Crystal Renn, Still Hungry?

Since reading her autobiography, Hungry, I’ve become a bit fanatical about the (so-called) ‘plus sized’ model Crystal Renn, so I’m rather embarrassed to admit that her shoot for Vogue Paris’ October issue passed me by. Luckily it was brought to my attention by Fernando of L’ Art Noir blog and, boy, am I grateful. Why? Because there’s a lot going on in there. The food for thought is just as excessive and messy as the spaghetti lustily piled on Renn’s plate.

First off, the shoot is immediately arresting because it’s so at odds with the usual high fashion imagery we have become accustomed to; There’s no whimsical flights of fancy here, this editorial is coarse, garish and downright dirty. But that’s to be expected when you get enfant terrible Terry Richardson on board as your photographer – it doesn’t matter whether he’s working for Vice or Vogue, Richardson is still going to serve up a salacious slice of TerryWorld. So, this is quite a brave move on the part of French Vogue, allowing luxury items (in this case, jewellery) to be promoted in such a left-field manner.

So, let’s talk about sex. Because, this being a Terry Richardson shoot, of course it’s about sex. Here’s Renn wetting two fingers in her mouth… now she’s letting slimy squid tentacles slide down her throat… and now she’s stabbing a juicy cutlet of meat held between her thighs… and here she is sucking hungrily on a bone (arf) whilst locking eyes with the viewer. It’s all pretty hot stuff, but it’s gross too – there’s something a bit ‘2 Girls 1 Cup’ about it in that we are presented with a woman putting yucky stuff in her mouth for the sexual gratification of the viewer. Although Renn looks like she’s rather enjoying herself, and she talks a lot in Hungry about her love of food, this editorial doesn’t feel quite right as a depiction of a woman finding pleasure in eating. Perhaps if it was dribbling cheesy slices of pizza on her plate, or bushels of apples, rather than raw sea creatures it would be different – but, as it is, that particular message seems a little hard to swallow.

To my mind, this editorial is, at heart, a comment on excess. The copious cocktail rings that are being featured are piled on to Renn’s fingers, she wears chunky bangles, over-sized earrings, weighty necklaces (sometimes two at a time)… and what’s more, she wears them all at once. Of course, this is the norm for jewellery features, but here Richardson ridicules this excess by presenting the woman in his story as an all-round greedy pig, gorging on food in a most unashamed and grotesque fashion. But, obviously, this isn’t just any ‘woman’, this is Crystal Renn… and that’s where the whole thing gets interesting.

As Renn’s agency, Ford, themselves say; “She doesn’t so much acknowledge the elephant in the room as she devours it.” Whilst everyone is getting excited about the ‘plus-size’ revolution, in reality, Crystal Renn is pretty much our only large sized super-model. As such, she is the poster girl for curves, the go-to gal for larger than life shoots… which is all well and good, but it has hardly opened up the modelling landscape to a whole variety of ages, sizes and races like some would have hoped it might. Instead, we have the same base group of waif-like, young, mostly white models… and the token Crystal Renn.

And so, on top of all this, the way in which the plus-sized Renn is being presented here is a worry. The whole thing smacks of the creators gleefully shouting ‘Look! The only model who can eat as much as she likes is eating! For your entertainment!’ I doubt very much that Richardson would have gone down this gluttonous route if he had been working with any other model. It comes across as a bit of a freak show and, sadly, it feels like Renn could be alienating herself (and any other hopeful plus-size models) from main-stream editorials as a result.

That being said, Hungry proved Renn to be a fantastically intelligent, grounded, and driven individual who is very much aware of what she is doing with her career. Her attitude towards modelling is overtly artistic and she is enthusiastic about working with focussed creatives in order to realise their visions to their full potential. With this in mind, you can be sure that Renn must have put a lot of thought into this shoot and concluded that, rather than reducing her into ‘the model who eats’, she would get some great shots, break a few taboos and, ultimately, further her influence. Personally, I think she was right on the ‘great shots’ part – these images are aesthetically fabulous – let’s just hope she’s right about the rest.

See the entire editorial here and, if you fancy seeing a further commentary on eating, excess and consumerism, take a little look at the Ace Norton directed video for ‘Hustler’ by Simian Mobile Disco.

