In her most recent music video she comes across as provocative. But it doesn't mean she has suddenly become a sultry temptress: Kim Wilde remains a prudishly self-contained person.
In the music video of her new single 'You Keep Me Hanging On' [sic] Kim Wilde is playing around with a group of half naked men, which led to some scandal in the UK. This was a Kim Wilde they had never seen before. For the first time she used her slim figure, her broad golden manes and her penetrating seductive gaze.
For the first time in her career Kim Wilde appeared as a sexual being and she exploited that quality to the fullest. The video was so offensive to the commercial station ITV that it was refused for their version of 'Bingo' or 'Countdown'.
But even the image of a Kim playing around didn't hurt her image of a good girl. Whatever she does, Wilde never gets wild! "I live alone", she says, "and it feels good. In my life there's no place for men. I don't like flirts and one night stands; if I start something with a man it's for eternity."
Kim does what she says. Since she kicked out her French boyfriend - a year ago - she didn't start any other relationship. Before that, there was only saxophone player Gary Barnacle (32), whom she met in 1982 during a tour. "I am not ready to get married", she says. "Ik do go out with boys from time to time, but they are friends, not lovers."
But she admits that there is someone she is "attracted" to. "But he doesn't know it himself", says Kim coyly. "I want to be sure first! The big problem, however, is that a relationship with one man is often oppressive. The man I was with lately was a bit possessive and that doesn't match with me. I am a 'free spirit', I like to be alone and I need space, emotionally and spiritually. That's why I find it hard to share my life with anyone. On top of that, I don't think it's healthy to have sex with different men."
And so, no steady partner for Kim Wilde. But she is more happy with herself than she was when she was a schoolgirl. "When I was growing up, there were many things about myself I wasn't happy with. My lips, for instance, I felt they were too big. Now I am proud of them, but as a child they really bothered me. They made me look salacious, but I wasn't: I was more of a tomboy."
Kim Wilde knows the tensions of showbiz from when she was a small child (her father was a wellknown pop singer in the 1960's and 1970's) but she never allowed the stress to get to her personal life. "I don't want to succumb to fame", she says, "and I think it's still one of my biggest achievements. I have seen too many idols fall. The intention to keep private life and work separate, I learned from my father. For Marty the family always came first. When he had to travel, we always went along. I learned from him that you must always believe in the people nearest to you. And if it's necessary other can go away."
Kim, who lives in a flat in London right now, was able to convince her father to perform at an Aids-benefit recently. She had a special reason for it. "A boy with whom I went to school is suffering from it", she says, "and he organized the show for the Terence Higgins Aids Trust. It was a special experience: on stage with my father in the Wembley Stadium, while I knew that one of my friends was in the audience, very ill. It was very emotional."