French Elle’s ‘Spécial Rondes’

Following on from V Magazine’s foray into plus-size appreciation, April’s issue of French Elle, released today, is a ’spécial rondes’ or…erm…round special. Yes, that’s right, the plus-size championing charge has made the difficult jump from edgy style mag (who can push these kind of concepts before others, since breaking boundaries is their currency) to mainstream fashion publication. The issue features models Tara Lynn (the cover star, above, who also featured in V mag) and Johanna Dray. It’s quite a first, and a very exciting new development for the representation of women in mainstream women’s press.

A couple of comments have highlighted both sides of the coin on the issue of plus-size specials. First, from InfamousKai on the V ‘Curves Ahead’ shoot;

I just realized something: The way I find these girls incredibly sexy is probably comparable to the way people that I’ve been with have found me sexy. I really thought it was my personality and cute ass smile, but you know what? I can looks as good as these gals, and I HAVE. Thanks to V for showing the world, thanks to Jenna and Jezebel for showing ME just how hot I am.

Can’t argue with that, really! But then, secondly, here’s a comment from Emiloo on the FrenchElle April Issue;

I’m always excited to see plus size girls in magazines (I am one!) but why can’t they just be integrated into regular spreads like, I don’t know, *normal* people? BUST Magazine has been doing this for quite some time and I hardly notice now. Why do the fatties have to be separated into their own “plus size” or “shape” issues? It always seems like the editors want us to notice how inclusive they’re being by giving plus girls their own issue– but it’s not really inclusive at all. This will frustrate me to no end.

It’s a valid and important point and, I guess, one that will only sort itself out in time as plus-size becomes less extra-ordinary and more, well, ordinary. Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later!

More on Uplift about diversifying the modelling landscape;

All Walks Beyond The Catwalk at London Fashion Week

Speaking of Diversity in Modelling

V Magazine Gets Big

…and, also, this post I wrote on the Company blog about the subject.

By: Sarah Barnes, 26.03.2010 | Comments (0)
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Hijabi Barbie

Since my post about ASOS’s advert for their range of little-black-dress Barbies got picked up by Sociological Images and Jezebel (thanks Lisa!)  Barbie, and all that she stands for, has been preying on my mind. So, I was happily surprised to see Barbie all dolled-up (groan) in a hijab and gracing the cover of Muslim Lifestyle magazine Emel (‘M-L’… geddit?!).

This issue of Emel takes a look at what it’s like to grow up as a Muslim in a world obsessed with body image. With incidents of anorexia on the rise for Muslim girls, and Iran becoming the nose-job capital of the world, Emel asks; ‘How can we stop Muslim women turning into little more than Hijabi Barbies?’

In her introduction to the series of articles around this global search for body ‘perfection’, Sarah Joseph writes;

Taking on the hijab made sense for a whole host of other reasons. The hijab for me was the antithesis of the beauty fascism that had surrounded me since birth. The hijab represented not just a religious injunction, but a weapon in the war against an industry that demanded women reach unattainable goals of beauty and weight. The hijab was the Muslim equivalent of burning the bra and cutting off the hair.

There are more interesting articles to read; Tahereh Hadian meets the Iranian women ‘paying through the nose’ for cosmetic surgery, Aisha Mirza explores what Barbie means for The Beauty Myth, and Sarah Joseph examines the new dolls looking to take their share of the Muslim market.

All fascinating reading, but these are all just online tasters. To read the full articles you’ll need to buy the latest issue of Emel which can be done here for just £3.50 and free P&P.

By: Sarah Barnes, 21.03.2010 | Comments (0)
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