(Images from Ford Models Blog. Credits: Photographer, Terry Richardson; Fashion editor, Carine Roitfeld. Image source, Noir Façade.)

By: Sarah Barnes, 18.10.2010 | Comments (3)
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Should We Care What Women Wear?

One thing I love about Feminism today is that it feels so inclusive; The modern feminism umbrella is so wide that all kinds of feminists are provided shelter. The problem for me, however, comes when I realise that I foster several little feminists within my own brain – all huddling out of the downpour – and I wonder how I can justify harbouring such seemingly conflicting interests. Most of the time I am happy to have the advantage of accessing various viewpoints… but sometimes, sitting on the fence can be a mighty pain in the ass.

So here I am, listening to Beyonce’s Freakum Dress and feeling appalled as I read Grazia’s latest online report on which trends men equate with promiscuity. Who are these men to pass judgement? And, I wonder, is this really required reading for the modern fashionista? Should women care whether 57% of men think that those who sport body-con might *gasp* be a little on the loose side?

Apparently so, because Grazia advise their readers to ‘Just be careful your dress sense doesn’t give out false messages.  We don’t mind men thinking we’re unfashionable (what do they know) but ‘easy’? That’s another matter.’

Thankfully, the writer of this piece, Amy Molloy, pointed out that the poll (conducted by Mycelebrityfashion.co.uk) can be taken with a huuuge pinch of salt since these men clearly had no clue about AW10’s big trends (I’m being serious here! If a man thinks I’m wearing a pencil skirt for his benefit, rather than for the fact I am channelling this season’s Mad Men vibe, then he really should brush up on his pop-culture homework) and, worst of all, almost a quarter of the males questioned said they ‘wouldn’t allow’ their partner to go out in an outfit that didn’t meet their approval. Epic. Fail.

Still, the fact that this poll was deemed of importance for Grazia’s savvy, fashionable and independently minded audience (and I should know, because I count myself as one of them!) is kind of distressing. I’m reminded of a very similar poll flagged up on Sociological Images; Young Christian men were surveyed on what items of clothing/ways of dressing/behaviour (intentional or not) they deemed ‘immodest’. It made for distressing reading, as the results began to weave a tangled web of impossible expectations from women – boiling down to the infuriating notion that women are expected to be the guardians of straight male sexuality. As Lisa Wade wrote of the results;

The lust is men’s; the bodies are women’s.  It’s an asymmetry built right into the survey design. Modesty is something pertains to only girls and immodesty is something that guys get to define.  This may be even more pernicious than women’s constant self-monitoring.  It erases women’s own desires and the sex appeal of men’s bodies, leading women to spend all of their time thinking about what men want.

So what to do? Don one of those ‘promiscuous’ trends, regardless of the male gaze, and team it with an empowered attitude? That’s certainly my first reaction. But perhaps not the best course of action – since, as one Grazia commenter points out; ‘I find it decidedly ironic, yet perfectly 21st century that women would go on a feminist march in bodycon and fishnets. Germaine Greer must be weeping.’

Yikes. Have I strayed severely off the feminist path here? I mean, I’ve read Female Chauvinist Pigs and (although I found it a bit reactionary) I agreed with pretty much every word. I was pleased when style maven Paula Reed spoke of how fashion editors had come under fire for certain ‘pornified’ trends. Hell, I laughed my ass off at The Onion’s brilliant Women Now Empowered By Everything A Woman Does article. So, what am I? A feminist… or a hypocrite?

For now all I know is that, on a personal level, I make a conscious effort not to judge women on what they wear. My umbrella is open to all; stilletto heeled or sturdilly booted, seamed stockinged or hairy legged, bare faced or fully made-up, body-conned or baggy. I’ve sported all these looks and will most likely continue to flit between them whenever it takes my fancy… and I know that, whatever I’m wearing, I’m still the same person with the same (admittedly *ahem* diverse) belief system. Whilst I delight in fashion, what I wear has little bearing on my persona, and so I am content in the knowledge that what other women wear tells me little about their personalities and values.

