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HSG
18th June 2009, 07:47
<br>What a pleasure it is to see images of Lindsey Garbelman, the star model of the MSA/Goddess agency, headlining an article in the <i>New York Times</I> about plus-size fashion.

The images are a bit curious, though. The photographer adopts a style of photography that emulates random, everyday snapshots. Thus, in this case, Lindsey is pictured in a supermarket and a Wal-Mart-like location. Why a photographer would consider this superior to shooting against a gorgeous natural backdrop is anyone's guess. And does the bag of frozen produce constitute his idea of a helpful prop?

Also, one has the sneaking suspicion that he deliberately chose a still in which the model isn't smiling, so as not to have her look delighted with herself, which would have sent readers a more subversively positive, pro-curvy message. (If only he had allowed Lindsey to smile, and look happy and vivacious!)

Nevertheless, bravo to the <i>New York Times</I> for choosing such a gorgeous model, and one who is a full 14/16. The dress in the first photo, the headline photo, is beautifully designed, with a particularly nice cut at the bust, and the necklace is an attractive accessory. Perhaps the print is a bit busy, but it's an appealing outfit.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt01.jpg"></center><p>Lindsey's second image also shows her in a strapless, sleeveless dress. One certainly can't fault the fashion in the piece. Here, the photographer allows the model's expression to be more becoming--somewhat sensual, rather than unhappy. It's a languishing look. Very beautiful hairstyle on Lindsey (a style that fans might remember from her Aurora Formals campaign with Kelsey)--an over-the-shoulder do that suits Lindsey especially well. Again, the photographer has introduced a curious prop--but one suspects that it was included as a necessary colour element, to have the orange play off the other hues in the image, especially the blues. The stylist has given Lindsey an attractive necklace, which, as in the previous image, invigorates the look of the outfit.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt02.jpg"></center><p>The presence of Miss Garbelman's images in this article is especially welcome, because its other illustrations (of plus-size entertainers and minor celebrities) are not nearly as effective in communicating the idea of youthful, full-figured beauty.

In fact, we wouldn't be commenting on this story at all if it weren't for Lindsey's beautiful pictures. To say that it's a mixed-message article would be overly generous. (It ventures into outright negativity). Here is the sum total of its positive statements:<p><blockquote><i>Smaller stores are also catering to shoppers who want figure-hugging fashions like their thinner friends. “<strong>Some of those girls feel like they have the brio to pull off a fitted look</strong>,” said Stephanie Sack, the owner of Vive la Femme

Stores as diverse as Kmart and Lord & Taylor have dispensed with conventional big girls’ “dos and don’ts,” offering the hothouse colors and exuberant prints, <strong>the ruffles and flounces</strong> of their so-called straight-size counterparts.

“I’ve noticed lately that they are trying to make big sizes more into style,” said Kathy Salinas</i></blockquote><p>As we have often noted before, "ruffles and flounces" are <i>especially</I> becoming on voluptuous vixens, as are fitted looks.

Apart from the article's other shortcomings, though, it demonstrates the appalling dearth of celebrity fashion icons for full-figured girls, and how poorly the media chooses among them. (Deliberately? One wonders.)

Why, instead, did it not mention Christina Schmidt, or Chloe Agnew, or Charlotte Coyle, or Whitney Thompson? Those are genuinely beautiful curvaceous celebrities, and would be much more empowering role models and fashion inspirations for well-developed young women than the entertainers whom the article cites.

But, as we said, at least the <i>Times</I> makes up for this by selecting such a gorgeous young plus-size model to headline the article. Lindsey deserves a round of applause for this exciting exposure, and we hope that it opens even more doors for her.

- <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/18/fashion/18plus.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">Click here to read the article</a>

Maureen
18th June 2009, 13:01
I like how, in the first photo, the gentleman in the background has become oblivious to everything but Lindsey. He is arrested by her presence.

M. Lopez
18th June 2009, 18:35
I do appreciate the fact that the New York Times featured Lindsey, who is a beautiful model with a great figure. However, the article itself is demeaning, and definitely written with an anti-plus slant, despite the few positive comments.

And there's no way that young girls will be able to identify with some of the so-called fashion icons that it mentions, who are not in the least bit attractive or elegant. Also, while it was good to see a Torrid image included, I wish Torrid had at least provided a picture of Kelsey Olson or Christina Schmidt, which would have been more attractive.

HSG
18th June 2009, 20:35
<br>What a difference picture <i>selection</I> can make.

We just obtained the print edition of today's <i>New York Times,</I> which features Miss Garbelman's article, and while it also includes two images of Lindsey, the choices are completely different--and superior.

