I remember reading that Shannon Marie was a junior-plus model in the days of Mode,
contemporary with Valerie Lefkowitz. That means she would still be in her 20s today. It would be incredible if she returned. She truly was "the fairest of them all..."
Just think if Shannon Marie had continued her career. We'd have double the number of masterpiece-images of plus-size beauty. Barbara Brickner's galleries would have a matching compliment in just as many of Shannon Marie.
I love how candid Michele was in the interview. We should all be grateful to her for that. For me, her most powerful statement was:
How you go out there doing things…changes what things are.
This is such an important point. What a sad excuse it is when people quote "rules" about modelling or fashion (especially in the plus-size category) to exclude certain larger sizes, or shorter heights. As Michele said, Mode
consciously broke all the rules that were in place when the magazine was launched. It made a whole new way of seeing beauty possible because it defied convention, because it rejected the myths of "flaws," etc.
If the rules said models couldn't show curves, Mode
broke those rules and showed curves.
If the rules said models had to be tall and thin, Mode
broke those rules and chose models who were visibly plus, and had more normal heights.
The only reason things "are" a certain way is because people have been blindly following what everyone else has been doing. Mode
proved for once and for all that it is possible to reject aesthetic boundaries, and to create a whole new paradigm.