But is there anything that the aesthetic legacy of the West can tell us about what kind of hairstyles suit plus-size beauty best?
Perhaps there is.
As Kate Chopin indicates in the passage quoted above, the opulent allure of thick, romantic tresses is as much an emblem of the Classical ideal as are full, rounded facial features, or the soft contours of a womanly figure.
And it appears as if this wondrously feminine attribute is slowly returning to cultural prominence, along with other aspects of timeless beauty.
Consider the following advertisement, which stopped one reader of this forum dead in his tracks:
The model in the ad (Carrie Tivador) may be straight-sized, but she certainly possesses the "lovely round face and rosy cheeks that are flush with teenage health" that The Guardian praised, in its recent "Thin is No Longer In" article.
but--thanks to the soft facial features and voluminous hair of the model, and the fact that the shampoo bottle strategically conceals her body--the company's ad cleverly engages the viewer by subliminally suggesting that the model's figure possesses as much "voluptuous volume" as her hair.
At any rate, from this stellar example of a fairytale coiffure interpreted in a contemporary manner, we can establish a serviceable guiding principle for plus-appropriate hairstyles:
The hairstyle contributes greatly to the overwhelming allure of the image, which speaks of the most intense desire.
The original "golden blonde" of the industry was the legendary Shannon Marie. When Mode debuted, no other model even remotely resembled her, and she deserves full credit for introducing an unapologetically gorgeous look into the industry.
And even when she wears her hair partially "up," as in this image, she still lets enough of it flow freely to frame the exquisite roundness of her facial features--which remain lovelier than those of any other model, past or present.
Among currently-working models, Kelsey Olson's fair tresses most closely resemble Shannon Marie's. And when she plunges her hand into that golden mane, the viewer cannot help but be mesmerized.
This, incidentally, brings up another hair principle that every curvy vixen should keep in mind--it's not just about how it looks, but about how one "plays" with it, that makes it such a bewitching attribute.
"Dolly beguiled the time in the most improving manner that occurred to her, by curling her hair on her fingers, with the aid of the looking-glass before mentioned, and giving it some killing twists."
The persons being "killed" by Dolly's nonchalant actions, of course, are her ardent suitors.
"Her beauty, her pink cheeks, and golden curls, seemed to give delight to all who looked at her, and to purchase indemnity for every fault."
And who better to exemplify this look than Valerie Lefkowitz, whose blonde ringlets are the stuff of legend? Here she is sporting the most perfect incarnation of her trademark densely-curled style, from Figure magazine, 2004:
And when introducing the irresistible Ginevra Fanshawe in her novel Villette, Bronte writes,
"How charming she looked, when she came down on a sunny Sunday morning, well-dressed and well-humoured, robed in pale lilac silk, and with her fair long curls reposing on her white shoulders."
Later in the same novel, a description of a fuller-figured Ginevra occasions Bronte to pen one of her most sensual passages:
"Yes: in she came, dressed in bright silk, with her shawl falling from her shoulders, and her curls, half-uncurled in the damp of night, drooping careless and heavy upon her neck."
Valerie provides us with the perfect contemporary incarnation of this enchanting hairstyle in the following test, which shows her thick, luxuriant ringlets spilling out over her bare shoulders.
Curls invariably endow fair hair with fairytale magic. Ljubenka may be best known for sporting long tresses with just a touch of "body," but her most engaging look is represented in the following image, from the Sara catalogue:
On the other hand, when Megan Garcia wears her hair longer, she exhibits a luxurious wave, and the extra length makes her already rich look that much more sumptuous and goddesslike:
But although blonde hair has traditionally attracted the lion's share of praise (and envy) in literary history, full-figured goddesses have exhibited "voluptuous volume" in every shade.