Here is the page as it is actually laid out. Note that this is the <i>cover</i> of the style section, and that Lindsey's picture is the main photo.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt03.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt03a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>This image demonstrates that a supermarket actually <i>can</I> be used as a clever setting. Lindsey's expression here, showing her interacting with someone just outside of the frame, is quite intriguing. She offers a look of tenuous invitation, and the open door of the cooler unit plays up this idea. Lindsey's pose is quite coy--a guarded stance, despite her "come hither" eyes. She is both attracting and resisting at the same time. This plays up the popular notion of supermarkets as places for a potential rendezvous, and the idea of showing that a curvy girl can and is being alluring is a positive one. Even the text is acceptable, as "heavier" is not an intrinsically negative term, and in fact can have a sensual connotation.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt04.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt04a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>This department-store photograph is similarly intriguing. By placing Lindsey in the toy section of the store, the image draws attention to her youthful qualities. (She is even shown playing with one of the games.) Her slip dress, with thin straps and bared arms, is extremely seductive, and she wears sinfully red lipstick, yet the picture contextualizes this in a children's environment, which is a fascinating blend of ideas. The attractive hairstyle is also very much a girl's style. And her somewhat dreamy-eyed glance, looking off to the side, is characteristically child-like. It's an especially effective image to illustrate a junior-plus article, as it presents the model's age as a time of transition between girlhood and young womanhood.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt05.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/nyt05b.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The <i>Times'</I> print editor clearly has a much better visual eye than the paper's Web editor. What a shame that we can only scan the newsprint copy for the latter two photographs, because they are quite arresting. They also help unriddle the theme that the photographer may have been exploring in this shoot--i.e., that true beauty, plus-sze beauty, is all around us in the real world. Even in the most prosaic environments, one can encounter full-figured goddesses; indeed, sooner there than in the fashion world.

Congratulations to Lindsey for a fine shoot.

Hannah
20th June 2009, 18:59
Guess what? I found the Times article republised on a different newspaper's site, and this time it included a digital version of the main photo from the print edition of this story. It's so nice to see it without the newspaper shine-through:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/photos/xlarge/06-20-09_PLUS_SIZE_FASHION.jpg

It's only the first photograph in the Web version of this article that doesn't work, because the Times Web editor either foolishly or maliciously chose a picture with the model exhibiting an unhappy expression and pose. (I didn't even mind the frozen produce, just the way in which the photographer had her hold it.)

But Lindsey's faraway look in this photo (the one in which she's holding freezer door) is very nice. I think she looks really beautiful here.

I think both Maureen and the webmaster were right - that the photogarpher was trying to recreate the idea of seeing plus-size beauty "by accident," in real life, as one might be shopping in a store and suddenly see an amazingly beautiful full-figured vixen (which does happen - quite frequently, as today's young women are shapelier, more fashionable, and more confident about their curves than past generations).

The pictures resemble what you might see at a quick glance, when you make eye contact with a stranger, or see them in a store aisle. It recreates the idea of taking a cell phone camera and snapping a picture.

Kaitlynn
1st July 2009, 09:15
Here's a treat for all of you Lindsey fans. I discovered a still-larger online, digital version of her NYT photo:

http://media.newsobserver.com/smedia/2009/06/26/18/423-plussize-0629.ART0_GFVJFHB1.1+PLUS_SIZE_FASHION.standalone.prod_affiliate.3.jpg

I never knew that Lindsey's eyes were so blue! It's a really lovely photo, and it does communicate the idea that plus-size beauty is all around us.

HSG
2nd July 2009, 13:16
<br>As a special extra treat, here are two new test images featuring the beautiful Miss Garbelman.

First, a casual fall picture (reminding us that the autumn fashion season is just around the corner). One likes the fact that is suggests a curve at the model's midriff--and Lindsey's curvy waist is her most attractive figure feature.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/test11.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/test11a.jpg" border="0"></a></center><p>And now for something really exciting, here is Lindsey in a sensual image, sinking heavily into the bedcovers, and displaying her soft limbs. Observe the way in which her magnificent tresses flow all over the pillow and bedding, cascading all around her. The pout of her mouth is adorable, the eye makeup highly dramatic, and her expression, gazing askance, is very effective. Her eyes communicate a touch of vulnerability--perhaps doubt, perhaps hesitation. Consider that although the image suggests that she is unclothed, she is pulling the bedcovers over herself protectively, gripping them both hands. The image suggests an intriguing narrative, with Lindsey in her compromising position seemingly having second thoughts--either about something that has happened, or is going to happen.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/test10.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lindsey/test10a.jpg" border="0"></a></center><p>Kudos to Lindsey for creating such an interesting test photo, one which tells a compelling story, and admirably displays her beauty.

(Click images to view larger.)