I had given up on Vanity Fair, Wolcott’s wit notwithstanding.
Providence intervened as I was lounging around on campus, bored out of my mind, watching the new freshmen stagger around with that all-too-familiar shell-shocked look in their eyes. I asked Khaled to buy me the latest copy.
Kate Moss was on the cover. Stunning as always, even more “stunningness” in the inside spread. I remarked to Khaled that for me, Kate Moss seemed to be one of the few people out there who looked completely natural, innocent, even, in the nude. A babe in the woods. Then I read A. A. Gill’s essay on Moss, and saw this:
“… The image that is most archetypal of [Moss], the one that flickers on the retina and best exemplifies her sense of self, is Kate Moss in nothing at all. Naked. She is the most unself-conscious and unconcerned without clothes… It’s always utterly, naturally, completely her. And winningly, omnisexually attractive. It’s like Eve before the apple. Not a lapse of modesty, but an absence of prurience.”
Personally, I believe that Eve was framed, but agree with Gill on everything else. Kate Moss reminds me of my mother’s old approach to photography (before my mother got mixed up with the wrong crowd, i.e. the Church), wherein skin equaled innocence. To pose in front of the camera and make it love you, you had to be a child, running through the sprinkler in a shift with no underpants on. You had to be human, not a piece of product, and Moss, for whatever reason, be it genetics or character or both, is exceedingly human in the nude or semi-nude pictures she takes.
It’s all the more distressing to me when I read discussions on the hyper-sexualization of both women and kids, whilst remembering my mother’s artistic philosophy, or leafing through sumptuous-yet-pure pictures of Kate Moss, with doves’ eyes within her locks.