[Originally posted on the Judgment of Paris Forum on November 13th, 2004, in response to a post by Chad introducing a British plus-size model named Emma.]
Emma is very pretty, has a lovely figure, and that sheer top is a wonderful example of goddesslike styling.
It is only in the modern age that society has shunned the soft, rounded midriff. Throughout Western history, artists have celebrated this feature as an irresistible aspect of feminine allure.
From the Louvre collection, here is a sculpture on the Venus Genetrix theme, dated from around the first century A.D. Note how the goddesses's full midriff presses against the delicate "wet drapery" that adorns the figure.
This trait is prominent in many Classical sculptures. Here is a Roman copy of a Hellenistic "Winged Victory" from the Bardo Museum in Tunis.
What we now term a "pear-shaped" figure was revered as the epitome of sensuality since time immemorial. Why it is suppressed by today's fashion elites is a matter of ongoing debate, although perhaps it reminds them too vividly of the gender identity of their customers, when many feel more comfortable surrounded by androgyny . . .
Regardless, it is most encouraging to see today's most cherished plus-size models bringing back this womanly ideal--as we see in this breathtaking image from Barbara Brickner's legendary test series with Douglas B.: