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04-24-2010, 01:22 PM   #1
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Xx elle

Fashion silhouettes and the models used in most spreads in all of the major Fashion Magazines are generally quite sleek. Woman who read these magazines aspire to the precedents set by these Trend Makers. It is more often than not very frustrating for the readership to have to live up to the standards being set by those influential glossies.

Pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies make a fortune on their magic formula’s, which they regularly advertise in the Beauty or Fitness sections of ELLE, VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Marie Claire, etc… The income generated by catering to weight lose and the associated regimes to do so are astronomical. Considering that purchasing one advertising page in one of the above giants cost between $25-35k, you can now begin to calculate the importance of this sector. The Dove campaign is a case in point. But, the problem up to now has been, although weight lose regimes are advertised, the magazines do not really cater to the present physical state of a large sector of the potential readership population. In fact, they more often than not alienate those potential adopters of the Mega-Magazines, by not directly communicating with them. They treat Plus Sized woman as a malady and not a normal fact of life, thus alienating them even more so.

However, there has been some stirring amongst the general female populace and some magazines are starting to react. Most recently with French Marie Claire’s’ Special Un-retouched April 2010 Issue and in the March 26th, 2010 French ELLE (a weekly), they grace the cover with XXL Model Tara Lynn at FORD Agency. To say it was a cultural shock, would be an understatement. We have become so accustomed to size “0″ models featured on most covers that the shock and awe stopping power of this one became a huge seller, outselling their average weekly sales by a Large Margin… No Pun Intended.

Why did the ELLE cover create such a stir? Well first off, being that the model was not a recognizable celebrity, people had to look more closely at what many would ask, “who is this larger than what I have been accustomed to classic model they generally show, doing on this cover?” Secondly, breaking with convention is a sure way of getting people to stand up and take notice. Thirdly, it is a paradigm shifting and powerful statement being made by one of the Big 4 most influential magazine conglomerates in the world.

Historically, there have been several magazines and web-zines dedicated to large sized woman’s wear such as, Plus Model Magazine, Daily Venus Deva, Plus Size Clothing Magazine, Lou Lou and several others, but it is quite rare when a mainstream major fashion or trendy press magazine, features full figured women. Perhaps this is indicative of a new trend, which will allow the majors to increase their readership. It wouldn’t surprise me if ELLE were to do a special supplement for Plus Size Fashion.

Recently Chanels’ Karl Lagerfeld shot international burlesque star Miss Dirty Martini for “V” Magazine at the Chanel Fashion House in Paris. The LOVE magazine gave gloriously and voluptuously round Beth Ditto a cover as well.

Ford Model’s Crystal Renn’s book Hungry addresses these issues head on. Are we seeing a trend here? Or are we just witnessing a blip on the screen. Time will tell. But in the mean time, don’t throw out those XXL tee shirts you have hiding in the bottom drawer…

http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/kf6

11-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #2
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another great post.
11-10-2010, 04:57 PM   #3
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Ben, I don't know what you're trying to say, but if you're trying to infer that plus-size models will somehow gain some prominence in print advertising/publishing (even modestly)...and that plus-size will one day garner more than 5% of print pages...forget it:

No one wants to look at fat people.

It's the same blip on the screen that's been happening since the 80s.

Fat is not sexy or cool, regardless of what Oprah says.

HOWEVER...

An obese woman with real style, personality, talent....like Gabby, Aretha Franklin, others...they have beauty from their TALENT that comes through in their photos.

But if someone is just fat? Forget it!

And how come you didn't mention any fat MALES in your post?

Last edited by Ira; 11-11-2010 at 01:57 PM.
11-10-2010, 05:23 PM   #4
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Interesting observations.
Thanks for your insights in this Ben.
I get your point Ira, celebrity status from talent means more than the celebrity's body habitus, but there's more to appreciating beauty than just the difference between 'fat' and 'thin'. Body shapes are so varied.

