Another Magazine Takes a Bite From the Forbidden Fruit: V Magazine Dedicates January Issue to “Plus Size” Models

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?

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Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Plus size? Oh, they mean normal real women, you know, with curves and stuff?

Frans Badenhorst
Frans Badenhorst4 years ago

I agree with Nirvana.......but it is a step in the right direction, reality RULES :)

Kathleen R.
Kathleen R4 years ago

For me the comments were more interesting than the article. Fashion is a business. The magazines,designers, cosmetic companies, and article writers want to earn money. If we chose to buy what they are selling, that is our choice. Do we need to pay others to tell us what is beautiful ? For me the answer is no. I have my own eyes, mind and opinions.

Winn Adams
Winn A4 years ago

What took them so long?

Peggy Ausmus
Peggy A4 years ago


Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago


GGma Sheila D.
Sheila D4 years ago

Would also like to see designers using different prints for plus-size clothing. NO horizontal stripes or prints or ruffles...that all makes plus-size look even larger. Sick and tired of designers and store buyers always picking out these kind of prints - there's very little choice given us. We work for a living and go out with friends, or husbands & lovers, we want to look nice but many times the crap we have to choose from is exactly that - crap!

J. J.
J. J.4 years ago

Lagerfeld sounds like a total jerk...I mean how insulting can you get?

Dorothy Dickson
Dorothy Dickson4 years ago

Oops! I was going to say I guess everyone's idea of plus size is different!

Dorothy Dickson
Dorothy Dickson4 years ago

Well I guess exveryones