Mercedes-Benz Fashion week has begun, everyone’s outside of Lincoln Center, either taking a breather between shows or off running to the next fashion show. I’m enjoying the sun doing my usual talking to strangers and people watching. When fashion week is over I’ll do a post later.
But this afternoon watching street photographers clicking away at all the people with individual eclectic style and the stylish full-figured women that have ~ what I love to say ~ “Curve Appeal.” My inside voice shouts out, “YES, FINALLY! ladies and gentlemen, the fashion (& music) industry realizes body image has (p.s. always had) curve appeal, woo hoo!!” While I’m waiting outside the visuals my eyes were capturing prompt me to take out my journal to write out my thoughts while they were still fresh in my head.
Up until the 20th century women with curves known as voluptuous were adored and seen as beautiful by master artisans. What started during the Classical era through the Barouque, Renaissance, and Rococo eras, the artists’ models were revered and captured beautifully on canvas. Unfortunately people who were thin were considered less affluent, a healthy figure meant that individual was a reflection of prosperity. (side note: prosperity… really?? umm, why am I not wealthy, LMAO!!!)
I recall a conversation with my mum explaining to me about the history of fashion and how it all changed in the 60’s, when British model Twiggy graced the fashion magazines. Twiggy’s large eyes, super long eyelashes, thin build, androgynous looks, and short hair became the signature of the fashion industry. It even became the ‘IT’ thing with musicians and actors too. Curves were OUT thin was IN.
I guess you can say Marilyn Monroe & Sophia Loren were the only exceptions in mainstream media.
The competition among modelling agencies to find Twiggy’s look, had very serious consequences of models becoming too thin by developing eating disorders just to be suitable enough to get work. Thus began the “waif” look.
So of course I was SUPER excited to see the June issue of Vogue Italia’s which had a trio of plus-size models on the cover AND a full spread inside, elegantly portrayed by photographer Steven Meisel.
(to view click on link, for those who need to know please note: NSFW at the link) http://www.vogue.it/en/magazine/cover-story/2011/06/belle-vere
There might have been some prudish readers that found the June issue inappropriate and felt it to be “too racey.” I have to keep it 100, to me this issue was just like the beautiful paintings and statues of women from all over the world I would see at the Metropolitan Museum or any other gallery. I saw nothing wrong and I’m sure for those photography & art lovers/enthusiasts would agree with me.
Still today everyone is aware that curvey assests in mainstream media is the other ‘F’ word. If viewed in mainstream it is in some form or another done distastefully that is degrading towards women or portraying them in a stereo-type roll. Some how there are still prejudices of seeing a full-figured woman as beautiful as any thin woman.
If you remember, a year ago there was this so-called “controversial” Lane Bryant lingerie commercial that was banned. It was considered to be “too racey,” complete BS. The reality is viewers would not accept watching a commercial of full-figured models in lingerie flashing across their televisions. Plenty of people felt it was unfair, if mainstream media air on television Victoria’s Secret models walking down a runway in lingerie and VS commercials of slimmer models in lingerie. Then what is the problem with the Lane Bryant commercial?? click link to watch commercial:
As you already know UK’s beautiful singer, Adele was on the front cover of Glamour Magazine’s July issue
It was nice to see another woman right after Missy Elliot, broke the image barriers. Missy became the icon of the music industry for everyone to look past weight in order to define musical talent.
(pages inside of Glamour UK’s July 2011 issue)
I’m not saying the smaller size woman is not talented but the reality is the world is NOT only made up of skinny, athletic or what is considered the typical runway models with perfect body types. Which by the way what is considered “perfect.” Both fashion and music industries are definitely coming to recognize the “curve appeal.” It’s a market that both industries should have never left.
Adele will be seen next on the covers of British Vogue for the October 2011 issue