11-10-2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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What I find ammusing in some cases is where a model is referred to as plus size or XXL, yet compared to the general populous they're average and "normal" sized.
I've yet to see a genuinely fat or obese woman (when compared to the general population) grace a cover such as Vogue, Elle and the like (happy to be corrected if I'm worng here).

We get so used to see 0 sized models that someone who is an 8 or a 10 looks big and a 12 or a 14 looks HUGE - yet walk around your local shopping centre and I'll bet the majority of women average around the size 12 mark (at least that's the case in most "Western" countries I've been too).

Benjikan - you ask in another thread "but what happens when the public becomes numb to the notion?" and in that thread you talk about sex ( https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography/121430-sex-fashion-dr...but-where.html ) .... don't you think that + sized models is just one of the typical tools used to break the monotony and generate interest again?

From where I sit - featuring "real", untouched, or + sized women is just another one of the fads that comes and goes in a regular cycle. Over the top sexuality bordering on soft-core porn, soft and feminine, retro, touches of fetish, real/larger women .....etc rinse, cycle and repeat.

So for me and the question "Are we seeing a trend here? Or are we just witnessing a blip on the screen?" It's a blip, but a blip we'll see again, and again, and again as the fads cycle around.

On a personal note - one of the many reasons I enjoy the alternative and fetish scenes is the range of body types and personalities. I've worked with tall statuesque goddesses clad in skin tight rubber showing off a perfect body, the next shoot will be with an older woman in leather showing of ample curves ...... there really is a look and a market for every body type and so far, everyone I've worked with is comfortable in their own skin and doesn't moan about how fat they look, or ask/demand for extensive re-touching. Makes a nice change from the few fashion models I've shot who look amazing, but are still insecure and think they're fat and want every shot of them airbrushed to hell and back for perfect, plastic skin.
11-11-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
What I find ammusing in some cases is where a model is referred to as plus size or XXL, yet compared to the general populous they're average and "normal" sized.
I've yet to see a genuinely fat or obese woman (when compared to the general population) grace a cover such as Vogue, Elle and the like (happy to be corrected if I'm worng here).

We get so used to see 0 sized models that someone who is an 8 or a 10 looks big and a 12 or a 14 looks HUGE - yet walk around your local shopping centre and I'll bet the majority of women average around the size 12 mark (at least that's the case in most "Western" countries I've been too).

Benjikan - you ask in another thread "but what happens when the public becomes numb to the notion?" and in that thread you talk about sex ( https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography/121430-sex-fashion-dr...but-where.html ) .... don't you think that + sized models is just one of the typical tools used to break the monotony and generate interest again?

From where I sit - featuring "real", untouched, or + sized women is just another one of the fads that comes and goes in a regular cycle. Over the top sexuality bordering on soft-core porn, soft and feminine, retro, touches of fetish, real/larger women .....etc rinse, cycle and repeat.

So for me and the question "Are we seeing a trend here? Or are we just witnessing a blip on the screen?" It's a blip, but a blip we'll see again, and again, and again as the fads cycle around.

On a personal note - one of the many reasons I enjoy the alternative and fetish scenes is the range of body types and personalities. I've worked with tall statuesque goddesses clad in skin tight rubber showing off a perfect body, the next shoot will be with an older woman in leather showing of ample curves ...... there really is a look and a market for every body type and so far, everyone I've worked with is comfortable in their own skin and doesn't moan about how fat they look, or ask/demand for extensive re-touching. Makes a nice change from the few fashion models I've shot who look amazing, but are still insecure and think they're fat and want every shot of them airbrushed to hell and back for perfect, plastic skin.
Wow. Great analysis.

I find most high-end published body types interesting in one way or the other--but that's because of the photographers' talents behind those images, not because of the body type.

However, there isn't a fashion house in the world that wants to promote their clothes on fat people, unless that's their specialty. This is a negative.

Fat will never be sexy. Big will never be beautiful. And as much as the weight-challenged of the world would like it to be otherwise, it ain't happening.

Pick up a carrot instead of that doughnut, and earn the respect you want. But don't expect to earn it at 200-plus pounds at 5 foot 5.

EEEEECCCHHHHH!!!!!
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