As long-time readers of the Judgment of Paris will be aware, this site differs from most online boards or other brands of social networking in that it is a forum of ideas, not personalities. Not only do we have a "no promotions" policy, whereby professional participants cannot discuss their own work (though they are welcome to celebrate the achievements of their peers), but we discourage contributors from offering too much detail about their own biographies, except as pertains to specific forum topics.
On the upside, we have found that this approach eliminates the ad hominem argumentation and personality clashes that pervade other discussion domains. However, the downside is that forum members become virtual ciphers.
In this post, we will deviate from this tradition and, with the subject's prior permission, share a few interesting details about one of the most popular contributors to this site.* * *
Australian student Tamika Glouftsis has enriched this Web project by penning some of the most compelling and substantial essays of the past two years. In 2011, for example, she composed a fascinating tribute to Disney's one and only plus-size princess, Katrina van Tassel from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and introduced readers to the greatest full-figured beauty of Chinese history, the imperial consort Yang Guifei. In previous years, she enthralled readers with an essay about the Renaissance-themed video game Assassin's Creed, discussed her efforts at planting a seed of beauty-appreciation among her peers, and created a video slideshow of images of timeless beauty (appropriately set to the music of ChloŽ Agnew). Furthermore, she has frequently shared her comprehensive knowledge of Lolita fashion, in which she is a bona fide expert.
Anyone reading Tamika's essays will be astonished not only by the quality of her writing but by the depth of her insight. Her thinking is blessedly unencumbered by the prevailing slave morality of our time (a.k.a., cultural Marxism or "social justice") and firmly opposed to the resentment-driven denigration of beauty that pervades modern cultural discourse. She effortlessly accomplishes the Nietzschean "turn in thinking" that underpins this web site and sincerely espouses the Old World aristocratic values that informed the Western tradition.
If the aesthetic restoration does take place, it will be triggered by the beauty of today's plus-size models, then propagated by the intellectual efforts of girls such as Tamika.
The proximate reason, however, why we are giving this young Australian lady a post of her own is because she recently achieved a singular distinction in her academic life. As the following article from her home-town newspaper in Adelaide reports:
Twenty-five teenagers were advised yesterday that their work had placed them among South Australia's best Year 12 students. They are all winners of the 2011 Governor of South Australia SACE Award, [which] recognises perfect scores in four Year 12 subjects plus the Research Project.
A panel selected award recipients from among the 12,311 students who completed their SACE this year and received their results yesterday. Of the 25, four achieved a perfect score, a university entrance score of 99.95.
Among the group of 25 were three Wilderness students - Emily Denbigh, Tamika Glouftsis and Catharine Raymond. The self-confessed "humanities kids" all did English Studies and at least one arts subject.
SACE Board chief executive Dr Paul Kilvert congratulated all on their achievements. "Students can receive the Governor of South Australia SACE Award by achieving an A+ with Merit in five Year 12 subjects including the Research Project," he said.
Tamika herself is one of those elite students who achieved "a perfect score." Out of the 12,311 graduates in her state, only four
merited this distinction. The following Australian news video confirms Tamika's superlative standing, with the reporter announcing:
More than 700 students have achieved perfect scores in one or more subjects, and four have gained the highest possible admission rank of 99.95, including Wilderness School's Tamika Glouftsis.
Tamika speaks at 1:05, giving readers of this site a rare opportunity to hear the voice of one of the forum's contributors:
Note that her refined inflection differs from the Australian accents of the newsreader and the other students as much as received pronunciation distinguishes itself from any other British dialect. If Tamika's speech pattern sounds familiar, though, it should--because we have all heard this lyrical, elegant accent once before: as spoken by Sophie Sheppard in her memorable Vogue Italia video
. Tamika may be from Adelaide, while Sophie may be from Perth, half a continent away, but they both speak with the loveliest accented English that we have heard this side of ChloŽ Agnew--a soft, feminine speech pattern that is music to one's ears.
Tamika's achievement earned her the cover of an Adelaide newspaper, as shown here (click to view larger):
Miss Glouftsis appears the centre of the frame, appropriately first among this group of South Australia's "best students." Fashion-minded readers should take note of her Edwardian attire, particularly the charming sun hat and the feminine print dress, as well as her hairstyle, with the eye-catching floral adornment.
A gallery linked from the online version of this newspaper article presents the cover image in better quality, as well as a second photograph of Tamika with her fellow award-winners.* * *
Although she is not a professional model, nor aspiring to be one, Tamika has created a number of artistic images sheerly out of a creative impulse. We share these not only to enhance this virtual coming-out party--Tamika's online dťbut, as it were--but also because these images provide fine templates for the plus-size fashion industry to emulate.
Throughout 2011, we have praised photoshoots that have taken full-figured models out into the natural world and presented them against luscious natural backdrops. Tamika's images demonstrate how models can create indoor images that also escape the cold utilitarianism of a bare studio setting, and harmonize with their timeless, Old World beauty.
In this picture, which presents Tamika in the dress that she wore to a school formal, the model gazes out of the window in the manner of a young lady in a 19th-century novel. Observe the exclusive use of natural daylight for illumination, giving the image the authenticity of a period piece, as well as model's elegant updo, with the ringlet curls and the floral adornments in the hair. This delicate shade of pink is, of course, a quintessentially feminine colour. The chair in which she sits appears to date from an earlier century, being well-upholstered and ornate. The contrast between the light colours and the darks creates a rich dichotomy, with the model dressed in a supremely feminine manner yet situated amid masculine props. The model's attitude is refined and aristocratic, yet appealingly gentle.
The following portrait picks up the Old World theme of the preceding image, its historical flavour enriched by the venerable clock, the elaborately wrought chair, and the magnificently ancient-looking tome that Tamika peruses. (Reading is among the most ladylike of activities, and some of the finest images on this site have shown plus-size models in bibliophilic settings, which take on a particular charm when the books in question appear to date from past centuries--nobler eras than our own). Tamika wears a delicate, feminine blouse so ornate that it seems a work of decorative art in its own right. The pronounced cosmetics extend the light/dark contrasts that distinguish these images. The model's pose and expression are sophisticated and stately, perfectly in tune with the environment. The aesthetic harmony of every element renders this a convincing, real-world presentation; not an exercise in costume drama, but a valid fashion image which shows how young girls today can incorporate the beauty of past eras into their own lives, from the physical environment that they create around them to the wardrobe that they don, and thus externalize the unmodern, aristocratic values that they hold in their hearts.
While the following photograph exhibits an unnecessary filtering effect, what makes it highly effective is the theme: the model's vain contemplation of her own beauty. The expression is note-perfect, a study of self-involvement, an alluring gaze that is part careful appraisal, part aesthetic worship. The image reveals further details of the model's ornate, Victorian blouse while highlighting the blossoms in her hair and the chandelier earrings--all elements that epitomize traditional femininity and timeless opulence.* * *
As strict formalists, we believe that ideas must stand on their own merits, and that personal biography is nothing but an impediment to a proper evaluation of an argument or idea. However, it is a privilege to put a face to one of the forum's names, and to identify the real-life author who has penned such wonderful illustrated essays. It is also a pleasure to give her accomplishments a nod, just as we praise top plus-size fashion models for their career successes.
Tamika's scholastic success is richly merited, but it does not surprise us in the least, given the superlative quality of the essays that she has posted here. We offer her our sincerest congratulations on her academic achievements, and look forward to her future contributions to this forum.
- "Disney's Curvy Heroine"