squeeze their bodies into the smallest possible sizes of undergarments down the ages. What is all the fuss about, please?

Yours sincerely,


London, W9

28 May