First of all I'd like to say that I'm glad to finally see some properly gorgeous plus size models inVOGUE. I remember a "plus-size" photo-shoot in Russian Vogue (I always found it ridiculously pretentious) starring a lady that was barely size 38 (US 6 or UK 10), in other words simply not a skeleton - which most of regular models are. On the other hand, there was that editorial in V featuring some real big gals, and while I'm nobody to judge, I found their photos in lingerie not so appealing. The "Belle Vere" editorial by Steven Meisel in ITALIAN VOGUE June 2011issue, on the other hand, is steaming hot - sexy, sensual and feminine. In fact, the bigger half of the shoot is topless, so I've posted only the more "decent" half - lest someone decides to report me for "inappropriate" content. On the other hand, the fashion world in general, and Vogue in particular, don't exactly embrace the plus-size models, featuring them quite reluctantly, as if only to keep the public from raising the topic of omnipresent anorexic models yet again. But is this the right attitude? Which kind of models do we really need more?
Curvy models, apart from showcasing feminine beauty as it was for centuries before cinema, pop music and fashion instituted new ideals, represent a realistic body image. They basically say to all women, who are unhappy with their figures, to stop hating their bodies and celebrate them instead. Of course in real life not all ladies over size S are busty and sexily curved in the right places - body weight works in mysterious ways... Also, in general, the tendency to glorify the big dames to help them feel comfy in their own skin - there are even special fashion magazines tailored to them - seems to ignore the thin line between just shapely and obese. If a person's weight is getting in the way of them having a normal healthy lifestyle and creates actual health problems - it really must be dealt with.
As for skinny models, I do understand why fashion industry likes them that way - it's more than convenient for catwalk shows to have ladies of all the same size, with no humps anywhere. Also when such a model needs to present an outfit that reveals one or both of her breasts, she can easily do so without fear of resembling a stripper - most models are conveniently flat-chested. Just the other day I had a shock when viewing photos from a lookbook featuring topless Irina Lazareanu. She's one of my favourite models, I love her rock'n'roll edge, but when a grown woman has a chest like she's 12, it's just not normal or healthy... And while I'm aware that we are all differently sized in that department, only a dramatic weight loss or constant self-starvation can produce such a scary result. She still looks awesome in clothes - but after that preview I really don't want to see her naked. Makes me think of starving children in poor countries...
Myself I do prefer seeing women with naturally toned bodies achieved simply by healthy eating, active lifestyle and workouts. But of course, we all judge by what's natural for us, and while I fit into my skinny jeans all year long even if I really let myself go (I do gain some extra but not too much), I realize that for some people staying skinny means going against their own nature, and that will never do. In that case being curvy is the best choice - but still keeping shape! Luckily nowadays there are plenty of curvy celebs such as Beyonce, Christina Hendricks or a few Kardashian women (promoting the curvy body image is probably the most useful thing they ever did) which prove that not being model skinny is no reason to hide in the closet - come out and have the world worship you instead!