Originally Posted by Meredith
the "age" issue is a canard. Plus-size models like Kailee O'Sullivan were working in their early teens and were never mistreated, nor developed eating disorders. But the key is that she was working as a plus-size model.
Age is not the problem. Size is. Girls of any age could be working as models, given parental supervision, so long as they are plus-size models and are never told to drop a single pound, never pressured to lose an inch.
Absolutely. The association of an underweight appearance with youth is ludicrous; and is merely yet another fashion-industry myth, another attempt to excuse the promotion of emaciation as being merely a consequence of the age of the models. Nonsense. North America abounds in full-figured teens that could make excellent models. Indeed, fleshy curves are emblematic of the robust vitality of youth, the well-fed freshness of blossoming womanhood. It is in old age that the body becomes shrivelled and dessicated, losing its rounded contours.
Nevertheless, Ziff's Picture Me
documentary is highly commendable and should be required viewing not only for everyone in the fashion industry (as well as the mothers of any daughters who are considering modelling careers), but also for legislators, who, upon viewing the horrors that it exposes, might be persuaded to finally being regulating this industry as it need to be regulated, from banning underweight models to mandating the use of fuller-figured girls.
The only way in which the film might have been improved is if it had offered constructive suggestions in addition to its (completely valid) criticisms. One cannot expect each project to do everything, but a segment on plus-size modelling as a corrective to minus-size tyranny, as a healthier and more positive expression of fashion, would have been most welcome.
Here is an image of Shannon Marie from an early issue of Mode
magazine, when the goddess was still in her teens. We have never posted it on the forum before, owing to the so-so hairstyle. But although Shannon Marie became even more
gorgeous in subsequent seasons as she blossomed into a more genuinely curvaceous size, her astounding beauty was already evident in this early image. She was already the most beautiful plus-size model in the industry, surpassing even the then-curvy Sophie Dahl. Observe that although this tear sheet is in the "high fashion" mode, with the dramatic eye makeup and the curious hairstyle, it is nevertheless a gorgeous picture. Shannon Marie possesses the high cheekbones that are emblematic of supermodels, but attractively softened and roundly contoured, not harsh (as is the case with today's androgynous skeletons). Shannon's is a grown-up version of girlish beauty, with both maturity and youthfulness in perfect harmony. Moreover, Shannon is clearly not a starving model. The trace of soft fleshiness at the neck is intoxicatingly sensual. She achieves a chic, artistic look, but retains a healthy appearance as well, unlike the corpse-like emaciation of minus-size waifs.
A model such as this, blessed with such astounding beauty and modelling talent, could meet all of the artistic needs of a Vogue
but could do so while retaining a touch of softness that readers would find pleasing as well as aspirational, a look that they could recognize as a heightened incarnation of their own appearance. This is a Classical look that is ideal but not unnatural, perfect but not plastic, and worlds superior to the warped, cadaverous standard that modern fashion has instituted.
- Shannon Marie on The Roseanne Show