View Full Version : Kelsey: Germanic Beauty

8th May 2009, 04:22
<br>One of the most popular <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board/showthread.php?t=1422" target="_blank">threads</a> on this forum last year--and one which featured some of the most exciting images of 2008--discussed Kelsey Olson's Hallowe'en campaign for Rubie's, a well-known costume-maker and wholesaler.

The sight of Kelsey in myriad fairy-tale and princess-like outfits was a dream come true for her many fans. The attire seemed to bring out her essence, since her soft, fair-featured look invites storybook associations.

We have now discovered two new images showing Miss Olson modelling fascinating costumes for 2009, and while it is possible that these may be extra images from last year's campaign, they were never displayed anywhere during the 2008 Hallowe'en season, and since they do appear in various retailers' graphics advertising "new" offerings, they could very well be the results of a brand-new promotion.

What makes these images particularly fascinating is that they show Miss Olson embodying two archetypes of, not just Western European culture, but specifically <i>Germanic</I> culture--and there could hardly be anything more transgressive than that.

For obvious political reasons, Germanic imagery has been suppressed (or ridiculed) in popular culture for the last century, and Germanic beauty has been suppressed along with it.

(After all, what has the androgynous fashion model of the past 40 years been but a physical polar opposite of the traditional Nordic look?)

But Kelsey, like many of the most gorgeous plus-size models, perfectly embodies the feminine ideal of Northern Europe, and in these images, she successfully brings these emblematic representations of German culture to life.<p><center>* * *</center><p>First, we see Kelsey as a server in a Bavarian <i>Biergarten,</I> looking indescribably gorgeous. The outfit gives her the opportunity to show off her full, shapely legs, which are among the most beautiful in the industry. The costume captures the folkloric qualities of a genuine beer-maiden's dirndl-based attire. Note the feminine details like the girlish socks, the lace slip under the skirt (or perhaps a lace fringe?), the cute headscarf, and, of course, the peasant blouse. The authentic <i>Stein</I> in her hand is a winning touch.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies15.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies15b.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>But it is when we come in close that we see just how gorgeous Miss Olson is in this getup. It's amazing to see how Kelsey, who can embody delicate, vulnerable, princess-like looks so persuasively, can just as successfully change personae and become a hale, buxom lass. She looks so robust here, so vital and well-fed, with her flushed apple cheeks and the adorable curve under her chin. Adding to the sensuality, the vest fits snugly over her sumptuous 39" waist. The Old World hairstyle (note the lovely red ribbons) looks perfectly natural on her.

In fact, that may be the most remarkable aspect of the image--that it does look so natural, so believable. There isn't a trace of irony about it. In every way, Kelsey appears to be the idealized incarnation of a Bavarian lass, smiling for the customers, pleased with herself and with her beauty, obviously possessing a good appetite for hearty German fare, confident in being the most gorgeous girl in her Alpine village, and blessed with suitors galore.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies15.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies15c.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The next outfit takes Kelsey far back into European history, showing her as a Saxon princess of the pre-Christian era. The costume is a shade less convincing than the beer-maiden getup, above, but it is still quite authentic (for a Hallowe'en outfit), with the Celtic-inspired design on the bustier, the touches of fur, and the draping material.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies16.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies16b.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Again, Kelsey embodies the part so convincingly that one senses no artifice whatsoever. Rather, she seems to have <i>become who she is</i>--or <i>was,</i> for in another time she certainly would have been a tribal princess, a queen of legendary beauty, the consort of the mightiest of warrior chieftains.

The hairstyle is particularly convincing, massive and weighty but straight and flowing, as a hairstyle of the period would have been. The costume allows her to display her magnificent, voluptuous charms to considerable effect. Kelsey's expression is fascinating--a touch of roguishness, supreme self-confidence, and a hint of youthful vulnerability as well. (The best models can express multiple emotions in a single glance.)<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies16.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies16c.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>In this attire, Kelsey seems to have stepped right out of the pages of the Viking tales, which are peopled by many legendary beauties fitting her description. In the <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140442189/thejudgmenofpari">Laxdæla Saga</a>,</I> the most female-oriented of the great Norse sagas, one character in particular is described as being both full-figured and gorgeous. The line is variously translated as:<p><blockquote><i>
"Olaf's second daughter, Thorbjorg, as a very beautiful woman, of ample build"
"Thorbjorg, Olaf's daughter, was of women the most beautiful and stout of build."
</i></blockquote><p>Note the associations of "ample" and "stout" with being the "most beautiful" of women. In Germanic culture there was no paradox in the concept of "plus-size beauty." One quality enhanced the other.

