Tenille Roberts: Embody Denim
There are those who argue that no 5'6" girl will ever make it in plus-size modelling. Apparently, the individuals who make this claim do not realize the offensive and discriminatory nature of such an assertion, not to mention the baselessness of it. The only reason why the minus-size fashion industry maintains its nonsensical emphasis on height is because it fetishizes an emaciated and narrow appearance. Taller models look more gaunt and stick-like, hence they are preferred. But since plus-size fashion operates according to the opposite aesthetic, favouring curves over angles, celebrating fullness rather than skinniness, preferring generous proportions to diminished frames, there is no reason whatsoever for taller plus-size models to be favoured over shorter ones in the full-figured industry. Indeed, according to a pro-plus aesthetic, the opposite should be the case, and models with more natural heights should receive preference over their Amazonian peers, owing to the greater visible roundness of their opulent proportions.
It is no coincidence that nearly all of the most gorgeous and popular plus-size models (Shannon Marie, Katherine Roll, Kailee O'Sullivan, Alexandra Newton, etc.) fall into the 5'8 range, the lower end of most plus-size-model heights.
But to come back to the original assertion, whether or not not some people believe that a 5'6" model can make it in the industry, it turns out that a 5'5" model certainly can!
Australian plus-size model Tenille Roberts first generated tremendous fan enthusiasm in our general write-up about her agency, BGM Models, early last year, and then garnered even more attention in a subsequent post that compared her stunning perched-on-the-rocks swimwear images to the traditional Andromeda motif in Western art.
There is no question as to which model is the prima donna. The eye fixes right on Tenille--and oh, what a beauty she is. When have we ever seen such a fetching, captivating, minx-like beauty as this? Her tresses are angelically fair, her complexion pure as the driven snow, her lips a bubblegum pink, her eyes the softest blue. But she is no innocent; rather, she has an openly naughty side, which the wildness of her tresses suggests. Her expression is intensely alluring. Has any other model ever generated such a bewitching glance? She verily coos at the camera, her look testifying to her absolute knowledge that she is the most desirable girl in all creation. She knows that she outshines all of her fellow models; she knows just how delightful she is. And as if that pouty expression were's seductive enough, she shifts her thighs toward the camera, not only to showcase her jeans (which, after all, is the purpose of the image, as a denim ad), but to more boldly exhibit her figure. "You know you adore me," her demanour indicates, "and though I will break your heart, you will still worship me." She appears spoiled and vain, a privileged princess, and therefore utterly irresistible.
The main image of the campaign features Tenille plunging her hands into her hair and gazing intently at the camera. Although she could easily model on her stunning beauty alone, this campaign testifies that Miss Roberts is a brilliant model in terms of technique. The authority that she emits in this photograph, thanks to her sheer presence, is extraordinary; yet her demeanour is in not aggressive or assertive, in an unfeminine manner, but still graceful.
A closer view showcases her dazzling beauty. Though Tenille's appearance is innately soft and doll-like, she explores remarkably dark passions in her pictures, her loveliness taking the edge off of any boldness and always rendering the effect aesthetically appealing. "Just look at all of this beauty," she seems to say, as if she were in awe of her own gorgeousness. Her yellow hair falls over her shoulders in soft waves. Those ice-blue eyes penetrate to the viewer's soul. The cosmetics artistry is perfect--pink cheeks and lip colour that are very contemporary in their hue, yet still convey the traditional beauty of rose colours on fair skin. And most captivating of all, she wears frost pink lipstick--the vixen's secret weapon, which can enslave the soul of any male admirer. This image is a fascinating study in how traditional, fair femininity can be presented in a very present-day, electric manner, yet still retain all of its timeless beauty.
