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HSG
23rd September 2006, 23:15
<br>For admirers of Classical beauty, this post's title alone is sufficient to induce a heart attack.

And as amazing as it may seem, the title does not refer to a mere fantasy, or to the fondest of wishes, but describes exactly what you are about to see.

Yes, you are about to be treated to a minute-and-a-half video of the most beautiful plus-size model there has ever been, the incomparable . . . <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/shannon/" target="_blank">Shannon Marie</a>.

Thanks to a priceless gift from our friend and colleague D. Trull, we are privileged to share a .wmv clip showing Shannon Marie modelling on national televison.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/cap070.jpg"></center><p>This instantly becomes the most important video that has ever been posted on this site, and an invaluable document of timeless beauty.

At the peak of her career in 2001 (just before she went on indefinite hiatus), Shannon Marie was the most gorgeous of all full-figured models--a title that no other goddess has ever seriously contested.

In fact, Shannon Marie is the one plus-size model whose beauty surpasses even that of history's most celebrated icons of feminine loveliness, such as Lillian Russell, Ekaterina Skavronskaia, and Helena Fourment. Indeed, Shannon Marie might well be the most gorgeous woman who has ever lived--at least since the time of Helen of Troy.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/cap085.jpg"></center><p>Before your swoon with anticipation, however, you must keep a few qualifications in mind. First, the source of this video is a second-generation VHS tape plagued by tracking problems (evidenced by the white noise that distorts the bottom third of the picture).

Second, the video is an excerpt from a Lane Bryant fashion segment that appeared on <i>The Roseanne Show,</i> a TV talk program hosted by the eponymous comedienne from 1998-2000. Kate Dillon also appears in the clip, and based on Kate's full-figured appearance in this video, we would peg the date of the original broadcast at fall 1999 (or possibly early fall 2000). Sadly, plus-size fashion was not in a very good place in 1999/2000, so the clothing that Shannon Marie models for this segment is simply dreadful. She is suffocated in layer upon layer of unattractive attire comprising a latter-day "grunge" look, and her legendary blonde tresses are tied back in a ponytail.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/cap079.jpg"></center><p>But none of that really matters--not the poor video quality, not the regrettable fashions. This is still . . . <i>Shannon Marie on video.</i> And it turns out that the model is even more gorgeous in moving images than she is in her unsurpassable print work.

Her facial features are soft and full, with that <i>"slight rise underneath the chin, sloping towards the throat,"</i> which Renaissance writers such as Agnolo Firenzuola praised so highly. She also exhibits prominent apple cheeks with high cheekbones, a perfectly rounded facial shape, a naturally wide, beautiful mouth, and luminescent hazel/green eyes. No other model has ever come close to matching the timeless perfection of Shannon Marie's beauty, and she will remain the ideal by which all goddesses are judged, for ever after.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/cap088.jpg"></center><p>But the video reveals something else as well--something that we always suspected, but never knew for sure, until now.

It turns out that from a technical point of view, Shannon Marie is also an absolutely brilliant, note-perfect, extremely talented <i>model.</i> Many competent plus-size print models are disappointing in their video work, whether because of lingering self-consciousness, or a lack of experience. But Shannon Marie--who was a successful straight-size model before she blossomed into a plus-size goddess--displays the kind of flawless camera technique that would put Linda Evangelista or Christie Brinkley to shame. She absolutely beams at the audience, projecting so much radiance and joy, effortlessly transitioning from one natural facial expression to the next, that this clip could well serve as a textbook lesson in how models should (ideally) perform, in their television appearances.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/cap019.jpg"></center><p>The following is a transcript of the comments that LB spokeswoman Catherine Lippincott and Roseanne exchange during this video clip:<p><blockquote><i>CATHERINE LIPPICOTT: This is <strong>Shannon Marie</strong>, and Shannon Marie is showing that dark denim jean thing--

ROSEANNE: Rolled up at the bottom--

CL: It's got to be in a deep cup. This fall is all about the deep cup, and the dark denim. And you know, hey, if you're a <strong>size 16</strong>, why shouldn't you be able to wear the same dark denim jeans that your size-two friend has?

ROSEANNE: I don't know if I have any size-two friends.

CL: [Laughing]

ROSEANNE: I just had to say that . . .

CL: Yeah, that's probably true. I'm not sure if I do either. But Shannon Marie just looks really cute, and young--

ROSEANNE: <strong>Really</strong> cute--

CL: --ready for a date, or a football game, or whatever; hanging out with girlfriends, right? Thank you.

ROSEANNE: Looks great . . .</i></blockquote><p>One statement in the above exchange is especially telling. After Ms. Lippincott observes that Shannon Marie <i>"looks really cute, and young,"</i> Roseanne repeats and emphasizes the point, exclaiming <i>"<strong>Really</strong> cute"</i> (barely audibly), with awe and wonder in her voice.

Roseanne, who is infamous for her sarcastic wit, has never been known to praise . . . well, <i>anything,</i> so her unscripted utterance reveals how truly astonished she was, by the preternatural beauty of this angel in human form.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/cap006.jpg"></center><p>One other moment to watch for in the video comes at the very end, after Roseanne welcomes back all of the models who appeared in the segment, and the studio music cues up, leading in to commercial. Watch how Shannon Marie instinctively "grooves" with the music, swaying her body to the rhythm. Like a passion for food, and for self-adornment, a love of <i>dance</i> was one of the qualities that the Ancients attributed to Venus, the goddess of beauty. It seems extremely appropriate that Shannon Marie--the human incarnation of this deity--would exhibit similar inclinations . . .<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/cap003a.jpg"></center><p>- <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJlSWeAxS2Q&fmt=18" target="_blank">Click here to view the Shannon Marie video</a>

M. Lopez
24th September 2006, 00:44
She is truly stunning. No one can dispute that. Even in this grainy video, and even compared to the astonishing beauty that appears on this forum so regularly, her beauty is unbelievable.

