Sizing Up Fashion Mags

EDIT: Sqweaky Girl posted an insider’s look into size in the fashion industry, with some explanations and clarification. Check it out.

V Magazine is doing a “size” issue in the Spring. The preview has come out, and let me just say GOOD GOD.

STUNNING. I think the “plus” models are SO much prettier than the regular moddles. This was further reinforced when I saw V Magazine’s feature with Crystal Renn and another moddle side by side in the same clothes. I thought Crystal was more attractive, especially her body, in every one of them.

And anytime a magazine features plus sized women, I’m blown away by how much more attractive I find them then the emaciated moddles they usually feature. While I think that every body is beautiful, it baffles me that people wouldn’t want women that look like this modeling their clothes.

You want to tell me that *this* (more photos at the link) isn’t just as beautiful as any spread you’ve seen with a thinner woman?

Or what about seeing a beautiful woman without airbrushing? You know, like the girl you get into bed with every night?

No one can tell me that those pictures aren’t stunning.
It’s great to see more plus sized models being featured in fashion magazines, but I’d like to see them featured alongside thinner models, too. Not just in a “size” issue. Not just as a “who wore it better.” Not just as a “look at this one hot model who happen to be plus-sized!” But as a normal collection of people, with no attention being called to which model is “normal” and which model is “plus.” And if we really want to get into “normal” and “not,” it’s the plus girls that are normal and the moddles that are not– they are they exceptions and the plus girls are the rules.
But they’re all beautiful, and they all deserve to be recognized as such.
Happy New Year, from me, Profligacy, and the absolutely gorgeous Crystal Renn!

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  1. Meg
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I love, love, love, love, LOVE this post, Britni! All of those models are stunningly gorgeous–the blonde girl in the first few pictures is SEXY as hell. Of course, so is Crystal.

    She's not only gorgeous, but she is, hands-down, a better model than the skinny girl–nothing to do with looks, but just in her poses. She's more interesting, and there's more motion in her pictures than in the other girls. Again, nothing to do with size, just an observation.

    Fat girls rule!

  2. sqweakygurl
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    i love V magazine. V and Pop Brit are the only two super glossy's that I'm willing to bend over backwards and spend ten bucks for. they are so creative and they always do the most amazing lay outs. crystal can't ever do any wrong the girl is drop dead gorgeous along with every other woman featured in the spread. i think the designers have to be more open to having plus size models on their runways. with snobbish pricks like karl lagerfeld still calling the shots it will be a long time before it becomes the norm. i can't wait for this issue to hit the shelf. thanks for another fabulous post Britni :)

  3. Sa
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Wonderful wonderful. I just wish we could have DIVERSITY: some skinny models, some "average", some "plus-size" etc. Seeing these pictures is almost shocking because we're so unused to flesh being displayed proudly ,without shame.

    Hope this trend continues for the new year.

  4. Dangerous Lilly
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    While I do love this, it still somewhat upsets me. These models are as "plus" as it'll ever get in mainstream. They're just barely plus, and plus in all the "right" sort of ways. Only one of them really has any belly fat worth mentioning, with a few baby rolls. Every woman gains her weight differently, but all you will ever see in fashion for plus size models is this.
    It's about as unoffensive as you can get while adding 50 pounds onto the typical stick-thin model. And, to me, knowing a lot of plus size people…it's about as unrealistic as you can get, too.

    It's a good start but I guess it proves to me that culture is inching towards acceptance, but its a very limited strings-attached acceptance. One where I don't yet fit in with my cellulite and big belly.

  5. thedoggedpursuit
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Agreed Britni. It's great to see someone at least a "little" closer to my size 14 presented in a fashion magazine but I also agree with Lilly — it's hard to get too excited. These ladies appear to be about an American size 12 and they are considered "plus." Holy shnikies.

    She's also right about the "right" kinds of "extra" pounds. Subcutaneous fat that simply rounds out some curves and softens the overall form is much more acceptable than the apple-shaped belly fat that so many of us struggle with. It's also not "OK" to have "extra" fat around the chin and neck.

    After years of self-hatred of my body I now have friends, mostly very thin friends, who tell me "how brave" I am to have "accepted" my body as it is. Their well intentioned support is like nails on a f#*king chalkboard. They are sincere and they are right and their comments are certainly better than the alternatives like "you'd be so much prettier if you just lost ____ pounds." But really, at what point do we all get to stop being surprised and delighted to learn that a 170 pound woman can be beautiful?

  6. Librarian Babe
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I love seeing larger models in the pages of magazines, but like Lilly I can't help but notice that these women are fairly "normal" rather than actually "plus" sized. They're considered plus only because most models are incredibly skinny. But showing more diversity is a step in the right direction. I wish women my size could be considered beautiful enough to put in magazines, but at least these "plus" size models give me something reasonable to aspire to. I could never be 130 pounds and skinny. (Losing 90 lbs is not in my future, that's for sure. I'd have to starve myself. I'd be happy losing 25.) As a chubby 5'9" woman it's not part of my body makeup, but I could exercise, eat right and live healthily and look more like Crystal Renn and the other plus models.

    Thanks for sharing these photos.


  7. alana
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Ditto everything everyone said. While it’s nice to see this shift happening (since it will help pave the way for a wider body acceptance in our culture), Crystal Renn is like the token “plus size” girl. The reality is she’s smaller then the average American woman and I find it kind of condescending the way magazines will trot her out as proof to their open mindedness and acceptance of my body (though I do love that we get to see lots of pictures of her because of this, but I always thought it was kind of ironic that she’s too small to wear Lane Bryant’s clothes but I had to put up six foot tall pictures of her more then once when I worked there).

    thedoggedpursuit: I can’t believe your friends say that to you! And yet, I kind of feel like that’s the message these magazines are telling us.

  8. Ghouldilocks
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I love Crystal. She, as well as all the other women here, are absolutely stunning. But I agree with the above commenters. I mean, she doesn't make me feel like I need to lose 100 pounds in order to be beautiful but still, in order to look like her, I'd have to lose quite a bit… and grow a few more inches.

  9. twg
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I'm happy to see these different sized models, but I'll say the same thing about them (excluding the unairbrushed Renn ones, which are a breath of fresh, fresh air) that I said about the "real beauty" Dove commercials when I first saw them. Where are the lumps? Seeing all this smoothed-out flesh makes me feel lumpy. And I like my body, I do; and I'm a relatively thin person, but you get used to these perfectly smoothed shots and you think there's something wrong with you for having lines and divots and bumps or whatever. That's what I want to see more of. Reality. It can be on someone who's a size 0 or a size 20, but I need a heaping helping of it.

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