Another group shot shows Tenille, once again, completely stealing the show. Though she is the youngest girl in the ensemble by far, anyone would immediately consider her a famous supermodel. Certainly she gives up nothing to the taller models. And notice a clever technique on the part of the photographer: All that he had to do to equalize the girls' heights was to have Tenille take one step forward. That bit of extra proximity to the camera brings her into alignment with the other girls. And besides--it seems somehow fitting that Tenille should be at the forefront of the image.
When we zero in specifically on Miss Roberts, we immediately see why she is the shining star of the ensemble. The witchy, measured messiness of her tresses is overpoweringly alluring, testifying to her wild side. On any other model, such a facial expression would be almost cruel, but on Tenille it is darkly seductive, because her fairness plays off against her wickedness, creating a captivating mixture of impressions.
Another image has Tenille paired off with Miss Wakeling, and here, the photographer takes full advantage of the disparity in heights to create a fascinating narrative suggestion. One thinks of an older/younger sister pairing, as if the taller model were protectively screening her younger sibling--introducing her to the world, yet still maintaining a watchful glance--while the younger girl feels ready to venture out on her own. Also, the open robes create a visual effect that makes one think of birds and their fluttering wings, with a mother starling screening her younger hatchling.
The final colour image of the campaign is a concept shot. In keeping with the "sexy girls have dessert" idea, it is a candy-themed photograph showing the models indulging themselves in all sorts of sweet delicacies. We adore this principle. Furthermore, notice the cards in their hands (which are more clearly readable when one clicks on the image and views it at a larger size).
This behind-the-scenes photo shows the cards in isolation. The slogans are marvellously empowering:
In addition to the "official" images from the campaign, the photographer for the shoot has issued a number of behind-the-scenes pictures that are every bit as captivating as the colour images. The following shot is particularly gorgeous, showing Tenille sensually relaxing on a couch, like an Odalisque waiting to be pampered and waited on hand and foot by her besotted admirers. The languour of her recumbent pose is intoxicating, for nothing is as seductive as full-figured feminine indolence. She positions her shapely legs forward in the frame, deliberately displaying them, showing them off in order to enflame her suitors' desire even further. She languidly tosses an arm behind her head, her golden tresses heavy and luxuriant, and smiles bewitchingly, enjoying the sight of her admirers suffering in their adoration of her. The plump pillow at her legs intimates the softness of her figure. She knows that her beauty entitles her to a life of ease and pleasure, having all her wants satisfied, all her wishes fulfilled.
Another image shows a relaxed Tenille smiling coyly for the camera. A born flirt, she is completely comfortable in front of the lens, as if she already had 20 years' modelling experience. It is not merely her loveliness that makes her such an engaging model, but her innate sense of her own beauty, the effortless ease of someone who knows that she is a goddess and that wherever she is, every eye is fixed on her in adoration and worship.
And finally, one more behind-the-scenes photograph shows Miss Roberts texting any number of people in her social circle (a circle in which she, naturally, is the queen bee). The furniture is an intriguing visual, like a giant, soft frame for Tenille herself. The sight of her bare legs gives the picture a sensual undertone, as do her wild, free-flowing tresses. And once again, the juxtaposition of soft cushions alongside the model suggests the plush softness of her own physique.
With her minx-like qualities, Tenille Roberts is the Brigitte Bardot of plus-size modelling. She is easily one of the most gorgeous full-figured models in the world and is extremely proficient in her modelling technique. Like Kelsey Olson and Kailee O'Sullivan, she has a distinctly doll-like quality, yet she is remarkably adept at generating raw expressions and wild demeanours, while still maintaining a degree of grace and femininity. Her 5'5" height, far from being a liability, is one of her key assets, because it enriches her proportions. One dearly wishes that she were a bit fuller-figured, even just one size curvier, but she is a talent of the greatest significance, and if any girl can prove that models below 5'6 can and should become successful plus-size models (provided that they are gorgeous enough), it is Tenille.
