Gossip frontwoman and fashion icon Beth Ditto graces April’s cover of Paper magazine as part of their Beautiful People issue. While the photos are obviously awesome — hyper-colorful and shot by designer Jeremy Scott on a simple white set — it’s the accompanying article that has us kvelling.
A good friend of Karl Lagerfeld’s — he calls her “genius” — and longtime bestie of Kate Moss, Ditto is an inspiring icon, as unapologetic of her weight as she is focused and dedicated on stage. Apropos of nothing, she once stripped on stage, delicately peeling off a five-piece sequin suit made especially for her by the Kaiser himself.
Also, have you heard her sing?
Anyway, Ditto dishes to Paper about what it means to make it in the music industry, her kleptomania, and how the longtime lesbian is now defining herself as straight.
On the music industry:
“We were a band for so long…The first time I ever saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was when they opened for us. Then they got signed to a major. We toured with the White Stripes forever and then they were signed to a major. And you look around and you’re the only people that haven’t been asked! We thought it was never gonna happen, and we started thinking it wasn’t that we were too weird, but too shitty.”
On her penchant for stealing:
Instead, we concentrate on our interview— or try to while Ditto eyes some of the outfits hanging on the wall rack and mischievously urges me to bag them. “I have a hard time not buying or stealing,” she freely admits. “If I want something, I have to have it.”
“But not anymore,” she says, smiling. “The last time was three months ago—a dress from Marshalls. I used to steal more. I mostly stole from Goodwill. You know, ‘Can’t be bothered. The line’s too long. Put it in your purse.’” She says this with such twinkly, charismatic eyes that I decline to call the authorities and go back to our interview.
On her sexual identity:
“The person she seems to love most is her partner of eight years, Freddie, a bus driver in Portland, Oregon, where Ditto humbly lives. Is it true that Freddie’s a man? “F to M,” she explains. “It’s so West Coast. There’s a lot of people who started on testosterone or estrogen, and there’s a whole movement of people who want to be trans but not take them. Also, it doesn’t matter if you call him ‘her’ or he ‘she.’” So what do we call Beth now? A straight woman? “Yeah,” says the longtime out lesbian. “Here I am coming out as straight!”
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