Indeed, Kailee's video is practically a one-minute lesson in every fascinating thing that a fair damsel can do with her goddesslike locks, to enslave the soul of any man she desires:
Moving from auburn to actual red, here we see Marie Christianson (Heffner, size 14) mesmerizing the viewer with her regal crimson mane. This image indicates better than any other the aesthetic harmony between an opulently-proportioned figure and a wild, extravagant hairstyle. A short cut would look as incongruous on Marie as this hairstyle would look on a tottering waif:
(Many thanks to D. Trull for his post-production work on the above image.)
and, like a fabled siren of the sea, she knows how to "work" them in the most irresistible manner imaginable:
Some dark-haired models have tresses so thick and luxurious, that, like Shannon Marie, they can leave them straight and flowing, and still captivate the viewer by their sheer abundance--as is the case with prom queen Lindsey Garbleman, whose brunette glory perfectly compliments her buxom charms:
Others, however, never look as lovely as when they display a romantic wave in their tresses. Ashley Graham's enchantment increases tenfold when she puts a touch of body in her hair:
In this image of Liis, every detail contributes to a palpable sense of majesty, from the modelís full facial features, to her commanding expression, to the soft cushions, to the ornate bridal gown. But the magnificent tumble of dark waves cascading down her back may be the most alluring detail of all, the element that suggests a wild, feminine nature lurking beneath that stately demeanour.
And finally, we would be remiss not to honour the very popular Crystal Renn in this category. The decision by Crystal to grow her formerly short hair into a thick, luxurious spill of starless night was as significant to her transition from modern waif to Classical goddess as was her determination to acquire womanly curves.
But her best looks are undoubtedly achieved when her inky-black mane cascades freely over her shoulders:
You may currently visit the plus-size section at Nordstrom to view many more stunning examples of Crystal's "voluptuous volume."
It is undoubtedly true that everyone should adopt whichever hairstyle they feel most comfortable with. But it is also worth keeping in mind that timeless feminine beauty is just now beginning to be rediscovered by the mainstream fashion industry, after years of misrepresentation, occasioned by wilful blindness. Most of the extant "rules" pertaining to this manner of beauty were created by individuals who were not aesthetically predisposed in favour of the plus aesthetic--and those rules should be rejected accordingly.
Re: ''Voluptuous volume''
Just today a new article appeared at Bella Online which echoed the ideas in this thread. It frames the discussion in terms of "harmony and porportion", and think the sketch that appears in the article is really telling. The writer states that a fuller-figured woman "should 'plus-size' her hair to create more balance". And to create more beauty, I would say! How often does one see plus-size girls like Kelly Osbourne, who really might be attractive, but suffer from an inappropriate bowl-like hairstyle.
Re: ''Voluptuous volume''
Since the above essay originally appeared, some readers have informed us that, from time to time, it is a refreshing change for a goddess to take her hair up over her shoulders. That may be the case, but there is a way in which an enchantress can achieve this effect without committing the aesthetic atrocity of chopping off her divine tresses, and that is, by adopting a style that is currently listed as the "hairstyle of the year" in Teen People magazine: the "voluminous updo."
Of course, like all of the most gorgeous hairstyles and fashion choices, this is not a "new" style at all, but rather, a timeless one. Here, for example, we see it depicted in a postcard reproduction of a painting by the French 19th-century artist, Edouart Bisson (1856-1939):
What makes this style so exciting is that, while it does expose the exquisitely soft neck and shoulders of a voluptuous vixen, it still conveys a sense of alluring heaviness and fullness, thus keeping the hairstyle in proportion to the generous curves of the richer female figure.
The "measured messiness" of the look, its "I-just-tumbled-out-of-bed" quality, gives it an irresistible sensuality. The way in which the curls cascade softly around the face draws attention to a fair visage, offering the viewer a tactile temptation, making him wish to touch them, to brush them gently away.
Re: ''Voluptuous volume''
I just came across this great article on the topic of long hair, and how it reflects personality, and what a terrible thing it is to cut it off. Enjoy!
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