In Depth

Kate Moss: jumped-up celeb or a woman who loves life?

Supermodel's 'disruptive' behaviour on flight back from holiday in Turkey divides the commentariat

Kate Moss

Is Kate Moss just another jumped-up celebrity who is prone to swearing at "little people" when she doesn't get her way? Or a woman who, at 41, still knows how to enjoy life and if that means getting a little bit tipsy in public, so what?

Yesterday's news that the supermodel's easyJet flight from Turkey was met by police at Luton airport because of her "disruptive" behaviour has divided newspaper commentators.

Alison Boshoff of the Daily Mail is clear where her paper stands. "Has the gulf ever been greater between the Kate Moss you see in magazines — all effortless grace and designer clothes — and the real thing: drunk in the afternoon, swearing, aggressive?" she asks.

Moss's "mid-air meltdown" apparently began when she swigged from a bottle of duty-free vodka she'd picked up the airport after cabin staff declined to serve her alcohol.

According to the Mail, the "sweary" stuff began with someone trying to photograph her. "This – and being filmed on mobile phones – are her pet hates," says Boshoff.

But what "tipped her over the edge" was somebody taking photos of her luggage — "a piece of lese-majeste simply too impertinent (in her view) to be tolerated".

The Mail also quotes a fellow passenger claiming that when Moss was escorted from the plane by police, she called the pilot a "basic bitch".

We may never learn the precise details of what actually happened high in the sky between Bodrum and Luton because Moss was not arrested and this will never end up in court.

But Suzanne Moore's column for The Guardian suggests a less melodramatic incident.

"Just what did the deranged monster that is Moss do?" asks Moore.

Answer: "She had a few drinks and according to fellow passengers chatted a bit loudly to the family next to her and played 'hairdressers with a young girl'. Dial 999! Alert the media, even though no one complained!"

Moss is front-page news, argues Moore, because she unrepentantly likes her life. "In 'Daily Mail world', to be female and enjoy yourself is illegal, hence the endless moralising and attempts to undermine her."

There is nothing that disgusts the moralisers more than a woman enjoying herself. Yet it is Moss's joie de vivre and her refusal to explain herself that have allowed her to last in the fashion business such a long time. "Unlike so many dead-eyed, skeletal clothes-horses she looks like fun," says Moore. "She looks fantastic."

Fantastic? That's not how the Mail sees it. Moss "is starting look all of her 41 years", and "is no longer the fairest of them all", writes Boshoff. And yet she parties on.

Long may she do so, argues Moore at The Guardian. "If your idea of hell is sitting next to Kate Moss on an easyJet flight, you really must be dead inside."

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