At 13, she moved out of her mother’s house and went to live with her aunt. A resident of Portland, Oregon, she is a close friend of Scissor Sisters lead singer Ana Matronic, and considers her favorite song to be "Oh Bondage, Up Yours" by X-Ray Spex. She courted mild controversy in 2006 when, during an interview for NME magazine, she claimed to have eaten squirrels as a child, saying that "people in Arkansas just do – they'd think you were a freak if you ate squid there!"
Ditto is known for her noticeable stage dances and her unique and revealing image. She classes herself as a punk, and thus does not wear deodorant or shave under her armpits, having once remarked that "I think punks usually smell". She also formerly contributed an advice column on body image to The Guardian newspaper.
In February 2009, she was featured in London as the cover model for the premiere of Love magazine with prominent public advertising. On July 9, 2009, Beth's fashion collection for the UK retailer Evans was released for sale, both online, and in selected stores across the UK.
Mary Beth Patterson, known by her stage name Beth Ditto is an American singer-songwriter, most famous for her work with the indie rock band Gossip. Ditto, who is a lesbian, is well known for her outspoken support of both LGBT and feminist causes. In July 2013, Ditto married her girlfriend and best friend since she was 18, Kristin Ogata, in Maui, Hawaii. Both were outfitted entirely in white for the occasion; Ditto wore a gown by Jean Paul Gaultier and went barefoot while Ogata wore a jacket, a shirt, shorts, and shoes. Ditto released a memoir called Coal to Diamonds, which she co-wrote with Michelle Tea, in 2012.
Ditto is well known for her outspoken support of both LGBT and feminist causes.
Her most recent modeling work consisted of opening the Jean Paul Gaultier spring 2011 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on October 2, 2010. Ditto released a memoir called Coal to Diamonds, which she co-wrote with Michelle Tea, in 2012.
Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir by Beth Ditto and Michelle Tea
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (October 9, 2012)
Amazon: Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir
Amazon Kindle: Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir
A raw and surprisingly beautiful coming-of-age memoir, Coal to Diamonds tells the story of Mary Beth Ditto, a girl from rural Arkansas who found her voice.
Born and raised in Judsonia, Arkansas—a place where indoor plumbing was a luxury, squirrel was a meal, and sex ed was taught during senior year in high school (long after many girls had gotten pregnant and dropped out) Beth Ditto stood out. Beth was a fat, pro-choice, sexually confused choir nerd with a great voice, an eighties perm, and a Kool Aid dye job. Her single mother worked overtime, which meant Beth and her five siblings were often left to fend for themselves. Beth spent much of her childhood as a transient, shuttling between relatives, caring for a sickly, volatile aunt she nonetheless loved, looking after sisters, brothers, and cousins, and trying to steer clear of her mother’s bad boyfriends.
Her punk education began in high school under the tutelage of a group of teens—her second family—who embraced their outsider status and introduced her to safety-pinned clothing, mail-order tapes, queer and fat-positive zines, and any shred of counterculture they could smuggle into Arkansas. With their help, Beth survived high school, a tragic family scandal, and a mental breakdown, and then she got the hell out of Judsonia. She decamped to Olympia, Washington, a late-1990s paradise for Riot Grrrls and punks, and began to cultivate her glamorous, queer, fat, femme image. On a whim—with longtime friends Nathan, a guitarist and musical savant in a polyester suit, and Kathy, a quiet intellectual turned drummer—she formed the band Gossip. She gave up trying to remake her singing voice into the ethereal wisp she thought it should be and instead embraced its full, soulful potential. Gossip gave her that chance, and the raw power of her voice won her and Gossip the attention they deserved.
Marked with the frankness, humor, and defiance that have made her an international icon, Beth Ditto’s unapologetic, startlingly direct, and poetic memoir is a hypnotic and inspiring account of a woman coming into her own.
More LGBT Couples at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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