Following Glamour magazine’s example of celebrating all kinds of body shapes, V Magazine has decided to kick off its first issue of the New Year with a feature on “plus-size” models.
“Big, little, pint-size, plus-size — every body is beautiful,” Stephen Gan, V’s editor-in-chief, told the New York Post. “And this issue is out to prove it.”
Famous “plus-size” model Crystal Renn, who recently released her memoir “Hungry,” will be featured in the January issue among other “plus-size” models. The women are rumored to be shot both in the nude and dressed by photographers Terry Richardson, Bruce Weber, and in an unusual turn of events Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel designer, who recently bashed curvy models.
“No one wants to see round women,” said Lagerfeld in response to an announcement by famous German magazine Brigitte that it would use “ordinary, realistic” women rather than professional models in future photo shoots. Lagerfeld called the decision “absurd” and driven by overweight women.
“These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.”
Why Lagerfeld has signed on to shoot V Magazine’s “plus-size” issue is a question that remains unanswered? Has the designer had a change of heart?
While I am thrilled by V’s decision to celebrate a wider (no pun intended) definition of beauty like Glamour has, I am worried by these one-off attempts at incorporating “plus-size” models into the mix. If magazines really want to commit to “celebrating all kinds of beauty” as Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive stated or prove that “every body is beautiful” as Gan has said, they are going to have to do a lot better than a single “plus-size” model issue.
Segregating “plus-size” models in “special” issues like Glamour and V Magazine have done only serves to further seperate “plus-size” models from “real” (that is, ultra skinny) models and establish them as the “other.” This is not the way to go about celebrating new kinds of beauty (not to mention the fact that these models are not actually plus-size).
And what’s with the insistence of photographing “plus-size” models in the buff?
The picture that started this revolution of curvy models in magazines all began with the bare-it-all image of Lizzie Miller in Glamour magazine. Then Glamour did a full two-page spread of 7 nude “plus-size” models and now the “plus-size” models in V Magazine are rumored to be shot in the buff as well. Let’s see these women in the same beautiful garments that “real” models get. Now we just need willing fashion designers.
That being said, I do not want to discredit the efforts made by Glamour and V Magazine to escape the thin-ideal of beauty that we have all become so accustomed to. We need magazines like Glamour and V to pave the way for other magazines and designers to follow suit.
But they may need a little help getting it right. And that’s where you and I come in! Any ideas?
Photo courtesy of glamour.com - http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2009/10/these-bodies-are-beautiful-at-every-size
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
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