Do you know who Beth Ditto is? If so, then you can probably already imagine the volume of awesomeness I am about to unleash upon you. If not, then I am about to rock your everlovin’ world, my friend.Beth Ditto is the lead singer for Gossip, a band that began as one of riot grrl’s many grimy offspring and which has since evolved into a new-wave dance-punk juggernaut of pop excellence. Ditto is fat, loud and queer, and apologizes for none of it, and if you understand anything about me personally then you should know that these are things I value most in a person. She is also a bit of an unlikely style icon, drawing the adoration of fashion types who would ordinarily prefer to set fire to their own hair rather than associate with plus sizes. Ditto is just that awesome. You want proof? I can deliver it. Ditto has been dressed by Alexander McQueen, has been fashion-editorialed in Prada and Gareth Pugh for Pop magazineand has rocked on the runway for Gaultier. Even Kaiser Karl loves her. You want MORE PROOF? Here’s Beth doing a cover of Madonna’s “Vogue” at a party in Moscow just over a week ago, wearing only her underwear, which makes her extra awesome.
Do you want to see the same performance from a slightly different angle? OMG ME TOO. Here you go.
Lest you think this is an unusual course of events, I can assure you that Beth has been stripping down to her skivvies in live performances for a long time. Seven or eight years back, I remember a friend describing a sweaty post-show hug from a bra-clad Beth in tones that could only be described as rapturous. I mean, really: he did not stop talking about it for weeks.
Beth has a legendary swagger that I can only aspire to, but at the very least we share a penchant for dancing around in our underwear. I’m just a little less public about mine (although that’s probably only because I couldn’t carry a tune even in an exquisitely woven 800-dollar Prada basket -- if I had a reason to be on stage, odds are very good I would make a go of it).I’m a firm believer that I can cultivate tolerance and ultimately appreciation for pretty much anything so long as I am exposed to it enough; it’s why I have seen so many episodes of “True Blood” even though I was pretty secure in my loathing for it within the first 30 minutes. Sometimes this approach fails (see: “True Blood”) but the area in which is has succeeded most magnificently is in my well-developed ability to appreciate my body in spite of the persistent refusal of same to look at all like the bodies I see in the media -- the bodies that we’re supposed to think are prettiest and most valuable.And you know what helps me with learning to dig my body? Dancing around in my underwear. Regular underwear dancing is a sure route to making yourself awesome. I’m going to go out on a limb here and prescribe the same practice to all of you. Oh, I know it sounds silly and juvenile and embarassing, but trust me -- it’s good for you. Like broccoli.You need more motivation? OKAY FINE.
If Beth Ditto can enrapture a bazillion people into a sing-a-long at a huge music festival in Scotland, all while not wearing pants, you can certainly shake your ass in the privacy of your own home and reap the awesome-making benefits thereof. I rest my case.