A new Fashion Bug ad featuring Nadia Peņa appears in the current (Oct. 2006) issue of Latina
magazine, and, as the posted scan indicates, it is quite a stunning image. It follows in the line of Venus-and-Mars photography that has appeared in several recent fashion promotions and magazines, and most closely resembles the current MXM campaign featuring Kailee O'Sullivan, right down to the model's lacy, romantic blouse.
This may be the loveliest of the lace blouses that plus-size models have sported this fall (from Kailee's, to Valerie's (above), to Yanderis's, in the summer issue of Figure
). Or perhaps this item simply looks most attractive because Nadia has the most generous proportions of any of the models who have exhibited these items. Let anyone who clings to the myth that "clothes look better on rail-thin frames" try to maintain that absurdity when they see this image. It is precisely the fullness
of Nadia's size-14/16 figure that makes the blouse so attractive. On a thinner model, it would altogether lose its allure.
Nadia's expression is appropriately steamy in this ad, in keeping with the romantic context. Wearing her hair longer, as she does in this image, adds so much to her look, and her facial features have never been more beautiful. The photographer wisely positioned the male model behind
her, and garbed him in black, so that Nadia entirely dominates the image. (He effectively becomes a fashion accessory, just like Nadia's attractive bracelet, earrings, and necklace.)
The pairing of a plus-size model with a GQ type always sends a positive message, reminding viewers that the Classical aesthetic ideal consisted of warrior males and soft, full-figured goddesses (never skeletal nymphs). Such images also communicate the essential nature of gender relationships which that Classical ideal betokened, whereby women can allow themselves to be feminine, self-indulgent, and vulnerable, if their suitors have sufficient strength of character. Furthermore, it shows modern women of size that need never "settle" when choosing romantic partners, but can have any man they want.
It really is an eye-catching ad, and we earnestly hope that it represents the leading edge of a larger campaign for Fashion Bug, featuring the gorgeous Ms. Peņa.
(Incidentally, we decided to post the image here, rather than creating a separate thread, because Latina
magazine is as riddled with mixed messages as is any issue of Glamour
or Marie Claire.
Leafing through its pages upon pages of body-shame articles reminds us that, for all of its aesthetic limitations, Figure
is still the only size-positive magazine in North America, and deserves our wholehearted if qualified support.)