View Full Version : Kate Dillon: People mag, May 2000

30th January 2010, 22:30
This is very interesting! People magazine is now archiving many of its old issues online, and one of the articles is from the May 2000 issue in which Kate Dillon (who was a size 14 at the time) was proclaimed one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World".

That's one of the few times that the magazine listed someone who actually deserved the title!

Here's the article:


It tells the familiar Kate Dillon story, which sounds so similar to Emme's. (It's remarkable how Crystal Renn's tale is almost a duplicate of Dillon's.)

Two things struck me in particular. One, that Kate became anorexic because of viewing a documentary about anorexia. That's a frightening revelation, and begs the question whether some efforts to combat eating disorders don't actually propagate them, especially if they simply reproduce images of underweight sufferers.

The second thing that struck me was this:

"I just couldn't keep starving myself," she says. Dillon visited a nutritionist and quickly added 15 lbs. but lost her modeling cachet. "I was only a size 8, yet I was told I was huge and disgusting," she says. After gaining another 15 lbs. ("I'd discovered food for the first time in seven years and wanted to eat"), Dillon quit the business and returned home to her parents
I'm glad she was able to quite before she suffered further harm, let alone died (as some models tragically have). But think - Kate was only a size 8 when she was underweight, and still a straight-size model. That's a tiny size - but that's practically where some parts of the industry want plus-size models to be these days! And at that size, Kate was dying.

It indicates the danger of the trend toward diminishing plus-size models, and the urgent need to restore fuller-figured norms to plus-size modelling.

Anyway, the article comes with a big scan of Kate's page from the issue. Here's a smaller version:


And here's a link to a really impressive full-size scan on the People site:


31st January 2010, 12:40
How interesting to see that page with text! I've always known it from how it appears in the Judgment of Paris's Kate Dillon gallery, showing the original photo:


It really is one of the most beautiful pictures of Kate Dillon's career, a great example of how to update a pose from an Old Master painting but with interesting new lighting techniques:


It's so wonderful to have another look at the fuller-figured Kate Dillon of yore. She had such a gorgeous figure at the time. The most bittersweet line in the article is the last one:

She says she still worries about her weight—sort of. "My goal is to stay right where I am, forever," she declares.
If only she had! After making this vow, I really wish that she had stayed at exactly the size she was in this picture. All of her work since then would have had so much more of an impact. The industry was never the same after she diminished herself so severely. At least this picture remains from those magical four years of her career when she was a true plus-size goddess.

1st February 2010, 13:06
You've touched on an interesting idea that efforts to combat eating disorders may be enabling them. The fact of the matter is that eating disorders are learned behaviors. It's not natural to deny your stomach when it starts to growl. It's not natural to be ashamed of your body. We learn these things. Whenever these issues are being discussed in a public manner we must be careful not to provide a blueprint to at-risk girls.

I think a more effective means of fighting these conditions is by talking about what we can do to prevent them rather than dissecting the behavior. Let's talk about mothers being more positive role models for their daughters. Let's talk about what we can do to create a less hostile culture for our girls. Let's talk about how we can fight the institutionalized discrimination that is trickling down from the highest peaks of government. In my opinion, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of analysis.