The fact that this question still niggles, though, is testament to my personal fear that, one day soon, the goddesses of feminism will strike me down for wearing heels. Or lipstick. Or stockings and suspenders. But I’m aware that the guilt of hypocrisy is tiring and sometimes living is hard enough. There are other important things that require attention, so I will just put this blog out there, hope it lets other flip-flopping feminists see that they’re not alone, and perhaps we can move on for a bit… until the guilt niggles again.

By: Sarah Barnes, 01.09.2010 | Comments (4)
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Out Of Print and On Your Chest

They say ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ but if you’re up for allowing others to judge you by sporting a book cover across your chest, then these tees, from Out Of Print clothing, are just what you’ve been looking for!

There’s just something about old book covers that, upon seeing them, transforms me into an old grouch – wailing “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to in the good ol’ days!” But this iconic collection is testament to this truth; No ‘Richard and Judy Book Club‘ stickers here! Just gorgeous hand-rendered type, blocky prints, and bold, Bauhaus sensibilities.

So, the vintage designs are striking and the books are complete classics…. but, if you needed any more persuading to wear your literary leanings with pride, then how about the fact that Out of Print are working in partnership with Books For Africa? For every tee that they sell, one book is donated to a community in need. Good books, good design, good cause… it all adds up to ensuring that you’ll be judged positively when you wear one of these tees!

Shop here, or donate to Books For Africa here. All images from Out of Print.

By: Sarah Barnes, 25.08.2010 | Comments (0)
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Big Demand… but who will supply to it?

One of my day-jobs right now includes working in a clothes shop with a ridiculous sizing policy – Size 14 is the largest women’s size they stock and, to add insult to injury, it is classed as an ‘XL’. Explaining this sizing policy to customers is always tricky (especially when I’m not totally on board with it) but one recent customer took the news particularly badly; ‘That’s not fair!’ she exclaimed, before sighing ‘Oh well, just have to lose some weight I suppose…’ It was heart breaking to see her leave the shop, her self image called into question by the silly sizing policy of one shop.

That a woman over a size 14 feels abnormal and isn’t catered for by British high-street fashion stores is ridiculous – Especially in light of the recent news that over a quarter of women in the UK are a size 18 or larger, whilst the average dress size is 14.

Denying larger ladies stylish clothes in their size is not just bad for women, but it’s bad for business too; As Mintel fashion analyst Tamara Sender has said of the findings ‘Given the numbers of not just plus-size women, but also men, these consumers can no longer be considered a minority or niche sector and retailers need to wake up to the potential of this market.’

Plus sized fashion retailer Evans has, naturally, always been aware that a pretty penny can be made by satisfying the needs and desires of women sized 14 and above – but the store has just announced an exciting new development: Evans are set to launch the first online store dedicated to catering for the teenage market.

This is great news for bigger teens hankering after the on-trend looks that are often only available in smaller sizes. As Gabi Gregg of Young, Fat and Fabulous has said “I think people underestimate how difficult it is to stay current, because the options are very limited.”

Here’s hoping that Evan’s new commercial venture will open up others retailer’s eyes to this fashion savvy market…  giving big women more choice, more style and, most importantly, a feeling that fashion is for them too.

(Image from Evans)

By: Sarah Barnes, 15.08.2010 | Comments (2)
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Fashion Maketh Woman? The Verdict

After getting all excited about the TEDWomen lectures in the US later this year, I reminded myself that I should really fill you all in on a fabulous debate I attended last month right here in London town!

Intelligence Squared is a global forum that believes in ‘knowledge through debate’ and hosts fantastic evenings of contest and conversation. I attended their Fashion Maketh Woman debate at Westminster’s Methodist Hall, full of excitement and nerves (had I worn the right thing?) and not knowing what to expect.

The title was a bit baffling, and I was baffled further still when I was accosted by a woman with a clip board as I entered. “Are you FOR or AGAINST the motion?” she asked, to which I felt a bit too stupid to be in attendance as I muttered “Err, I don’t think I understand the motion.” Of course (ahem) it was all just a question of semantics; “Do you think fashion makes women what they are?” the helpful woman spelt it out for me, “God no!” I answered and hurried inside to find out I was in the minority; the pre-vote showed 335 For the motion, 318 against and 256 ‘Don’t Knows’.

