View Full Version : Charlotte Church: Victorian curves
I've always admired Charlotte Church as one of the very few celebrities who are referred to as "curvy" by the media, and who actually deserve to be honoured with that description.
You may remember a gorgeous TV ad that Charlotte filmed last year, which showed her dressed in an elegant Scarlett O'Hara gown, reclining sensually amind soft cushions, and having servants at her beckcon call. It was an ad for potato chips, but the wardrobe styling and setting were so beautiful that it could have been a plus-size fashion editorial. There was a thread about it here:
You can still see pictures from the promotion on that page, and if you follow the Sun link, you can watch the TV ad online.
Charlotte Church is currently "in a family way," and she has never been curvier or more beautiful. How wonderful that Walkers (the company that filmed the promo) enlisted her to film a second TV commercial just a few weeks ago.
There's an article about the ad here:
No video, unfortunately, but if the pictures from the shoot are any indication, it will be an even more beautiful TV segment than the first:
The wardrobe is absolutely stunning -- faithful to the Lillian Russell period, and (just like the styles of those times) elegant, yet taking full advantage of the intense sensuality of the well-fed female figure (note the daring decolletage).
Because of the authenticity of the styling, the gown doesn't look "costumey," but constitutes actual fashion. I could see many elements in this dress inspiring contemporary designs in a very good way, making them more feminine and opulent.
Charlotte herself looks gorgeous, with long, romantic tresses, and an attractive fullness in her facial features that suits the rich style of the wardrobe.
The juxtaposition of "forbidden" food and opulent glamour is absolutely wonderful...
The juxtaposition of "forbidden" food and opulent glamour is absolutely wonderful...
Absolutely. The media will never admit this (although Mode realized it, and capitalized on it, by gracing its editorial pages with captions such as "Eating is sexy") but for many men, the fact that a woman indulges herself, without any guilt, is genuinely attractive.
Speaking of Charlotte Church, Contactmusic.com ran a short publicity piece about her, recently - or rather, about what one popular Brit actor thinks of her
- and his views reflect the true majority opinion:
British actor DANNY DYER prefers CHARLOTTE CHURCH to VICTORIA BECKHAM, because he likes his women to be curvaceous. The Business star does not see the appeal in skinny celebrities and thinks it's sexier when girls eat what they like - just as long as they can make him laugh. He says, "Victoria Beckham looks really rough! I don't get her on any level. I prefer bigger women, to be honest. I think skinny birds need a...Big MAC meal and some chicken nuggets. "I've met Charlotte, she's wicked. She's funny, she's witty, she's quick off the mark. And that's the sexiest thing for me. So, Charlotte all day long." And that's the truth, even if the media will never allow women to believe it.
Here's another short PR piece expressing a male opinion along the same lines, by the way,
by what I think is the lead singer of a modern music group:
MAROON 5 frontman ADAM LEVINE is bemused by Hollywood females' desperation to be size zero, claiming the super skinny look is "unattractive".
Levine likes his ladies to be curvy and healthy and is stunned when celebrities slim down to the dangerous dress size.
He says, "The size zero thing is sad. I wish women wouldn't do it.
"Men like flesh. They like women to have the curves they're supposed to have.
The whole situation is more about women competing with other women than about women's sexual appeal to men.
"I have yet to meet a man who says, 'I love a woman who's all skin and bones.'
So when that Daily Mail article reports that "Charlotte Church is a real lady, but she still loves junk food" (as its headline reads), the truth is that this is part of what makes her attractive.
Anyway, this Walkers ad looks like it will be a great commercial - classy, yet fun, and carrying a wonderfully subversive message. And best of all (perhaps because she's "with child"), Charlotte Church looks more of a plus-size beauty in those pictures than ever before.
16th May 2007, 15:32
I have finally managed to find online videos of this ad - and it's even more gorgeous than her Scarlett O'Hara TV spot of last year. In fact, this is probably the most sensual commercial that has ever been made.
The attire is even more vividly coloured, and Charlotte looks even softer and curvier than the still images suggest.
She looks as beautiful as any plus-size model. From the costumes to the setting to the romantic theme, to the fact that Charlotte enjoys her food with such relish in the ad, this is an ideal inspiration for plus-size model imagery and magazine layouts.
