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HSG
16th November 2006, 15:10
<br>The latest issue of <i>Figure</i> falls a tad short of the two previous editions produced by the magazine's new editorial team. Nevertheless, it deserves a "plug" here, as <i>Figure</i> is still the only publication currently in print that offers readers a waif-free environment, that publishes <i>no diet ads</I> (mercifully), and that maintains a policy of using <i>true</i> plus-size models (size 14 and up) in its editorials--even if the magazine's Charming Shoppes ads occasionally slip in some faux-plus girls.

No subsequent <i>Figure</i> editorial has yet come close to matching the quality of "Romantic Lines" (the Southern plantation story). However, just as the last issue featured Nadia Pena, this issue includes a Judgment of Paris favourite as well--in this case, Megan Garcia, making a welcome re-appearance in the magazine.

Unfortunately, the Megan Garcia content consists of only two images (the better of which is posted below), and these are merely lifestyle photographs. A bona fide fashion layout with this goddess would have been far preferable.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/mg/mgfigure05.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/mg/mgfigure05a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Apart from Megan's picture, the issue has one reasonably good lingerie layout to recommend it, the finest image of which appears here:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/figure01.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/figure01a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>The model is unidentified, but she could be the same attractive girl who appeared in last issue's denim story. She is somewhat on the thin side, but this image is effective particularly because it does not stint from celebrating her curvaceous midriff. This is another example of how images of plus-size models can help persuade the public that womanly curves are not "flaws," but aspects of feminine allure.

The layout is also notable because <i>Figure</i>'s lingerie editorials have hitherto <i>not</i> been the magazine's strength (apart from a fine feature with Anna Loukachenets). Lingerie images are notoriously challenging, because the line between sensuality and tawdriness is a fine one. Moreover, to produce successful lingerie stories, it is not sufficient to simply put models in undergarments and shine big, bright lights at them. The result of such an approach is invariably a harsh, "clinical" appearance, such as one sees in homely "reality" campaigns. One always needs to soften the effect in some manner, either with soft-focus photography, with stylized colour processing, etc.

We are not generally fond of black-and-white photography, but in this case, it gives the images a certain modesty, and associates them with the gentle sensuality of silver-screen cinema.<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/figure03.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/figure03a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Also, the photographer wisely encouraged the (unidentified) models to adopt "pretty" expressions rather than more overt looks, which helps make the images more demure. The caption for the following page (viewable in the clickable larger version) even reads, "Sweet as can be."<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/figure02.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/figure02a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>Although this issue may not be the magazine's most stellar entry, <i>Figure</i> remains a magazine well worth supporting. There is no other publication currently in print that is even remotely as size-positive. And one suspects that <i>Figure</i> itself realizes what its best images are. For example, this issue's two finest pictures get a "preview" on the Table of Contents page:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/mg/mgfigure06.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/mg/mgfigure06a.jpg" border="0" alt="Click to enlarge"></a></center><p>We continue to look forward to future issues of what is still the only plus-size magazine currently in print.<p>- <a href="http://www.figuremagazine.com/">Figure magazine</a>

Kaitlynn
22nd November 2006, 03:43
I agree that it would have been nice if the magazine had featured a proper fashion layout with Megan. Her covers and editorials were some of the best aspects of Figure from its very beginning, and justified buying issues of the magazine, even when the publication was offending in other ways- ways that are best left forgotten. *ahem*

The quality of the magazine is a bit inconsistent, but I'm very glad that Figure exists, because it's the one and only place where people can see layouts featuring the most gorgeous true plus-size models in the industry. That fact, all by itself, makes the magazine essential.

The magazine's Web site sometimes features online articles from past issues. Here's a beauty editorial from last year's winter issue, featuring really stunning images of Anna Loukachenets (the face of an angel), which is now timely, once again.

http://www.figuremag.com/assets/images/dynamicpages/bright_1_top.jpg