Fiona Apple’s weight has long been a subject of scrutiny, so much so that it’s at times detracted from her music. Just last week, during a performance in Portland, she kicked out an audience member who said she looked too thin and urged her to “get healthy.” In a new interview, the 36-year-old songwriter opened up about the incident, explaining why it “hurt her feelings.”
Critics began carping about Apple’s weight when she burst out in 1997 with the brooding hit “Criminal” and an attendant video that featured her skulking around in her underwear while casting furtive glances at the camera. The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones later said the video showed Apple “looking like an underfed Calvin Klein model,” while New York magazine’s Ben Williams went further, saying it had “overtones of child porn.”
The weight commentary that’s continued to follow her in the 16 years since then is one of the few things Apple gets publicly angry about. Last October, she personally responded to barbs from entertainment blogger Perez Hilton about her weight at a concert, telling attendees that his words were “dangerous” and “irresponsible,” and asking that people “please stop hurting my feelings.”
She voiced similar sentiments last week, when a fan at one of her shows yelled “Fiona, get healthy! We want to see you in 10 years. I saw you 20 years ago and you were beautiful.” The comments apparently enraged Apple, who reportedly looked shocked, “then hurt, then furious,” and responded with a stream of angry expletives. “I am healthy! Who the f--- do you think you are? I want you to get the f--- out of here. I want the house lights on so I watch you leave!” she told the heckler, according to a report from Stereogum.