Vicious music critics have labelled blonde singer Kim Wilde "a mindless sex kitten" - but she doesn't care less.
"If that's what people see in me, it's not my doing", she said. "I don't see that at all. I don't object to it but there is a lot more to Kim Wilde than is written about. I do not say the sex kitten side is unimportant - but I don't take it seriously."
Kim, currently riding high in the Australian charts with a hard-hitting song about - and called - Cambodia, was replying to critics' claims that she was being manipulated by her backers in the pursuit of success.
She said: "I certainly don't feel like a business toy. I do not think in spirit that I am any different from so called agressive or radical musicians. I have a great deal of faith in what I do. If they want to consider me as a sex kitten, they can. I don't care what they think. But subconsciously, I suppose I play on it - every girl in the pop business does, whether or not they are aware of it. At the moment I do not expect a great deal of respect from anyone. I am singing pop songs and that is not generally respected. I don't min what I'm doing. I enjoy it. It's fun. I don't take it that seriously. I am just enjoying myself and enjoying singing, which is what I've always wanted to do. It is something you do not want to throw away and I just hope that things will evolve for me in a more creative way. And I do not think what I am doing is shallow. I am not cheating anyone. I am singing songs I like singing and working with people I like working with. I'm not interested in handing out manifestoes.'
Kim has just signed a deal with the EMI Liberty label for release of her records in the United States. Since achieving almost overnight stardom with Kids in America, Kim has hardly been out of the news or the charts but she is modest about her success.
'It wasn't inevitable that I would find my way into the music business. It does not follow that children of musicians become musicians themselves.'
'It's just that I have always loved singing and having been brought up with an entertainer.'
Kim isn't worried that one day the bubble will burst and she will once again be a session singer.
'I do not mind recording and achieving success but then come all the complicated bits - like the publicity and having to explain why you are singing and where it all fits in. It's like trying to explain why you are living.'