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Maureen
17th September 2007, 13:38
Leafing through the new Martha Stewart Living at a newsstand last night, I found a full-page advertisement for the Breast Cancer Research Council. It features a shapely, dark-haired woman half-wrapped in red silk. Her back is to the viewer, and her body is bent slightly, revealing the fullness of her figure, especially the softness of her waist. Of her face, we see only the right side, her downcast lashes and full mouth in profile. It wasn't until I was in the car and on my way to my destination that I realized the model looks a lot like Crystal Renn.

Does anyone have this magazine handy right now? I intend to pick it up tonight and scan the image tomorrow, as I can't find it online anywhere. Even if it's not Ms. Renn, it's a lovely image in service to an important cause.

HSG
19th September 2007, 02:07
<br>A search of local booksellers failed to turn up a copy of the latest issue of <i>Martha Stewart Living.</i> However, we were delighted to find Maureen's image in the pages of the otherwise lamentable October 2007 issue of <i>Glamour</i> magazine (the one with the digital distortion of America Ferrera on the cover).

The advertisement is highly effective--a rare example of an image that manages to be both size-positive, and an expression of the aesthetic restoration. The red silk drapery and the warm background appear in many Old Master paintings, giving this photograph the quality of a Renaissance masterpiece brought to life. But the most notable evocation of timeless beauty in this image is the fact that it celebrates the soft curves along the model's back. <p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cr/bc02b.jpg"></center><p>Nothing could be more attractive than those undulating contours. As we discussed in a previous <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=472" target="_blank">thread</a>, this highly sensual characteristic has been one of the principal attributes of history's most renowned beauties. Its most famous presentation is found in Rubens's masterpiece titled <i>Venus Before the Mirror</i></a> (c.1613):<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens01.htm" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/curves/curves13a.jpg"" alt="Click for details" border="0"></a></center><p>The appeal of this feminine feature is readily understandable. It betokens a pampered life of luxurious indolence and generous self-indulgence, free of all exertion (i.e., the ideal existence for a true goddess).

Another loving depiction of this aspect of soft fullness is found in François Boucher's <i>Angelica and Medoro</i> (1763):<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/boucher01.htm" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/boucher/boucher01.jpg" alt="Click for details" border="0"></a></center><p>Before Crystal Renn, Kate Dillon recreated this Titian pose in her 2001 appearance in <i>People</i> magazine, when she was listed as one of the world's most beautiful women (the only <i>People</i> celebrity so honoured who ever deserved this title). What made Ms. Dillon's picture so fascinating was how it successfully merged past and present, blending the photographer's use of modern lighting with the model's timeless pose, set against a Classical marble backdrop. The result was one of Kate's finest images.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/images/KD26.jpg"></center><p>However, although Kate's full arms are more alluring, what makes Crystal's advert even more gorgeous is that it does not obscure the sensual curves along the model's back, but celebrates them.

It has been a while since we showcased one of Crystal's images on our forum, and it is a pleasure to see her return to the timeless aesthetic that she adopted in some of her early plus-size campaigns--the most suitable aesthetic for presenting full-figured beauty.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cr/bc03.jpg"></center><p>- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cr/bc01.jpg" target="_blank">Click here to view larger</a>

Maureen
20th September 2007, 10:20
Thank you for posting the image. I'm glad to know it's in wider circulation than just among Martha Stewart's fans.

Emily
27th September 2007, 16:00
The Rubens painting relates to Crystal in another way. It incorporates the principal attribute of Venus in Old Master paintings -- the mirror in which the goddess gazes at her own reflection, awed by her own beauty, giving her vanity free reign.

These theme is cleverly incorporated into a series of new TV ads at Evans. There's six of them, viewable online at the following link:

http://www.evans.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StaticPageDisplay?storeId=12553&catalogId=20554&identifier=ev1%20as%20seen%20on%20tv&cmpid=wk4tv

In each of them, Crystal passes by a reflective surface of some sort (a mirror, a storefront window, etc.), notices her reflection, and smiles with pleasure at her own beauty -- like a present-day Venus.

It's an excellent theme for a campaign aimed at full-figured women, implying that they deserve to feel proud of their beauty, the way the model does.

Too bad it's a fall/winter promotion, so the fashions are rather basic instead of feminine and romantic. Crystal would certainly look better if she were to go up a dress size or two, since her face would fill out a little and become softer.

Still, the lingerie video #2, the best of the six, shows her bathrobe opening -- displaying her figure, and allowing the viewer to see some soft motion in her curvy waist as she walks. It's a wonderfully size-positive moment.