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HSG
10th July 2007, 04:36
<br>After an astoundingly good May/June <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=1070" target="_blank">issue</a> with Kelsey Olson, the July/August <i>Figure</i> must be regarded as something of a disappointment. It does not contain any particularly offensive content (no diet ads, for example), although there are still too many advertisements for low-calorie foodstuffs rather than for regular edibles (which would be far preferable), and still too many scare-stories about "health" topics. However, the visual yield is rather poor.

Still, <i>Figure</i> may be forgiven for having an "off" month. Even <i>Mode,</i> in its later years, produced occasional issues without a single image of permanent greatness. This compels us to go elsewhere for this month's examples of plus-size models in print.

The trouble is that every other magazine apart from <i>Figure</i> conveys horrendous mixed messages, with offensive diet ads, and with pages upon pages of glaringly underweight models. However, if we liberate these magazines' rare images of plus-size models from their mixed-message context, and present them here, in a positive space, then the images can achieve a favourable effect.

With that in mind, Joe Michaels has kindly informed us that the August issue of <i>Glamour</i> features a two-page editorial showing full-figured beauty Kailee O'Sullivan. <i>Glamour</i> achieved tremendous success earlier this year when it featured Miss O'Sullivan in a visual <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=1035" target="_blank">masterpiece</a> that was altogether the most size-positive and beautiful image that the magazine has ever produced--one which actually displayed the model's soft curves. By contrast, this month's image is considerably less impressive, as it does not show Kailee looking the least bit plus. (One dreads that she may have diminished her figure.) However, at least it <i>is</i> a full-page image, rather than merely a tiny little picture in one of the magazine's "do's-and-dont's" pictorials, and the top is quite attractive. Kailee looks pretty enough, but her previous <i>Glamour</i> showing may be well-nigh unsurpassable.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ko/glamour05.jpg"></center><p>This issue also deserves a mention because, on the facing page to the above tear sheet, <i>Glamour</i> prominently identifies the model by name, and even features a quote from her (although one wonders if quotations such as this genuinely represent a model's own words, or if they are created by the magazine's copywriters). The specific fashion advice skews conservative, but the pink floral top featured at the bottom of the page is <i>extremely</i> pretty. If that is indeed a Kailee selection, than one must applaud her for her fashion sense--and rue that she wasn't photographed in such a lovely, feminine piece, paired with a breezy, summer skirt.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/ko/glamour04.jpg"></center><p>Kudos to <i>Glamour</i> for featuring Kailee so prominently, thereby raising the celebrity status of a popular plus-size model. Too bad that the magazine cannot and will not become a genuinely positive publication, exclusively featuring full-figured models, and banishing diet-ads and pro-starvation content from its pages. Also, one hopes to see Kailee presented in a curvier manner in future appearances--or better still, to have the model herself become fuller-figured, so that she can become a "photographer-proof" embodiment of plus-size beauty.

(Many thanks to Joe Michaels for the scans in this post.)

M. Lopez
21st July 2007, 08:30
<i>Glamour</i> achieved tremendous success earlier this year when it featured Miss O'Sullivan in a visual <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=1035" target="_blank">masterpiece</a> that was altogether the most size-positive and beautiful image that the magazine has ever produced--one which actually displayed the model's soft curves.
I agree. While the two pages posted above are nice, they're "safe," but the linked May 2007 image of Kailee was possibly the most size-positive picture ever published in any magazine outside Mode or Figure.

What made it so special was that Kailee didn't try to hide her soft and curvy waist, but showed it off proudly and beautifully. The world could be changed with more images like that.

By contrast, the August 2007 issue of Jane magazine has a two-page spread of Kate Dillon in the buff, and the image ultimately fails. Why? Because Kate is sucking in her tummy. Come on! I mean, what's the point? What kind of message does that send, other than a negative one?

I don't know whether it happened because the model is still (after all these years) uncomfortable with looking plus, or because the magazine chickened out, but it was really disappointing to see. If only Kate could have relaxed and displayed a soft figure, the way Kailee did.

At least, in the one instance linked above, Glamour got it right. If only more magazines would promote size-celebration this way.