View Full Version : Kelsey interview part III
<br>Once upon a time, there was a princess and a castle . . .<p><center>* * *</center><p>At long last, here is the third and final section of our interview with Kelsey Olson (size 16, Dorothy Combs/Heffner Mgmt), the most gorgeous of all of today's plus-size models. Whereas the first two portions of the profile were somewhat weightier and more deeply thoughtful, this concluding chapter is breezier and more rapid-fire, with quicker dialogue and more incidental observations.
Fans who have loved the text and images of the first two segments of the interview, but who have wondered, <i>"Where are the <strong>most</strong> gorgeous Kelsey pictures?"</i> will find them in this installment, because we have saved the <i>very</i> best for last.
Part III begins with a quick back-and-forth in which Miss Olson discusses some of the greatest, most memorable, most stunning photographs of her career--the images that have had the greatest impact on the public, and have established her as the epitome of timeless beauty.
Next, Kelsey and her interviewer enjoy a brief tour of the princess's magic kingdom, experiencing the sights and sounds of their Disneyland surroundings. This portion seems, in moments, like a stroll back in time, an entry into a realm that is lovelier and more magical than the prosaic, modern world in which we live--as this plaque above the entryway to Disneyland indicates:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/profile/signpost.jpg"></center><p>Kelsey's comments about her own work will be fascinating to fans and aspiring models alike, while her reflections on heritage and culture will find a particularly receptive audience among the readers of this forum.
Our profile of Miss Olson is by far the most enjoyable and fulfilling interview that we have ever conducted, the most meaningful and far-reaching in its themes, but also the most delightful in its circumstances. We could never have imagined that Kelsey would turn out to be such an unassuming, sweet-natured, yet thoughtful individual--every bit as beautiful in her personality and character as she is in her stunning appearance. She is the ideal representative of timeless beauty, and of the Old World tradition of grace and femininity. It has been our great privilege to share a little bit more about her with her many admirers.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/profile/k062b.jpg"></center><p>- <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/kelsey/part3.htm">Click here to read Kelsey interview, part III</a>
2nd June 2010, 11:54
I absolutely love the photo of her in the bathing suit - the colour suits her so well. Her Polaroids are very pretty indeed, but the sexy pose on the bed simply takes the cake; I'm going to be practising that sultry look diligently! Well done on a very interesting interview!
3rd June 2010, 12:02
I love the answer that Kelsey gave about her signature steamy-yet-innocent looks:
"How did you know that of all of the different looks that you could have given, that this one, this kind of doe-eyed vulnerability, would be the most effective? Because you could have opted for all-out sexiness, or something like that. But no. You chose—”
“Well, don’t you feel like it leaves room for your imagination a little bit, so it can be interpreted in many different ways?” she ventured.
That's it. That's the key. It leaves room for the viewer's imagination. I had always wondered why her images had such a powerful emotional effect. Her beauty is a major part of it, of course, but she adds something extra, and her response identifies what that something extra is. She doesn't just do an obvious look, like "sexy" or "happy," but projects a blend of different sensations. That engages the viewer, and prompts them to wonder about the "story" behind the image, and to assign any number of different characteristics to her persona, to consider multiple possibilities. Some viewers will see allure, others innocence, others neediness -- all from one, captivating look.
Oh, and I agree that Kelsey's bare-back candid was even more sensual that the image that the Flawless calendar published. She can't help but be gorgeous.
3rd June 2010, 12:42
I absolutely love the photo of her in the bathing suit - the colour suits her so well.
There is definitely something about her that looks great in red. I don't know much about fashion but she looks ravishing in everything red!
4th June 2010, 03:30
Something that I especially loved in this section was the discovery of Kelsey's family-name history and the Olson coat of arms. That was such a nice, symbolic way to cap the discussions of Old World tradition that had come up in the earlier parts of the interview. Kelsey's quote, in a previous section, that her beauty was due to her heritage, was amply proven. It was a stroke of good fortune to have the clerk at the heraldry hut identify Kelsey's look and what it betokened.