Re: Tenille Roberts: Embody Denim
What I especially love about Tenille and her Brigitte Bardot pose (the first and last pictures in the above post) is that she is so proudly showing off her thighs. Many women feel needlessly self-conscious about their curvy thighs. Yet in her picture, Tenille very persuasively communicates the idea that full thighs are not only beautiful, but out-and-out sexy; that a woman should feel that her full thighs are attractive and alluring, enough so that she can celebrate her legs in closely fitted jeans. Between Tenilles pose and her seductive expression, that is a definitive example of a size-celebratory picture.
I too wish that Tenille were a bit fuller-figured, but I am delighted to hear that a 5-foot-5 model is headlining a major campaign. Bravo to Embody Denim for this. I see no way in which Tenille is at a disadvantage compared to the taller models. Rather, she is the most vivacious girl in the shoot, and the prettiest. Bravo!
I hope the American plus-size industry will follow this Australian lead and begin featuring petite plus-size models too. Remember: the median height for women is 5 foot 4!
Re: Tenille Roberts: Embody Denim
Tenille is adorable. Let's have further petite plus-size models, please! And if no one can find any sufficiently lovely 5'5" models in North America, then I hope that the industry might import Miss Roberts to these shores. She's a beautiful girl and an energetic model. I hope that this is the first of many campaigns to come (and that she might blossom into a slightly fuller figure).
By the way, here are a few of the items that she models in the above photos:
Osmosis cape silk dress
Sophia slip dress
And of course, all of the jeans can be found in Embody's extensive denim collection:
Re: Tenille Roberts: Embody Denim
What a beautiful campaign. That is the way plus-size models should be shot! Being an 18/20 myself, I just wish there were some fuller-figured models too. I'm sure other larger plus-size women would be thrilled to see women who look like them being shot in a sexy, unapologetic manner. Perhaps they would start to believe in the value of their beauty just as they are, rather than continue to labor against the idea that you can't be "too plus" if you want to be attractive.
Re: Tenille Roberts: Embody Denim
As if the professional photographs and behind-the-scenes images from the new Embody campaign weren't exciting enough, the label has now released a captivating making-of video that offers further evidence of Tenille's enchanting beauty.
And as a particular treat for fans of Miss Roberts, the clip even allows us, for the first time, to hear the young nymphet speak.
The first substantial glimpse of Tenille comes at 0.45, which shows the model being made up for the shoot. Right away, the secret of her beauty is revealed--her porcelain fair skin. Her complexion is dazzlingly white, with just a hint of a flush at the cheeks, and bubblegum pink lips. The fairness gives her the look of a Victorian doll and endows her with a quality of delicacy that is rare among plus-size models. She seems so soft and vulnerable, urgently in need of protection. Although her eyes are closed for the benefit of the cosmetics artist, the pose nevertheless evokes the look that she would possess if she were in a dream-laden slumber--a Sleeping Beauty awaiting a kiss.
Tenille's "line" comes at 0.47. All that she says is "My name is Tenille. I'm shooting for Embody Denim," but it is enough to give one an impression of her vivacious and feminine personality. Her voice is sweet and lyrical, but with an unmistakable Australian accent--something that one is always surprised to hear coming from a girl who resembles the quintessential English rose. Her fair tresses look soft and delicate, her complexion ethereal, but the hint of decolletage adds a sensual touch.
The video also provides further evidence of Tenille's remarkable modelling prowess. Watch as she shifts between three different expressions in quick succession, each look distinct and unique. First, she glances to the side, with a kind of coy, flirtatious gaze. (Her every admirer recognizes that Tenille is a born flirt.)
Second, most minx-like of all, she looks up at the camera with a naughty smile, with devilish mischief in her eyes. One thinks of the gorgeous coquette Georgiana Reed in Jane Eyre, who, as a young girl, can get away with any manner of wickedness, thanks to her adorable charms:
And third, just by tilting up her head a little and smiling a little more warmly, she seems more joyful and fun-loving, although the evidence of her rich personality still shines from her eyes. Three publishable pictures in a matter of seconds--only a truly talented model could accomplish such a feat.