The video is small, but very clear. Note how the commercial plays up the constrast between the softness of Charlotte's appearance, and the rough-hewn masculinity of the male actor.
The cinematography is equal to any feature film. This is a visual masterpiece - and conveys every aspect of timeless beauty to a modern audience in an accessible way.
24th May 2007, 02:33
Sigh...Such beautiful clothes, such a beautiful woman! What a wonderful commercial---Charlotte makes the crisps look extremely appetizing. So much better than commercials that feature anorexic-looking women who look like they're not even enjoying the food!
<br>This commercial is a note-perfect presentation of the essential aspects of feminine allure and desire. Ms. Church has never appeared as gorgeous as she does here, with her fair skin and luxuriant tresses, and exhibiting a softer, fuller look than ever before. Charlotte's wardrobe epitomizes timeless beauty--both elegant and intensely sensual, as Emily noted. The setting is highly Romantic, and the cinematography and production values are first-rate.
For those who have not yet viewed the clip, it opens in a rustic village in the English countryside, apparently in the late 1800s. The first shot presents an upper-class couple from town, temporarily stranded here due to a breakdown in their carriage.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap002.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap002a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Next, the camera focusses on the lady--well fed and luxuriously attired, looking alluringly haughty and spoiled, obviously used to getting everything she wants, thanks to her extraordinary beauty.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap005.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap005a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Her enticing expression is one of pampered boredom. She craves sensation. As much as she has, she wants <i>more,</i> always more.
And to be sure, her wardrobe closely resembles the ornate hats and opulent gowns, exhibiting dizzying decolletage, favoured by Lillian Russell--the most renowned beauty of the time:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lillian/lil79.jpg"></center><p>The lady's eye alights on a Classical form--a stern, commanding, physical compliment to her own soft, voluptuous being.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap006.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap006a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>She gasps at the intensity of the hunger that she feels,<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap007.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap007a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>and allows her imagination free reign.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap009.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap009a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Her appetites roar within her--metaphorically represented by the fire in the forge, which erupts into a mighty flame.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/2cap033.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/2cap033a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The juxtaposition of the fire with the lady's porcelain beauty intimates the two sides of her nature: on the one hand, a soft, angelic aspect, the epitome of Victorian grace; and on the other, a voracious, devilish temptress. History's most gorgeous women have always possessed both personae within themselves.
The imagery also references a trope in Old Master paintings, which often depict Venus, the goddess of beauty, in the forge of her husband, the smith-god Vulcan. Witness, for example, these canvasses titled <i>Venus in the Smithy of Vulcan</i> by Palma Giovane (c.1605),<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/pg02.htm" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/pg/pg02a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>and by Luca Giordano (c.1634):<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/giordano01.htm" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/giordano/giordano01.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>This use of fire as a metaphor for the greedy cravings of a beautiful goddess also has a precedent in Lillian Russell. As we noted in a <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=68" target="_blank">post</a> about the "American Beauty," first-person accounts of Lillian record that she <i>"had a roaring passion for food, especially rich-buttered corn"</i> (note that Charlotte's ad is promoting corn chips), and the writers of Lillian's even employed the fire metaphor to describe her insatiable nature.
Here is how Oscar Tschirky, an admirer of Miss Russell's from the 1890s, describes his first view of Lillian in the flesh:<p><blockquote><i>"I was captivated by this fleeting glimpse. I remember the smooth flow of her blue gown, the exotic effect of her golden hair, but <strong>most of all the banked-down fire that smouldered in her beautiful face</strong>. She was the loveliest woman I have ever seen, lovelier than the picture on the poster I had stared at those first days I spent in New York"...That one glimpse was enough to send Oscar Tschirky over the Delmonico's the next morning to apply for a waiter's job, which he obtained, and the privilege of helping to feed that strikingly nonethereal love goddess of the '90s.</i> (Fields, <i>An American Beauty.</i>)</blockquote><p>Fire aptly symbolizes the danger and excitement of a goddess with such intense passions and wants.
