(Originally posted on the Judgment of Paris Forum, August 31, 2004, in response to a post linking a news channel's article about the new line of Cacique intimate apparel.)
This campaign must be regarded as a bona fide triumph for Lane Bryant. It is one of the company's most progressive and beautiful promotions to date, and it achieves the elusive goal of presenting plus-size models in a way that both accentuates their beauty and
exhibits the soft fullness of their natural physiques.
We see the phrase "dangerous curves" bandied about regularly in the media, usually in reference to the supposedly provocative figures of anointed celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, etc. But the so-called "curves" of these celebrities, in all their silicone-injected, aerobicized glory, are not the least bit dangerous to anyone--except, of course, to those poor individuals who tragically subject themselves to the butcher's knife of a plastic surgeon in order to mimic their appearance.
But Lane Bryant's Cacique images show us the kind of womanly curves that are truly dangerous--dangerous to the hegemony of the mass media, dangerous to the profit margins of diet companies and other corporations that specialize in inflicting human misery. These soft, visibly plus-size figures embody precisely the types of curves that are genuinely threatening to the cultural establishment--and consequently, are banished from the pages of 99% of all magazines and advertisements.
Because they reveal a truth so powerful that it threatens to bring down the superstructure upon which the entire weight-loss empire is built. And that truth is this: You do not need to buy a single diet book or gym membership to become an irresistible goddess, because a soft, natural physique is the true feminine ideal, and lush curves are the most attractive physical features that any woman can possess.
These images also represent some of the best work of Maiysha's career. Note the model's subtle indication, in the text of the article, that she is now fuller figured than before--a statement that she makes as a simple expression of fact. This is another dangerous truth that the media endeavours to suppress: that an improvement in dress size yields a corresponding enhancement of feminine beauty. This truth--which artists and their muses have known throughout the centuries--flies in the face of the "thinner is better" falsehood that the media has duped society into believing for nearly a century. But Maiysha and Crystal Renn--along with many other plus-size models--are the living proof.
We are slowly but surely moving towards the day when society discovers that the goal of "weight loss" is a loss in every sense--a loss of beauty, a loss of time, a loss of money, a loss of life. Conversely, it will discover that "gain" is, as the word implies, an entirely positive development.
And Lane Bryant's celebration of forbidden feminine curves will help make that realization possible.