Paula Reed, looking exquisite in pre-collection AW10 Oscar de la Renta, was the first to take to the stage. Arguing in defense of fashion (well, she is Grazia’s style director after all!) she put it to the audience that “Fashion is the clearest expression of all the most fundamental things in life” and that it is “A delicious relief in a dirty world.” Speaking of her humble background and wide-eyed delight for all things fashion, Reed came off as very like-able and relate-able - quite different to how she has appeared at times when judging on Project Catwalk!

Describing those who focus on the negative elements of fashion as “Purse-lipped puritans” she went on to say “They set themselves up as high-minded – and often as feminists – but there’s a hint of misogyny in there, I think.”

Still, Reed did accept that fashion isn’t always without fault; “For the rise of ‘porno-chic’ fashion, fashion editors have come under fire” she said. Also, on the topic of fashion’s relationship with eating disorders, Reed talked about how she had sat on the board of a recent model health enquiry and that all she was sure of was “how many different opinions” there were on the matter and that thin models will soon be going “the way of the padded shoulder”. I admired her bravery for addressing these areas of concern, but it still felt like Reed missed the point somewhat by pointing to the rise in obesity as proof that fashion imagery doesn’t affect how people see themselves.

Ultimately, Reed reminded us that fashion can be a joy and, whether we choose to partake in trends or not, we are always making our own satorial statements. “Looking around this room,” Reed said, gleefully,  ”I see lots and lots of Grazia fashion pages from over the past 6 months… you’re looking good, by the way.”

Up next was Stephen Bayley and, although he was arguing against the fashion industry, I just knew I wouldn’t enjoy his speech quite so much.

This is because Bayley is the author of Woman As Design, a book that angered feminists (including Germaine Greer) upon its release last year due to its portrayal of idealised and objectified women. Now, I may have been tempted to pick up the book (if it didn’t cost a whopping £50!) because maybe, just maybe, it might offer an interesting glance at how women’s bodies have influenced design and how beauty standards have transformed over time. I lost any inclination to do just that, however, upon reading Bayley’s Guardian rebuttal Why My Book Is Not Sexist in which he seriously described Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour as ‘a sexist ghetto’ and asked why there was no Man’s Hour. Pssch.

As an intelligent and eloquent speaker, Bayley came out with some cracking quotes (most of which have been included in the ‘best bits’ IQ2 video). He expressed his bemusement at an industry that demands innovation without need and asks people to imitate it without reason. This “cycle of utter folly” also adds to the confused gaze in which we view women’s bodies, Bayley asserted; “Some moments parts of the woman’s body are sterilised and at other times eroticised.”

Still, any great points Bayley made became tainted upon his argument that, whilst the fashion industry says “Buy this and you will look more attractive”, most women would actually look more attractive if they “got a tan, trained for a marathon and lost 30 pounds.” Sorry, Bayley, but you lost my vote right there.

Finance executive turned fashion designer Britt Lintner was keen to tell us how her clothing range for career-minded women has aided them in their professional lives; “We wanted women to celebrate their differences and their individuality,” Lintner said, “Whether a size 6 or a size 16, we’re all about real women.”

She went on to tell the audience, through the aid of Power-Point and a rather fun collection of old photos, how she had used clothing to help her compete as her career evolved. “The psychological impact is undeniable,” Lintner said, stating that clothes give you “the confidence to strive for whatever you want.”

Good points aside, Lintner did herself no favours by pulling out a quote from Margaret Thatcher to back up her points. Good though the quote was, you could almost hear the clenching of teeth in the auditorium as Lintner described Thatcher as “the greatest working woman in the whole world.”

As I had expected, Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry was a fantastic speaker. Passionate to the point of anger, Perry brought up many good points about the waste and exploitation ingrained in parts of the fashion industry. “Fashion maketh woman?” Perry all but spat, “I don’t agree with that… Fashion maketh money, fashion maketh waste, fashion maketh carbon, fashion maketh lazy!”

Talking about trends, Perry stated that “The world’s biggest industry is set up to make you dissatisfied with what you’ve just bought” and he wondered whether trend-followers ever actually considered what suited them. He also speculated whether “If this machine of power didn’t exist, would people be more creative?”