But Tenille Roberts, the Baby Spice of plus-size modelling, is much more than just an enchantingly pretty face. Although she is not yet a size-16 goddess, she does have a fleshy figure, the curvaceousness of which is accentuated by her popular 5'5" height. In the most sensual pose that she adopts in the entire shoot, Tenille dramatically clutches her circular frame and lifts up her shapely legs, showing off lusciously full thighs and calves. The dress even defines a seductive swell at her waist. Only a model who recognizes how surpassingly desirable she is, how alluring are the contours of her soft physique, would pose in such an eye-catching manner.
Observe too the danger in her eyes and the wildness of her tresses. The wardrobe, the setting, and the photography are refined and elegant, but there is an underlying carnality to the visual that makes it thrilling. Only the most talented of plus-size models could achieve such sensuality while remaining chic and tasteful, as Tenille does.
The next segment with Miss Roberts offers another three-part series showing her diverse personae. Most captivating of all is the first moment, which catches her dramatically tossing her fair tresses. She does so with a captivating look of haughtiness, clearly recognizing that the motion will make every male viewer weak in the knees, turning them into her ardent, adoring slaves.
Next, she fixes the camera with a seductively spoiled, unsatisfied look, as if to say, "You only bought me a Ferrari?" or "I wanted the earrings and the tiara." The poutiness of her pink mouth makes her irresistible.
But watch how, just a moment later, she subtly transforms that pouty ennui into a poochy smile, a mischievous grin showing her awareness that her admirer is a mere lovesick plaything with whose emotions she can toy at will, and who will give her anything that she desires. Furthermore, what we cannot capture in stills--and what you must see in the video--is the fact that at this moment, Tenille actually, saucily, bats her eyes at the camera. We kid you not--she bats her eyes. When was the last time that you ever saw a pretty ingénue actually bat her eyes in real life? But Tenille does this, and the effect is intoxicating.
To give credit where due, the video also catches a glimpse of attractive Kate Erin, whom we recently saw in several City Chic videos. Again, the makeover transforms her look. Notice how much prettier she appears when her tresses are romantically arranged.
Also, the following still captures the beauty of her figure. Bravo to the videographer for celebrating the rounded swell at her midsection, which is every bit as alluring a physical feature as the media-sanctioned appeal of her buxom curves.
But back to Miss Roberts. If you blink, you'll miss it, but the footage includes a delightful capture of the model lazily stretching her limbs, like a predatory tigress. The sight of her fair tresses straying in delicate wisps around her doll-like face is enchanting.
The video also shows her posing with the label's designer, Natalie Wakeling. Observe how seductively Tenille pushes her hips forward, toward the camera.
Another image shows the making of the fascinating birds'-wings photograph, noted above, with Natalie looking like a protective mother hen trying to screen her juicy young starling from harm, while the hatchling feels ready to fly free on her own, to experience fun and danger. (To Tenille's great credit, in this picture she appears to be the more curvaceous of the two models.)
And finally, a close-up extends the maternal "protector/protected" narrative of the previous shot. The designer looks deeply concerned, haunted by the thought of what might happen to her young charge. But Tenille gazes boldly at the viewer, overpowering him with her budding feminine allure, the appetitive desire evident in her eyes. She seems at once both dangerous and delicate, predatory and vulnerable, mixing the two effects in an arresting manner. Her nymphet-like beauty is haunting. In seeking to protect her, it is the male protector who may be in the greatest peril; yet her beauty gives her a boldness that puts her at risk, making such protection necessary after all.
Tenille Roberts is a beauty of the first order. Her 5'5" height, mixed with her delicate facial features, golden tresses, and blue eyes, give her a princess-like appeal. The enchanting peaches-and-cream fairness of her skin tone is exceedingly rare among plus-size models in Australia, where the sun beats down mercilessly on feminine complexions, ravaging their natural white hue.
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