Let us hope that these exciting new images herald a whole new costume campaign for 2009, and that more new pictures of Kelsey will appear as we draw closer to the fall.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies15a.jpg"></center><p>(Click images to view larger.)

8th May 2009, 20:03
When I saw Kelsey in the delightful dirndl outfit, the first thing I thought (OK, well, the second thing, after WOW), was St. Pauli Girl beer. To be more specific, I thought of how much better she looks than any of the recent models who have assumed the role of "the" St. Pauli Girl. You can see their current spokes-model at StPauliGirl.com (http://www.stpauligirl.com/girl.php). Even though her version of the outfit is much simplified (and thus less attractive), it looks like a caricature on her under-developed figure. Imagine Kelsey as the St. Pauli Girl. Who wouldn't want to drink a toast (or two) to her? I think we should start a campaign to make Kelsey the new St. Pauli Girl!

10th May 2009, 05:08
in another time she certainly would have been a tribal princess, a queen of legendary beauty, the consort of the mightiest of warrior chieftains[...]In this attire, Kelsey seems to have stepped right out of the pages of the Viking sagas, which are peopled by many legendary beauties fitting her description.
Kelsey looks breathtakingly beautiful in both costumes. When I saw the Teutonic princess outfit, I immediately thought of Brünnhilde, the Valkyrie of Wagner's Ring cycle, the true love of Siegfried the dragonslayer. If anyone ever made a film of the Ring, Kelsey would be the perfect visual representation of this character. She has just the right mix of girlishness and physical presence. She really does look like a heroine from a Norse saga. (I haven't read the texts myself, but I've always wanted to do so.)

And of course in the beer maid outfit she looks simply adorable. It's interesting to think of Kelsey embodying the same German girl in different centuries -- in the Dark Ages she would have been a princess; in the 19th century a beer maiden; today...a plus-size model. Celebrated for her extraordinary beauty in any time in which she is born.

11th May 2009, 08:57
<br>As we have noted before, this Web site deals with the feminine aesthetic concept of Beauty, rather than the masculine aesthetic concept of the Sublime. But if there <i>were</i> a corresponding masculine equivalent to this site, one that was devoted to the Sublime, then such a site would regard the Nordic sagas as core texts.

Reading them is a thrilling experience, as they transport one into a completely different world with far mightier values than our own. To say that "men were men" in these tales is an understatement--the warriors in Viking literature surpass the modern man (the effete metrosexual) as completely in true manliness as Helen of Troy would surpass one of today's androgynous fashion models in femininity.

If anyone is searching for a single representative text from the genre, we recommend the <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0520232852/thejudgmenofpari" target="_blank">Saga of the Volsungs</a></i> (also known as the <i>Volsunga-Saga</I>), which was Wagner's prime source for the <i>Der Ring des Nibelungen.</I> All of the greatest incidents in the <i>Ring</I> cycle appear in this text. It is the Germanic equivalent of the <i>Iliad.</I>

In the following passage, the saga writer describes the slaying of the dragon by Sigurd (a.k.a. Siegfried) as an event of timeless renown, the equivalent of Achilles battling Hector before the gates of Troy:<p><blockquote><i>After Fafnir [the dragon] died Regin came to Sigurd and said: "Hail, my lord. You have won a great victory, as you have killed Fafnir. None before were so bold as to dare to sit in his path. And this glorious feat will live on while the world remains."</i></blockquote><p>And so it has throughout the aeons--right down to the present day.<p><center>* * *</center><p>Incidentally, we can now share a much larger version of Kelsey's greatest image from last year's costume campaign--her literal embodiment of a Greek goddess.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies01b.jpg"></center><p>And yes, this image does fit in a "Germanic beauty" thread, for, as Classical scholars will affirm, no culture ever understood another better than the Germans of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries understood the Classical Greeks. In art, sculpture, and philosophy, the Germans were the conscious inheritors of the Classical legacy.

Furthermore, the Greek writings describing Helen of Troy's blonde beauty establish her as embodying a Nordic ideal. And who better to represent this timeless ideal than the fairest of currently working plus-size models?<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies01c.jpg"></center><p>(Observe the sensual fullness of her arm, and how the golden band presses into her soft limb.)

- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/rubies01d.jpg" target="_blank">Click to view image full size</a>

15th May 2009, 03:27
I always have loved her look! Makes me want to buy all those outfits.

- Beya