As plus-size-model images go, there is no treasure more priceless than discovering new pictures of Shannon Marie. It is the equivalent of finding a lost canvas of Titian or Rubens, although the splendour of Shannon's photographs surpasses even whatever beauty can be found in Renaissance or Baroque masterpieces.
Last year, we posted an enchanting Seventeen
featuring Shannon Marie from the very beginning of her curvier phase, in January 1998, when she was just beginning her transition from straight-size into full-figured modelling.
But now, we are honoured to share another Seventeen
editorial image, this one--thrillingly--from October 1998, when her legendary plus-size career was in full bloom.
At this time, Shannon had already shot several unforgettable editorials for Mode
magazine, including her captivating Beauty Notebook images, and her exciting "Spy Girls" story. This Seventeen
image corresponds exactly with her memorable Bloomingdales
ad in the October 1998 Mode,
but it matches any
of her storied Mode
tears for pure, unadulterated beauty.
The concept of the image could not be more perfect. Shannon is shown in the embrace of a GQ model, while a straight-size waif looks on, green with envy. And her jealousy is completely understandable, as is the GQ model's preference for the goddess in blue--for in this image, Shannon vividly demonstrates, yet again, that she is the most gorgeous model ever photographed.
Think about that for a moment: You are looking at, quite literally, the most attractive model whose likeness has ever been captured on film. If Titian's Venus were to step out of her Renaissance frame, she could not be lovelier than this.
--at the exquisite allure of her babylike facial features--the apple cheeks; the high cheekbones that are gently rounded by soft fullness; the perfect mouth. No other model has ever matched the beauty of Shannon's visage. Truly, none have even come close. This is
the feminine ideal that dwells in the human heart--not just a dream, but brought to life and incarnated in physical form.
And because this image was created several months after her previous Seventeen
editorial, one sees that Shannon's beauty, already superlative in that earlier shoot, has become even more
breathtaking, rounder and softer and more feminine, thanks to her fuller form. She has a richer glow about her, an opulence that raises her seductiveness even further. Shannon's Alight.com profile described how unnatural the straight-size category had been for her, and her newfound happiness at being comfortably curvy is evident. She positively beams with joy, radiating sheer pleasure in her own physical being.
And oh, how mesmerizing are her luminescent tresses, gilded by the sun, tied back to better show off that miraculous face, and spreading into a mass of tumbling curls and waves, like something out of a fairy-tale.
So profoundly blessed in her appearance, Shannon could have been the greatest of models without even trying. But she also possesses more pure talent than any other model whom we have ever seen. Notice how fascinating an expression she exhibits, her eyes communicating intelligence and personality. Any other model would have simply flashed a smile, but Shannon constructs a whole narrative with her glance. It is a knowing look, a gaze of profound satisfaction--not only in her conquest of the GQ, but in her awareness that her underweight rival is no match for her allure. She clearly relishes her triumph, her conquest.
Just as a great actress can deliver a fully rounded character in a single scene, so Shannon creates a fascinating persona in a single image--someone who is sweet, to be sure, but also mischievous; someone who enjoys fun and play; who is positively brilliant, and has a rich inner life.
For his part, the male model cannot get close enough to the goddess. One can easily imagine him fully absorbed in the moment, utterly intoxicated, dizzy with desire, unable to take his eyes off Shannon even to cast a passing glance at the other model, to look at the camera, or to see anything else but her. He holder her tenderly, protectively, and yet one knows that she is actually in complete control of the situation; that even in his embrace, she is the one with the power; that he is her errant knight, enslaved by her beauty, his heart belonging to her and her alone, and that he would do whatever her bidding might be--anything at all--if it would only bring her joy. All of this Shannon manages to communicate with her demeaour.* * *
The image appeared as an illustration to accompany a "letters" page in Seventeen. It is truly extraordinary that the magazine kept featuring Shannon even after she became authentically full-figured--and as the preferred girl in a competition with a typically emaciated model. The magazine clearly was overawed by her sheer loveliness. This suggests that, were there more plus-size models with Shannon Marie's degree of beauty, the fashion world would have no choice but to acknowledge them.
Another masterpiece for the ages from the most extraordinary beauty ever to grace the plus-size modelling world.
- "Fairest of Them All"