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Emily
20th September 2007, 00:29
Actually, she's slim, and only a tad curvy, but at least famed British chef and TV personality Nigella Lawson is making appearances at fashion events in Britain, thus offering the U.K. public an example of a somewhat more womanly figure.

http://images.thesun.co.uk/picture/0,,2007431472,00.jpg

A segment of the British press appears to be coming around to size-celebration. U.K newspapers have been far more scathing in their denunciation of catwalk emaciation than have their U.S. counterparts. Also -- as some of the appreciative comments about Nigella's figure and fashion sense in the following article demonstrate -- they are beginning to express praise for more generously-proportioned bodies.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=482665&in_page_id=1773

Here are a few excerpts, which echo Judgment of Paris themes:

Voluptuous Nigella almost spills out of her dress
by DONNA McCONNELL

Curvaceous television cook Nigella Lawson['s] low-cut velvet gown struggled to adequately contain her Rubenesque figure...

Nigella, 47, has become the poster-girl for the Rubenesque figure which was idealised for centuries until the fashion world decreed an absence of curves was more desirable.

Thankfully Nigella has ignored the current wisdom and held fast to her voluptuous shape which has won her many fans, male and female alike.

Nigella recently returned to TV screens with a show that promotes fattening "fast food".

The BBC series, Nigella Express, is aimed at busy working parents. It features calorific meals such as Irish cream tiramisu, coconut rice, sweet potato and bacon hash and cheese fondue, all of which are intended to be conjured up quickly.
It's encouraging to see the mainstream press acknowledging the fact that the present-day fetishization of thinness is a modern aberration, and that throughout history, it was the full-figured body that represented perfect beauty.

One can only hope that this realization will lead to a rejection of current values (modern aesthetic values, and modern social values as well), and a renewed appreciation of timeless ideals.

Here is another image of Ms. Lawson:

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/09_03/nigellaREX1909_468x756.jpg

Maureen
20th September 2007, 11:26
Wow! Silk velvet is one of the most sensuous materials in existence. The way it glows with what J. Peterman calls "pale fire" really accentuates her curves; I especially love the way it's ruched at the bodice.

(I've been sewing a lot with silk velvet this week -- can you tell?)

M. Lopez
25th September 2007, 01:27
A segment of the British press appears to be coming around to size-celebration. U.K newspapers have been far more scathing in their denunciation of catwalk emaciation than have their U.S. counterparts. Also...they are beginning to express praise for more generously-proportioned bodies.
This is true. I don't know if it's due to the fact that the U.K. is more unified in terms of its history and composition than North America, but there does seem to be a growing rebellion against the fashion industry's alien aesthetic - at last.

On that note, there was an article in the Daily Mail a few days ago about how a prominent British retailer is going to be using fuller-figured mannequins in its stores. What makes it notable is that this is a generalist retailer, not a plus-specialty chain:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=483219&in_page_id=1879

The pertinent info:

John Lewis is to use size 14 mannequins to display its fashion ranges as part of a drive to promote realistic body sizes.

The department store will introduce the larger dummies at a regional branch later this month before considering them for all stores.

The move follows criticism of retailers who promote unrealistic images of women's body sizes.

"We will be introducing a small number of size 14 mannequins into our Peterborough store at the end of this month," a John Lewis spokesman said.

"We're going to trial them to see how our customers respond to them and they work in the visual landscape."

The store usually uses size 10 mannequins to show off its clothes.

However, the average British woman is a size 16.

John Lewis has already challenged conventional images of beauty by choosing a curvaceous size 12 model to front its 2007 swimwear campaign.
It's a step in the right direction, although it's ironic to read that their "fuller" figured live swimwear model was smaller than these mannequins. Both the store's live models and its mannequins should at least be a size 16, since that's the median size of its customers.

But bravo to this retailer for doing something. Hopefully, other stores will follow suit. And as such progress is made in the straight-size shops (i.e. as they adopt faux-plus models), I hope this encourages plus-specialty chains to use larger, legitimately plus-size, fuller-figured models in their advertising.

Graham
25th September 2007, 14:35
For more proof that an increase in visibility for plus-size beauty would improve womens' body image, consider this brief opinion piece:

http://www.eveningleader.co.uk/columnists/HAVE-YOUR-SAY-Do-Nigella39s.3229161.jp

It's short, so here's the pertinent text:

Do Nigella's curves have you reaching for the cake?

Columnist Sarah Park wonders why more women don't strive to copy the celebrity chef's shapely figure

IT isn't often I am astounded by a picture of a woman, it is usually various male models that catch my eye and make me momentarily drool but photos of a rubenesque Nigella Lawson at a London fashion gala at the Victoria and Albert museum the other day, were an exception.

Cloaked in purple velvet, her voluptuous curves were discernible from every angle; it was her boobs, practically spilling out of her top, that caught the media's attention but my attention was drawn to her overall shapeliness.

I have never seen a Nigella show, I believe she is quite saucy with her food but dressed for the gala she was at her most seductive and I wonder why more women don't aspire to have a body like hers.

Rotund, fleshy, ample...Nigella oozed sex and sexuality in that dress, she looked like a proper woman, not all skin and bone, po-faced and hungry.

As I write this I am eating a rubbish home-made tuna salad. Nigella's picture makes me want to get out the chocolate cake.
As is often said, "Sexy girls have dessert" - and just one case of a celebrity with curves, out in the public eye, makes many converts, and shows them that the best fashion accessory is a few extra pounds, and that indulgence is the best "beauty secret" of all.

Now just imagine if Barbara Brickner or any of the other plus-size goddesses received the kind of attention Nigella has. The Classical aesthetic would quickly make a triumphant comeback...