Hypocritically (but predictably), the mainstream press was highly critical of this Maxim
piece, yet the article simply put the shoe on the other aesthetic foot, as it were, by (rightfuly) attacking "starvation chic" instead of full-figured women. In fact, plus-size beauty is regularly excoriated in the media in terms that are far harsher that this. Turnabout is fair play, and it is extremely agreeable to see this rare instance of aesthetic revisionism. Critics were merely upset that for once, "one of their own" (i.e., Maxim
) failed to toe the party line, and outed the rest of the industry as perpetuating a false standard.
upset the critics of this article was that, for once, a publication had exposed the media's lie, ripped back the curtain, and revealing "the great and powerful Oz" to be nothing more than a myth. It was
a wake-up call. Suddenly, the public could look past media brainwashing and see that they had been duped--that the celebrities whom the entertainment press dubs "sexy" are anything but. They are unattractive, androgynous, and uncharismatic, and not all of the Conde Nast covers in the world can change this.
But the silliest criticism that was levelled against the article was that this was a case of "swapping one ideal for another." That creates a false moral equivalency between the two, like equating poison
One kills; the other heals.
The difference between the two is that the underweight standard is severely unhealthy and leads to life-threatening eating disorders, whereas the full-figured ideal is salubrious and pleasurable, and leads to an enjoyable life.
Far from "swapping one ideal for another," is it a case of replacing a lie
with the truth
; a matter of rejecting a toxic, artificial, and genuinely unattractive standard for one that is natural and truly beautiful.
From the unsexiest to possibly "the sexiest woman alive"--Charlotte Coyle (Close Models, U.K.), whose beauty would have reigned supreme in any century prior to our own--and in truth, still does today.
(From the year's finest promotion, Charlotte's Spring 2007 campaign for Marks & Spencer.)
- More images . . .