But back to the commercial. A shot of Charlotte in pursuit of her quarry shows us a lovely view of the video's rustic setting, an environment that contrasts with the finery of the lady's elegant attire, but compliments her robust appearance, as if betokening the more natural, even animalistic aspect that dwells just beneath her Victorian trappings.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap011.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap011a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>She enters the mill (how fitting--a building associated with producing food), and casts her eye on her prey.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap013.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap013a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Her look is that of a vixen who is secure in the knowledge that her sumptuous beauty can enslave any man she desires. Her elegant dress reveals her figure as much as it conceals it.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap014.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap014a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Lest we forget that we are viewing a promotion for corn chips, the next shot gives us the obligatory product insert--but integrated seamlessly into the narrative. Has there ever been a more sensual depiction of indulgence than this? Only if the goddess were succumbing to a lust for chocolate, or another manner of decadent dessert, could this scenario have been even more alluring.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap015.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap015a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The fact that the object of this lady's desire entices her with an offering of food testifies to an essential connection between the two. He intimately understands her wants. Therefore, let us give the man at least one screen capture. His pose on a rearing horse intimates military prowess, suggesting that although the lady found him labouring in the village, he is surely an aristocrat in disguise--a true aristocrat, a knight of old, a member of the warrior class, unlike the effete man of wealth whom we saw in the opening shot.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap017.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap017a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The lady bids farewell to the aforementioned fellow, obviously pleased at embarking on a new and more exciting life. Note the exquisite fullness of Charlotte's facial features in this capture.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap021.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap021a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>And the pair ride off on the knight's steed, into the British countryside. Walkers richly deserves the plug, for producing such a breathtaking minute of film.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap024.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap024a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The ad is a remarkable presentation of timeless beauty, in every aspect. It shows how the fashions of the past celebrated the generously-proportioned female figure, framing its beauty and complimenting its opulence. It shows a full-figured damsel effortlessly capturing the heart of a GQ, and by depicting such a pairing, it reveals to a modern audience that the natural aesthetic match for a "handsome" man is a plus-size goddess, not an emaciated waif. The fact that this is a food ad also works in favour of the timeless ideal, suggesting that indulgence rather than deprivation is the key to possessing irresistible beauty.
(You may click on these screen captures to view them at a larger size.)
<br>Anyone who has enjoyed this breathtaking commercial can also now view a higher-resolution version, at the link provided below. Sadly, it's a somewhat truncated cut of the ad (only 30 seconds, rather than the 60-second version which is available at the Walkers site, at the link posted earlier), but it allows the viewer to see the visuals in a larger, clearer form.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap019.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/cap019a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/video/churchfire.mov" target="_blank">Click here for higher-resolution video</a>
26th October 2007, 20:54
<br>Charlotte Church graces the cover of the October 2007 issue of British <i>Cosmopolitan,</i> and we are delighted to share a scan of this cover--principally because it boasts the most size-celebratory cover line we have ever seen.
Here is Charlotte's magazine, with the cover line is indicated in red:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/walkers/churchcover02.jpg"></center></p>One could hardly conceive of a more affirmative statement.<p><blockquote><i>CHARLOTTE: "Why I feel sexy when I'm big."</blockquote><p>In that one sentence, Ms. Chruch celebrates the fact that she is indeed "big," declares that she feels sexy this way, and equates the one state with the other. In effect, she affirms that she feels sexy <i>because</i> she is big, that being big is the key to feeling sexy. And the two terms fit together so naturally: "Big and sexy," or even better, "Big <i>is</i> sexy."
Looking at Charlotte's breathtaking Walker's commercial, the answer to her question is apparent: Charlotte feels sexy when she is big because she looks infinitely more gorgeous that way. And her Lillian-Russell-inspired character certainly operates on Charlotte's big-is-sexy principle. Her manner of indulging in the crisps suggests an earnest intent to become even more alluring to her beau by augmenting her luscious curves.
This is a shining example of what would constitute a size-positive media: Plus-size goddesses appearing on magazine covers expressing a delight in their own full-figured appearance, and explaining how pleasurable it is to become increasingly curvaceous.
It is encouraging to see a rare examples of genuine size celebration in the media, and one must applaud Charlotte Church for making it possible.
vBulletin v3.0.7, Copyright ©2000-2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.