If there is a measure of how successful a test featuring a plus-size model can be, it is the degree to which it evokes the aesthetic of softness,
both in the model's physicality (since the fuller and softer the physique, the most feminine a model appears) and in her demeanour.
Celebrated plus-size model Kelsey Olson has just released the results of a shoot with photographer Revecka Nguyen which realizes the ultra-feminine aesthetic of softness more memorably than any other test we can recall.
Miss Olson adopts four looks for the shoot, the first of which is almost inexpressibly lovely. Gaze in wonder at the luminescence of her milky-white complexion. Her golden tresses caress her round facial features. Her expression is one of irresistible vulnerability and neediness, with eyes cast down in a wounded look, her mouth appetitively parted, lips shimmering. Her physique appears alluringly soft, betraying no hint of unattractive muscle tone, just pillow-like, fleshy fullness. Observe that most sensual of details, the dimples at Kelsey's knuckles.
But of course, the most seductive aspect of the image is the model's heavy voluptuousness, her copious decolletage too rich even for her generous white bustier. She accentuates the alluring weight of her buxom curves by the gathering motion of her arm (a pose drawn from Rubens). Miss Olson harmonizes the innocent, delicate appearance of a newborn with the robust embonpoint of a goddess. The effect is hypnotic.
A second image from this test is no less mesmerizing. Here, the background is a pastel blue, which plays off against the delicate pink scarf in the model's hands, as well as her own "plump and pink and flaxen" attributes. The way in which she rests her arm across her head emphasizes the cushiony roundness of her limbs, and the crease of flesh at the neck illustrates how the model's clavicle is wholly submerged in fullness. The pose also exhibits her opulent voluptuousness, so natural soft rather than silicone artifice.
For the next picture, Kelsey adopts an especially captivating pose, her expression reading surprise, as if she had been caught unawares in a partially disrobed state. With her scarf, she makes a pretense of veiling herself--yet in fact, tantalizingly leaves her sumptuous physique on full display, her buxom riches escaping confinement. More than any images we have ever seen, these photographs merge an innocent, angelic look with the most captivatingly gentle sensuality.
In the following photograph, Kelsey plays a more flirtatious part, teasing the viewer by coyly draping the scarf across her figure. Kelsey's lily-white fairness gives her the look of a goddess of fantasy, as if she were coalescing out of the light of dream, yet the well-fed fullness of her figure marks an intoxicating physicality. Consider how the pastel hues of this look subconsciously invite associations with infancy and childhood, stirring in the viewer the irresistible impulse to protect and take care of this sweetly self-indulgent princess.
For the final image featuring this unforgettable look, Kelsey channels a young Cybill Shepherd and exhibits a touch of extra self-possession, boldly showing off the fullness of her figure, hips and all. She smiles with genuine pleasure to see the effect that her beauty has upon the viewer, confidently signalling to the world that this, this is the true ideal of feminine beauty, and not a pound or inch less.* * *
A second look from this shoot offers a fascinating example in modelling technique, for with just the addition of a single garment of clothing and a change of backdrop, the model's demeanour changes completely. One can chart the progress of the previous look to this one as a journey from innocence to experience. Observe, first, Miss Olson adopting one of her signature vulnerable expressions. Yet even in this image, the wildness implied by the leopard jacket suggests passions stirring underneath.
A rare, thoughtful image from Kelsey, one in which the model evokes ChloŽ Agnew.
A pouty look for the camera, with the model more consciously seductive than in the preceding, babylike set.
Like a girl discovering her own allure for the first time, she ventures into the territory of seduction, eyes smouldering.
Now openly provocative, she presents her magnificent curves, smoky eyes relishing her effect on the viewer.
Yes, the model's buxom curves are stunning, but what captivates the viewer above all is the sense of fullness at the model's waist and hips, a womanliness that even the monochrome fabric acknowledges, pulling tight over her figure.
The eyes-downcast look that always invites viewer involvement, eager as he is to be privy to her innermost emotions.
The most confident and relaxed of poses, with the model completely at ease with her curves and her manner of presenting them.
A return to a more bewitchingly vulnerable expression, in a picture that exhibits the astonishing size of her haunting blue eyes better than any.
Two headshots which illustrate how vastly a model can alter demeanour with eyes alone. First, a heavily lidded look, an archetypally feminine method of expressing carnal allure.
Second, a direct gaze, yet one in which the model skilfully evokes involvement and presence, and above all sincerity, but avoids unwanted aggressive qualities.
Finally, two looks presenting Kesley as a golden lioness, a predatory great cat baking in the sun of the Kalahari.
Again, consider the deftness of the model's technique: rather than overdoing it with a snarling expression, as some models might, she allows the wardrobe and lighting to tell the story and, for her part, simply purrs.* * *
We will cover the next two looks from this test in a subsequent post. These images--and in particular the first set--stand out as exceptionally beautiful and a vivid test to Kelsey's talent and loveliness. One much prefers the model's golden tresses to flow loosely over her shoulders, but the wonder of her innocent-angel look cannot be denied.
Above all, it is the fact that the first images in this post celebrate Miss Olson as a plus-size model, revelling in her fullness of form, which mark them as some of the finest photographs of the model's stored career.
(Click images to view larger.)
- Kelsey Olson Galleries