Regarding my Katy Perry-Beth Ditto column (which I thought was kinda positive) yesterday:
I have to tell you I found your Gossip/Katy Perry piece straight up depressing. Beth Ditto is actually widely known as being a queer advocate and a feminist--she's been iconic for that for a solid 5-6 years. I know this in part because I was the Gossip's publicist for their first few records and she has been out and vocal about it since the bands inception. I would say she is the best known queer female icon in independent music, period.
Also, in your article, the way you write about KP's body (boobs in the lede--c'mon, man!) and that every single time you describe Beth you mention her weight--how little you talk about the music or their actual skills or charisma--you might want to consider how discouraging and depressing that is for young female musicians who might be anxiously reading the story because they love Katy Perry or are anxious to get their hands on whatever info they can about women making music. I am on a book tour right now for my book, 'Girls' Guide to Rocking,' which is for girls 8-16 who are interested in playing music and starting bands. Every night, after the reading I spend about an hour talking to these young girls, and you cannot imagine the impact stuff about weight and appearance and how it is written about--women musicians looks being criticized and not their music (i.e. not being taken seriously, not being treated in the same way as their male peers)--how that makes them view the music world, how discouraging it is, what a road block that feels like as a 15 yr old girl who is not Katy Perry hot and wants nothing more than to rule the world from her drum kit.
I am sharing this with you in hopes that you will, in the future, consider the implications of how you criticize female artists."