I hope that a few readers might now be prompted to learn more about their own Old World heritage after reading this interview.
I was also charmed by the sight of Kelsey's lovely silhouette. That too fit in with the themes of the interview so well, the idea of stepping back in time. A hundred years ago, I could easily imagine Kelsey being considered a great beauty -- just as she is today -- and being asked to render a silhouette. I find it very fitting that the one "original" image of Kelsey that was produced during this Disneyland experience was not a photograph, but this more traditional depiction of her feminine beauty.
4th June 2010, 10:58
Seeing so many of Kelsey's finest images in one place makes you realize just how gorgeous she really is. When I think back to the pictures that have made the biggest emotional impact on me over the past few years, it's amazing to realize how many of them are Kelsey's. She really is the loveliest of all plus-size models.
That's what makes her modesty so remarkable. I adore it about her, because it's so classy, but at the same time I wish she could realize just how gorgeous she is.
Because she has such a keen aesthetic sense, she can't deny the beauty of her pictures, but she feels very humble about her looks, so she reconciles this seeming paradox by a kind of displacement:
“When you look at this, do you think of it as a completely different person, or is that a part of you?”
“Sometimes I do that with pictures,” she acknowledged. “I feel like, ‘Whoa, that’s really… That’s a really nice…’ Especially if you’re not feeling your best, you feel, ‘Oh, I can’t relate to that right now.'"
This passage included an audio excerpt, and I was amazed at how genuinely moved Kelsey was by the angel comparison:
“How do you feel about the fact that you represent these qualities to people?” I inquired. “I can’t imagine what that would be like—the awareness that people look at you and see an angel.”
“That’s… I mean, what can you say? Really, like, ‘Wow. Thank you,’” she ventured, a bit overwhelmed. The angel comparison touched something deep inside her. “That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about me. But honestly, I’ve never thought that about myself. I’ve never compared myself to an angel."
Even here, she admits the beauty of her Alfred Angelo pictures (which are breathtaking), and hopes she will look that pretty on her wedding day. But what she cannot accept is that she already does look that pretty. After all, she created the image:
“I think that most brides, when they fantasize about their wedding day, imagine themselves looking something like this.”
“I hope so. Yeah, I hope I look that pretty, if I ever do.”
I know that many girls can relate to Kelsey's feelings. She should realize that her images are not somehow external to herself, but they are actually mirrors - mirrors that show her fairest-of-them-all beauty. She really is that lovely.
5th June 2010, 18:55
What an amazing collection of beautiful images. I adore all of her work, but I also really, really love the candid photo that shows the two adorable little birds alighting on her hand. It's no wonder that all of God's creatures adore her. She's so kind, and I wouldn't be surprised if the animals pick up on that and instinctively trust her. I imagine the birds singing to her in that picture, just like the birds sing to Brier Rose in Sleeping Beauty.
On the less innocent, more sensual side, I agree with Suzanne that the pose on the bed is a masterpiece. Did you catch what Kelsey said about that?
“Yeah. Yeah, and Maria is all about celebrating women. I really liked that,” she acknowledged, allowing herself to express some delightful enthusiasm about her work. “There are some other ones that I have of that, and it was just very Guess—like in the ’90s—so I really enjoyed that. I really liked that style.”
In other words, there are more pictures from that shoot in the "Kelsey vault," and even Kelsey herself, her own harshest critic, likes them. They must be incredibly gorgeous. I hope we get to see them someday!
