Moss We Pretend?
In a news that has attracted as much attention as Hurricane Katarina, the world discovered with dismay that supermodel (or super-role-model as per the other Blair , aka Shoot-To-Kill)
Kate Moss was able to catwalk a few lines of coke the same way she sashayed for fashion lines, ranging from H&M to Lagerfeld-designed Chanel (apparently, Karl lost 90 kilos in 13 months thank to "spoonlighting", whatever that means.
While not exactly shocked by the news that people in the fashion industry do drugs ( unlike doctors, sport coaches, politicians, politicians’ children, soldiers, and "workers" in general), paraphernalia is quite amazed (if not dismayed) by two facets of this very surprising scandal.
The first is the reaction of Ms. Moss’ sponsor. Surprisingly, the symbol of heroin-chic is being dumped from being somewhat true to the image her sponsors so willingly endorsed, as long as it remained ambiguous. The fashion industry strives on drugs. From smelling like Saint-Laurent’s Opium
or Dior’s Addict (and, hopefully, not like Brooks’ Addiction, corporations have strived to be associated with drugs behavior while avoiding the negative connotation sometimes associated with illegal substance. A few bad mobile phone shots taken by who knows who (Judas?) were sufficient for H&M, Chanel and Burberry to conclude that looking like a heroin addict is more inspirational than snorting a few line of coke.
More troubling (and as understandable), the reaction of Ms. Moss is a bit of a let-down. Known as an independent spirit, she suddenly decided to follow the crowd rather than leading it. Like several famous users caught coitus interruptus, Ms Moss feels compelled to apologize for her actions, stating: "I take full responsibility for my actions. I also accept that there are various personal issues I need to address and have started taking the difficult, yet necessary, steps to resolve them. I want to apologise to all of the people I have let down because of my behaviour, which has reflected badly on my family, friends, co-workers, business associates and others."
A similar, but even more dramatic situation also happened to much lesser known underwear model Michelle Leslie. Facing 15 years in a Bali jail for the horrible crime of being in possession of 2 pills of ecstasy in the unreality TV show that is Indonesia’s justice system (you know, the place where the mastermind of the Bali bombing that killed more than 200 people was sentenced to less than 3 years in prison). Ms Leslie went from admitting to using ecstasy to claiming addiction to Ritalin to calm her anxiety (no doubt increased by the conditions of her cell) to converting to Islam. Yes, she was also dropped from a number of labels.
Of course, paraphernalia understands. Apologizing and pretending to feel guilty is the easiest, if not the sole way to regain public affection and, maybe, some leniency from the drug warriors (something much needed given the barbaric treatment inflicted on drug users in places like Indonesia or Singapore). Still, taking a stand may also work. If a gay cokehead can become prime minister of a Canadian province, surely a supermodel can shove it to the big brands.
Of course, paraphernalia could use both models. Unfortunately, we are a bit late. Always a clever businesswoman, Ms. Moss emerged from rehab to a flurry of new contracts, most notably with Virgin and is set to be on the cover of the French edition of Vogue in December. While less prominent, Ms Leslie comeback is considered so certain that Australian politicians arewhining about her benefiting from her crime.
Not a bad ending indeed, especially when compared with was has happened to Nguyen Tuong Van, and the fate awaiting the Bali 9.
There is no pretending with death and its main promoters, governments worldwide.