Friday, January 08, 2010

V Magazine's 'Size' Issue: Getting Warmer

[Gabourey Sidibe, who everyone says is 250-pounds, covers V's "Size" issue. Another cover features teeny Dakota Fanning]

Most magazine's have some sort of special issue that celebrates the beauty-maligned: Vogue does their annual Age issue to prove that (shocker!) women retain and even acquire great style past age 40; Glamour did a Size issue that they made sure was seen 'round the world. The purpose of that seemed to be more, "See, perfectly-proportioned women are hot even when they're not really skinny."

With the average American woman wearing a double-digit dress size (I didn't have to research that fact; it's everywhere), media companies are running and jumping on the plus-size bandwagon. But most do it really, really wrong.

First off, instead of assuming that different women have different bodies, most of the packages have a sort of zoo animal feel to them that assumes that the reader is thin and learning something new about being plus-sized, when the reality is probably the reverse. And the women are always marginalized. Like, "here's the fat people section," instead of casually dropping a few bigger models in a spread or on the cover of the magazine. The ta-da factor, if you will, is annoying.

[To their credit, the Glamour's plus-size spread was gorgeous]

V's Size issue is pretty great though. From what I've seen online, they truly celebrate women's bodies instead of giving themselves a pat on the back for recognizing the non-thin population (I'm jabbing you, Glamour).

And, really, I think that's all women want: A celebration of who we are, just as we are. So many magazines seem to exist to change us, to get us to be our best selves, which in and of itself assumes that we aren't already satisfied. There's talk of how to get a man (singledom is hell, y'all) and how to lose weight (fatties to the back) and how to get whiter teeth and how to protect ourselves against breast cancer and how to get pregnant and how to, how to, how to, how to.

[“I loved the opportunity to show that you can be beautiful and sexy outside the narrow interpretations that normally define us,” said V's photog Solve Sundsbo]

What I also love is the fleshiness of the models in the V shoot. I know that sounds pervy, but whenever you see plus-sized models in magazines they've always been posed or airbrushed to appear as these perfectly proportioned people that are just slightly bigger than the average model, and probably around the same size as the average woman. V's shoot seems to not be afraid to show a little jelly. Again, I mean that in the least pervy way.

What do you think of "Size" issues?

Plus-size models buck thin trend in V magazine --


Anonymous said...

I've always been a fan of fuller-figured models. There's a great site with many images of plus-size models here:

They're all gorgeous.

The site's forum also has thought-provoking discussions about body image and the media.

Nicole said...

wow...I love these photos! Great points. Nice, Whit!

goldie said...

Great post!

To note: when "bigger can be pretty too" (gag) articles come up once a year (or less) I'm always smitten with the beautiful brick houses they showcase (zoo animal style... unfortunately)