I was also charmed by the sight of Kelsey's lovely silhouette. That too fit in with the themes of the interview so well, the idea of stepping back in time. A hundred years ago, I could easily imagine Kelsey being considered a great beauty -- just as she is today -- and being asked to render a silhouette.Perhaps the most notable display of the 18th-century love of silhouettes is to be found in the <a href="http://www.goethehaus-frankfurt.de/welcome/view?set_language=en" target="_blank">Goethe-Haus</a> in Frankfurt-am-Main, which was Goethe's boyhood home, and has been preserved and turned into one of the finest literary museums in Germany. It was destroyed in the horrific Allied bombing campaigns, as was most of Frankfurt, but was meticulously reconstructed after the war.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe01.jpg"></center><p>A painting of the young Goethe that hangs in the "yellow parlour" on the main floor of the house testifies to the contemporary popularity of silhouette renderings. It shows the poet gazing admiringly upon the profile of an unidentified young lady.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe02a.jpg"></center><p>On the third floor, one finds Goethe's own writing room, where he composed the immortal masterpieces that gave birth to German Romanticism and made him the most celebrated of all German writers.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe03.jpg"></center><p>To the right stands Goethe's writing desk--the most sacred escritoire in the world, at which he penned all of his greatest works, including <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/088133541X/thejudgmenofpari" target="_blank">Götz von Berlichingen</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553213482/thejudgmenofpari" target="_blank">Faust</a>,</i> and, of course, the most beautiful novel ever written, <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0451523032/thejudgmenofpari" target="_blank">The Sorrows of Young Werther</a>.</i><p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe04.jpg"></center><p>The bust is from the Laocoön, but note the silhouettes above the desk--renderings of Goethe's closest friends. (The copy of <i>Götz von Berlichingen</i> belongs to yours truly.)<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe05.jpg"></center><p>Hanging on the wall on the other side of the room is the most attractive and significant silhouette in the house--a depiction of the beautiful Charlotte Buff, whom Goethe loved passionately, yet whose heart he was unable to win. She was the model for the sweet yet unattainable Lotte in <i>The Sorrows of Young Werther.</I><p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe06.jpg"></center><p>The silhouette shows that she had a noble profile. And observe the soft fullness of the curve under her chin. Like all of Goethe's great loves, she was very well-fed, approaching full-figured.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe07.jpg"></center><p>Here is a miniature of the real-life Charlotte in her later years. One sees echoes of the remarkable beauty that she must have possessed when she was a young girl. The plump curve under her chin is apparent.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe08.jpg"></center><p>Incidentally, Goethe had a lifelong attraction to fuller-figured girls. When he moved to Weimar, his biographers note, <i>"he took up with a small, <strong>rather plump woman</strong> who sewed silk flowers in a workshop."</i> Another biographer identifies this fleshy flower girl as <i>"Christiane Vulpius, a curly-haired, red-cheeked, <strong>plump young damsel</strong>,"</i> and yet another biographer calls her the <i>"chubby Christiane Vulpius."</i> Goethe eventually married her, and their life together was remarkably happy.
In his writings, Goethe created some of the most delightfully feminine characters in all of literature, from the loyal Elizabeth of <i>Götz</i> to the beautiful Lotte of <i>Werther</i> to the wholesome Gretchen of <i>Faust.</I> His preference for plus-size beauty is not coincidental. The two impulses--a love of traditional femininity and a love of traditional beauty--are inextricably linked.<p><center>* * *</center><p>It was our great pleasure, when interviewing Kelsey Olson, to have her silhouette rendered per this Romantic custom. The experience was entirely fitting, for one may be sure that if Kelsey had lived in Goethe's time, given her beauty of person and beauty of character, she would have figured as the heroine in one of his great masterpieces--a work that her own beauty would have inspired him to write.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/gallery/goethe10.jpg"></center><p>(Goethe-Haus photographs taken by yours truly, August 2009.)
18th June 2010, 17:03
Looking back over the interview, I think Kelsey should be also commended for staying true to herself as a plus-size model at a time when models are demanded to whittle themselves into nothingness.
And the The Prisoner of Zenda, (which the interviewer gave Kelsey a copy of) is a great romantic adventure film. Here's the first part of the definitive 1937 version:
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26th June 2010, 00:56
This article at Quaintrelle Life offers advice on creating one's own sihouettes.
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