Wearing a dress designed for him by a CSM fashion student, Perry lamented the speed at which fashion runs; “It hoovers up ideas and then spits them out half chewed.” He also touched on the throw-backs to colonialism that fashion seems to parade around every so often like an embarrassing souvenir; “This year we’re doing Tibetan…but what if you’re actually Tibetan?”

Lastly, Perry likened the Hot or Not pages of fashion glossies as “The judgement of the playground” and went as far as saying that the fashion industry as a whole is the industrialisation of playground cool; “And cool,” Perry chided us, “is the new straight.”

Madeline Levy, editor-in-Chief of fashion and arts magazine Bon International, was last to speak about the merits of fashion. Throughout the debate speakers on both sides of the fence had agreed that, whilst fashion can come under fire, style is all-well-and-good. Levy, however, put it to the audience that style doesn’t push boundaries or move aesthetic levels in the same way that fashion does. Fashion, Levy said, is an “art form which concerns us all” and it can even allow us to dress up and above the positions we were born into.

After Perry’s attack on the fashion industry, Levy came back with the statement that “The pharmaceutical industry is pretty corrupt but that doesn’t make medicine bad.” She also agreed with Paula Reed, saying that those who hold disdain for fashion may also hold disdain for women; “When men are passionate about something it’s a hobby. When women are passionate about fashion, they’re vain.”

I had been really looking forward to hearing Susie Orbach, author of Fat Is A Feminist Issue, speak against fashion – but her melancholy, emotionally centred speech didn’t really sit well after the passionate demonstrations, peppered with facts, that had gone before.

“You’re ten years old,” Orbach started, “your breasts are little buds. You check out your pose in the mirror, just as you’ve seen Mum do. You’ve seen her sigh in the mirror when she doesn’t quite fit. Still, she’s your yummy mummy.”

Orbach’s imagining was based in the realities she had collected for her latest book, Bodies, and yet the approach felt rather ill-at-ease in a debate setting. I much preferred her speech which followed on from the personal intro, as it felt more effective. “Ask a woman what she’d like to change about her body and she will have a list,” Orbach stated, “Ask her what she likes and she will struggle.”

After all speakers were heard and we were called to vote again, there was still confusion as to what we were actually voting for. If we are FOR or AGAINST fashion, are we talking ‘Fashion’ as an industry (and all that entails) or are we talking clothing, style…fashion as art?

I know that I would like to see the fashion industry grow in more ethically and environmentally friendly ways; it needs scrutinising and it needs to take responsibility. I also know that I welcome it as a creative and empowering force on an individual level. But ‘Fashion Maketh Woman’? I don’t think so. It’s not that gendered – everyone is affected by fashion and trends! Plus, women aren’t one dimensional – it takes more than fashion to make a woman!

A new final vote was taken with the results of 293 For the motion, 468 Against the motion and a nervous 44 ‘Don’t Knows’… how nice to no longer be in the minority! Still, if it had come down to voting only on the basis of speakers, I would have voted for the fashion clan! They came off as much more positive, open to change and eager to confront fashion’s problems, whilst all the while being non-judgemental and fun!

Watch IQ2’s Best Bits from the debate here and find out more about their Autumn season of debates here.

More to read:

MsAfropolitan’s thoughts on Fashion Maketh Woman

Mutton’s Guide To Fashion’s take on the debate

Bust Magazine reviews the Fashion As Empowerment exhibition at the Met

By: Sarah Barnes, 24.07.2010 | Comments (0)
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Britain’s Next Top Model: The Elephant In The Room

So, the new series of Britain’s Next Top Model starts tonight on Living TV and, whilst newly appointed queen-bee Elle Macpherson has been getting all the glory promo-wise,  it’s new judge Julien Macdonald who has been stealing the headlines. Back in June the designer-cum-cutting critic told The Wales on Sunday:

You can’t have a plus-size girl winning – it makes it a joke. It’s not fair on them – you’re setting them up for a fall. They are looked down on, they’re frowned upon. A catwalk model is a size six to eight. If you’re a size 14 in a room full of size eights, you’re in the wrong room.

