Born: Judsionia, US, 1981
Beth Ditto, she came, she conquered. In a world where appearance and size is everything, she broke the music and fashion mold with her fabulously ambivalent attitude to the perception of beauty within society.
Mary Beth Patterson was born on the 19th of February 1981 in Arkansas and had a relatively poor upbringing, telling NME Magazine that during her childhood the family would eat Squirrels.
Beth formed Gossip in 1999 and after 7 years they got their break with ‘Standing in the Way of Control,’ which reached Gold status in the UK. The band closed Glastonbury twice on different stages and moved up the record ladder by signing with the respected Sony Music Group.
The fashion world can be seen to many as a harsh place for people of a plus size, but the southern charm of Beth and dramatic styling brought her the attention of Chanel legend, Karl Lagerfeld and was seen seated at his AW 2009 show at Paris Fashion Week.
That same year she took to the runway for House of Blue Eyes at London Fashion Week, the first collection for the flamboyant fashion house. The show also featured Kate Moss, who is a friend of Beth’s.
Beth’s legitimacy in fashion has only increased as time has gone on, more recently working with Jean Paul Gaultier by modelling for his Paris Fashion Week show and launching a makeup collection with MAC Cosmetics utilising her playfulness and avant-garde look with names such as ‘greasepaint’ for her signature heavy eyeliner. In 2009, Beth launched her Evans Collection at Sketch in London using her staple bright punk rock colours as inspiration.
Her make-up encompasses what Beth Ditto is about. A mixture of dramatics and simplicity she incorporates Boy George and Marilyn Monroe, who also happen to be inspirations of hers. Her dark heavy eye liner has shadowed Beth spectacularly with the alternative crowd, with teenagers looking up to the plus size beauty queen. Covering Magazines such as the first ever issue of LOVE, milk-skinned, nude showed her as uninhibited and real, a game changer in the world of fashion.
Beth’s style has somewhat evolved over the years however she has always kept a sense of playfulness, choosing to wear body hugging outfits such as lycra in bold colours that contrast her milky white skin and usually striking hair colour. She once said: “Even if the tag says it’s two sizes too small , remember: the tighter the better.” She has a penchant for designers too; wearing a custom made Alexander McQueen dress in 2008 and a Herve Leger bodycon dress at Stella McCartney’s AW 2009 show.
As for her band, in 2009 saw the release of their fourth studio album, ‘Music for Men’ and realised the single, ‘Heavy Cross’, which became popular in Europe and featured in the 2011 Christian Dior, J’Adore Perfume with Charlize Theron, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich. Their 5th studio album was realised on the 22nd of May 2012 titled a Joyful Noise.
In 2011, she released her first solo EP, “Beth Ditto EP,” which showcased her incredible vocal range and marked her transition into a solo artist. The EP received critical acclaim for its fusion of various genres, including pop, rock, and soul, and solidified Ditto’s status as a formidable solo performer.
Throughout the following years, Ditto continued to push boundaries and challenge societal norms. In 2017, she released her debut solo album, “Fake Sugar,” which further showcased her versatility as an artist. The album explored themes of love, empowerment, and self-acceptance, with Ditto’s distinctive voice delivering powerful and emotive performances.
Beyond her music career, Beth Ditto made significant strides in the fashion world. In 2016, she launched her own fashion line, Beth Ditto, which embraced body positivity and inclusivity. Her designs celebrated diverse body shapes and sizes, offering stylish and fashionable clothing options for people of all backgrounds. Ditto’s fashion line earned praise for its bold and vibrant aesthetic, and she became a champion for body diversity within the industry.
Ditto’s impact also extended into activism and advocacy. She has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, and body positivity, using her platform to promote inclusivity and challenge societal beauty standards. Her authenticity and unwavering commitment to her beliefs have made her an inspiration to many, encouraging individuals to embrace their true selves and celebrate their uniqueness.
As we move forward, Beth Ditto’s legacy continues to inspire and uplift. Her fearless artistry, distinctive voice, and unyielding dedication to inclusivity and self-expression have made her an icon for those seeking empowerment and acceptance. Beth Ditto’s impact on the music and fashion industries, as well as her role as a beacon of authenticity and individuality, will undoubtedly continue to resonate for years to come.
Beth Ditto, a girl from the Deep South who became a major player in the eyes of a generation. For teenagers, her feminist attitude and nonconformity to the mainstream look of musicians kept her edgy and current without even trying.
Beth Ditto Biography