What I especially love about Shannon is that just by looking at her face, you can tell that she actually eats well, and doesn't starve herself. She is the definitive plus-size model because she is beautiful in a way that no one can deny - and at the same time, she also has a distinctly plus look about her, the look that you see in beautiful faces in paintings throughout the ages. In any time, in any culture, Shannon Marie would be considered a goddess.

How interesting that she is specifically referred to as being "young." Since the other, presumably older models in this clip are still working, Shannon Marie could easily come back and pick up where her career left off. I'm sure she's still as gorgeous as ever. I wish she would return...

Emily
24th September 2006, 05:31
As much as I am in awe of Shannon Marie's beauty -- which is incompable, without a doubt -- I am also fascinated by how much of her personality she transmits in just these few fleeting frames of video. Modelling obviously comes completely naturally to her, and she is as proficient at it as a great virtuoso is, in any artistic field -- a prima ballerina, or a renowned concert pianist.

Shannon Marie clearly knows just how gorgeous she is (which is the common link between the industry's most popular and beautiful models), and more importantly, she knows that she is simply amazing at this craft. The joy in her demeanour comes from the knowledge that she is sharing an artistic experience with the audience. She is fully aware that the audience is enjoying looking at her, that they can't take their eyes off her, and she basks in this adoration, the way truly great artists do, when they are performing at their best.

I think Shannon Marie's departure was one of the most acute missed opportunities the industry has ever suffered. I can't even imagine how many more image of timeless beauty we would have today, if she had continued in her career. I definitely think size celebration would be much further along.

Kaitlynn
24th September 2006, 18:20
That Shannon Marie still manages to look like a goddess in that revolting outfit is a miracle. I don't think any other plus-size model could have pulled that off.

Can you imagine how breathtaking this TV appearance would have been if they had dressed Shannon Marie in a beautiful sheer gown, or in some of the peasant blouses or romantic fashions that came into style just a few seasons later? I swear, everyone in the audience would have fainted the moment they saw her. Roseanne would have been stunned into silence.

It's astonishing to think that as recently as six years ago, clothing as ugly as this was actually being forced down the throats of full-figured women- and on national television yet. It's a disgrace. No wonder plus-size women have had problems with self-image for generations, if this is the kind of wardrobe they were told to wear.

I think this has also hurt the plus-size modelling industry, and prevented it from being seen as a viable alternative to emaciated, straight-size models. Designers have probably mostly seen plus-size girls modelling clothing like this, and thus instinctively associated them with formless, drab apparel, rather than with elegant, fantastical creations.

But Shannon Marie's beauty is the essence of fantasy. The most gorgeous plus-size models could be showcasing dreamlike, feminine creations, if they were given a chance.

Any time a plus-size retailer presents a fashion show on network TV, I think it has a responsibility to present the models in as feminine and gorgeous a manner as possible. But I'm still thrilled to view this video, because it shows how extraordinary this model's beauty really is.

Chad
25th September 2006, 18:20
Count me as one of the people who went into cardiac arrest as soon as I read this title. I agree that the wardrobe is inexcusably awful, but it just doesn't matter. She is SO lusciously attractive, SO much a goddess, that you could dress her in a muumuu and she would still be an unrivalled vision of beauty.

But I still think Shannon Marie became even more gorgeous (impossible, but true) a year or two later, when she did her last Fashion Bug promo, and was fuller-figured. I don't think any model will ever be able to equal her beauty in that campaign.

That makes it all the more tragic that her career didn't continue. She was the one model who could have proven that true plus-size models (with feminine faces, and soft physiques) are more gorgeous than the faux-plus types. She was the perfect mix of womanly size and ideal beauty, and she could have changed the industry. I will never stop hoping for her return.

MelanieW
28th September 2006, 08:51
Even after an absence of several years, Shannon Marie is still in a class of her own.

She is another example of a model who starved herself, and achieved a minus-size career, before liberating herself from self-imposed punishment, and becoming the definitive plus-size model:

http://www.judgmentofparis.com/AlightShannon.htm

That makes it even more regrettable that she isnt part of the industry right now, because she could be telling her story to the media, the way other full-figured models are. And she would be making more of an impact than any of them.

When other models tell the triumph-over-starvation stories, the reaction they usually get is commiseration with their past suffering, along with approval for their healthier choices. All very nice. A feel-good story. But Shannon Marie would be evoking a more powerful, more important reaction - complete AWE at her incredible beauty.

This is the reaction that Charlotte Coyle aroused on her Richard and Judy appearance, where Richard was absolutely stunned by how gorgeous Charlotte was, and even Judy speculated to Charlotte that "You like what you see in the mirror!"

It is the difference between persuading someone that being plus-size can be "acceptable," is just "another kind of beauty" (whatever that means), versus dazzling them into realizing that it is a superior form of beauty - a preferable ideal to modern emaciation. The former is a dispassionate, politically-correct response, the latter is an aesthetic response, and therefore more transforming and lasting.