Apparently, out of the final 25 hopeful finalists that will grace our screens tonight, not one is a ‘plus’ size model – something which really surprised and disappointed me after all the talk of a new appreciation for fuller-figured women in the fashion industry; Take French Elle’s Special Rondes, V Magazine’s Size Issue, Crystal Renn’s amazing autobiography Hungry, and all the great work that the All Walks Beyond The Catwalk organisation is doing… to name but a few!

It makes you wonder what’s up with us here in the UK when America’s Next Top Model has already had a plus size winner, Whitney Thompson (an American size 12/British size 16), back in 2008. It’s sad to say, but it seems BNTM series 6 will be a wasted opportunity to show that larger girls can become top models too.

More to read:

Laurie Penny calls the show a cultural car-crash in The New Statesman

Polly Vernon on how Thin is increasingly ‘In’ for Men too over at The Guardian.

By: Sarah Barnes, 05.07.2010 | Comments (0)
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Fashion Maketh Woman: The IQ2 Debate

Donning my glad-rags to celebrate the Reclaiming The F-Word book launch, I couldn’t help but have second (and third, and fourth) thoughts; Is a  satin, sapphire-blue pencil skirt and a customised Kylie tee shirt really what I should be wearing to a feminist book launch? Luckily, I know that feminists are a friendly, fun and understanding lot… which is why I went along in exactly my original choice of clothing and no-one gave two hoots about my appearance!

Still, the fact that I even raised the question with myself says a lot about feminism’s difficult relationship with fashion. Personally, as a feminist who writes about fashion, it’s a battle that rages constantly in my consciousness. I was immensely glad to hear, then,  about Intelligence Squared’s upcoming debate Fashion Maketh Woman, featuring an incredible speaker panel that will include Fat Is A Feminist Issue author Susie Orbach, artist Grayson Perry and Grazia’s Style Director Paula Reed.

With such diverse and passionate speakers, it looks set to be a really lively and intelligent debate! As the blurb says on the IQ2 website;

Woman is born free, but everywhere is fashion’s slave. Her choices are an illusion: the fashion companies and magazines dictate her purchases to her. She feels compelled to own the latest must-have handbag, believes the key to happiness is the new bondage boot; they’ve told her she’s worth it and without her fashion fix she feels worthless. This, at least, is the story told by those who scoff at fashion. But isn’t that just sour drapes? Isn’t it rather the case that the world of fashion defines the spirit and mood of the age? That the brilliant designers in the fashion houses bring vim and vigour to an otherwise pedestrian world? And that those who somehow think they’re above it all just end up looking drab and dull?

As per usual, I’m firmly perched on the fence! Still, I’m really looking forward to being forcibly swung this way and that by the evening’s speakers. There’s only one thing on my mind until then… what outfit should I wear?

Fashion Maketh Woman takes place on Thursday, the 17th of June at the Methodist Central Hall Westminster. Doors open at 6pm and the debate is scheduled to finish at 8.30. Tickets are £25 (or half price for students) and can be bought here.

By: Sarah Barnes, 11.06.2010 | Comments (2)
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eveRy body counts!

Okay, so you lot may not be quite as excited to see this as I was… but, nevertheless, I thought I’d show you the snapshot taken of me at London Fashion Week by the people at All Walks Beyond The Catwalk. I wrote about the campaign, which seeks to diversify the shapes, sizes, ages and races of models in the fashion industry, here soon after I had my picture taken – but the pics have only just been published, which gives me a great excuse to bring up the work of All Walks once more!

Posing the question “Does current fashion imagery reflect individuality?”, the All Walks team set up a make-shift studio in Freemason’s Hall to capture a true collection of stylish individuals. The result is a lovely set of expressive and fun images that delivers a pretty clear answer of, ‘No, this is individuality’ – as well as showing just how many people support the idea of diversifying the modelling industry. See the images here and here.

This blog post is brought to you by the letter ‘R’!

By: Sarah Barnes, 13.04.2010 | Comments (0)
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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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I. Am. Terrified!

“My eyes! It buuuuurns!”

Such were the screams that could be heard ringing around the staff room as I idly flipped through Grazia magazine on my lunch hour and chanced upon this advert. With this double page spread of grinning Barbies, all dead behind the eyes, I had been plunged unwittingly into the valley of the dolls. But why did it freak me out so much? (more…)

By: Sarah Barnes, 03.03.2010 | Comments (3)
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