- "She washed her face with the ambrosial loveliness that Venus wears when she goes dancing with the Graces."
- -Homer, Odyssey.
- No longer are the meadows hoar with whitened frost.
- Now Venus by the light of the moon
- leads comely Nymphs and Graces in Cytherean dances
- shaking the earth with rhythmic alternating beat.
- -Horace, Odes (I.iv)
Although full-figured goddesses are innately predisposed to enjoy the sweet langour of dolce far niente,
and are more alluring in luxuriant repose than in any other circumstances, there is one form of physical activity to which they are particularly inclined--and that is dance
The forms of dance may change with the times, but in every era, and in every society, voluptuous vixens have always revelled in the physical ecstasy of dance. Like the enjoyment of food, dance is an inherently sensual activity, and it stands to reason that the plus-size goddess, being attuned to her body in a way that the androgynous waif (who is at war with her physical being) is not, will effortlessly abandon herself to its natural rhythms.
When she dances, her gestures are fluid and instinctively balletic. The viewer is spellbound by the visible pleasure that emanates from her being, as she indulges in this form of physical freedom. Her every movement is smooth and sinuous, giving truth to the phrase, "poetry in motion." One feels as if the voluptuous strains of the music itself (whatever music it might be) are made tangible, in her glorious appearance.
The precedent for the association of plus-size beauty with dance is as old as Western civilization itself. As the above quotations from Homer and Horace indicate, the classical Greeks believed that Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, would join the Graces in dance on a sacred Cytherean hilltop. Note how Horace characterizes his divine revellers as "shaking the earth" with their footfalls, thus suggesting the physical weight of these goddesses, and reminding us that the Classical ideal of feminine beauty was not ethereal, but embodied in an abundant form.
The following new
test image of Charlotte Coyle is a visual masterpiece, and a tour de force of the model's art. It is titled "Dancer," and in it, Miss Coyle seems to become Venus herself, dancing on Cythera.
This is not just "a dance"--this is dance itself, the very apotheosis of the dance, captured in a single frame. Although it is a static image, Charlotte seems to move before the viewer's eyes. One can perceive motion in the image; one can sense the model's physical presence.* * *
Miss Coyle wears a corset, but the generous contours of her silhouette are still visible, and the way in which the black-and-white photography evokes the soft fullness of her figure makes her appear to be a Classical sculpture brought to life. And Charlotte's breathtaking expression exemplifies her unique manner of channelling passion unselfconsciously, of losing herself in the moment.
Modelling has sometimes been called "frozen dance"--and this image vividly attests to the validity of that notion.
From a black-and white world to one of succulent colour, we are thrilled to be able to share a new headshot of Charlotte Coyle as well. The effect of this photograph is profoundly different from that of the "Dancer" image, but it is no less captivating. Here, with the candy-coloured lipstick complimenting her fair tresses, and the pale-green disc earrings, the impression is one of youth and freshness. But the model's reflective expression imparts a maturity to the image. One sees here a young woman who has experienced the full measure of the world, in all of its highs and lows. She dons the aspect of youthful femininity, by design, but she possesses a wisdom which far surpasses that.
Both images profoundly impress themselves on the imagination, and one remembers them long after they are no longer present before one's eyes.
With these test photos, Charlotte offers us further proof of her modelling virtuosity, and of her timeless beauty. We come away more awed than ever by her talent, and thrilled at the prospect of the masterpieces that she is yet to create.
(You may click on either image to view it at a larger size.)
- Charlotte Coye: A Panegyric