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Old 18th May 2010   #1
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Default Interview with Kelsey Olson

Once upon a time, there was a castle and a princess.

The castle featured mighty turrets and soaring towers that reached up into the clear, cloudless sky.

The princess had big blue eyes, long golden hair, an angelic face, and a soft figure. She was kind, and sweet, and very, very beautiful.

Christmas had come to the kingdom, and the land was adorned with Yuletide trim. Magic was in the air, and fantasy was in every heart . . .

* * *

It sounds like a fairy-tale, doesn’t it?

While this story was unfolding, we ourselves thought that it was merely a dream, and that at any moment we would awaken and the vision would disappear.

But no. It actually happened. There was a castle and a princess. This dream came true.

Last Christmas, we were thrilled and honoured to meet Kelsey Olson--the most gorgeous plus-size model, the very embodiment of the feminine ideal--for a one-on-one, in-person interview.

Over the course of an afternoon and early evening, Miss Olson told us about her modelling career to date, disclosed many intimate secrets about her personality and character, shared her thoughts about the most pressing topics related to size celebration, and explored the cultural heritage that has blessed her with timeless beauty.

For a few blissful hours, we left the world of today and entered the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.

Where did it happen? What was Kelsey like? How did she look? What did she say?

Read on and find out . . .

* * *

This profile will appear in three parts, the first of which is linked below. To mark the publication, we kindly received a special gift from Miss Olson to share with her fans--a never-before-seen swimwear image showing Kelsey looking like a goddess incarnate. This is quite simply the most beautiful swimwear image that we have ever seen, and provides a wonderful teaser for the interview.

Prepare to meet the prettiest angel of them all.

Click to enlarge

- Click here to read the Kelsey Olson interview

Last edited by HSG : 19th May 2010 at 05:26.
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Old 19th May 2010   #2
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

First of all, I have to agree that that swimwear image is gorgeous. Kelsey looks soft-figured, yet very shapely and feminine; curvaceous, yet legitimately plus-size. She has the most ideal physique of any plus-size model.

As for the interview itself, I've already read it twice, once earlier today, and once just now, more slowly, taking it all it. Even just with one part online, it's already my favourite Judgment of Paris interview ever. It makes me twice as much a Kelsey fan as I was before- if that's possible. She seems so kind and considerate and thoughtful, but lively and fun as well. She comes across exactly as I always imagined she would, based on her lovely images.

I can't believe how serendipitous it all was- Kelsey personally resembling Sleeping Beauty, even having shot a Princess Aurora editorial, and having Disneyland right there in California with a Sleeping Beauty Castle in its center, as if it were sitting there just waiting for the interview to happen. It's like it was meant to be.

I found this vignette from Kelsey to be utterly adorable:

"When I was three years old, my biggest memory with my dad was when I got really, really sick, and I woke up, and I asked my dad to watch Sleeping Beauty with me,” she recounted fondly. “We ate celery sticks with peanut butter.”

That's so sweet. I'm grateful that she shared that memory with all of us. It's lovely.

On the other hand, I found her to be very real and compelling on questions about body image. I loved what she said about resolving never to appear in a diet ad or any other kind of starvation/torture propaganda:

"I don’t think I could do something like that. I don’t feel that I, if I was a young person having role models, would want someone I looked up to to be doing something like that. It wouldn’t make me feel like I was doing something right, you know?"

That's characteristic of Miss Olson. She's not just thinking about herself, the way so many people do these days. She's thinking about others. That really is a noble personality trait, an old-fashioned and wonderful value.

But my favourite moment in the interview had to be this lighter exchange:

“You just kind of relax and do your thing,” she elaborated. “But no, I take a while [to get ready].”

“In front of your mirror.”

“Exactly,” she testified, smiling, knowing where my thoughts were taking me.

“Because you can’t tear yourself away from it.”

“Right.” Playing along, she added the most exciting statement of the entire afternoon. “Yeah, it’s just soooo amazing. I say, ‘God, you are fantastic, Kelsey. Really.’” She paused, then added for effect, “And then I kiss the mirror and I leave.”

I don't blame the interviewer for having a heart attack when Kelsey teased him with this vision! It's a really vivid idea. I would love to see Kelsey do a photo shoot like that someday- admiring herself in a mirror, and even kissing her reflection. What a gorgeous picture that would make.

I loved every word of the interview, and can't wait for part two.
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Old 19th May 2010   #3
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

Kelsey sounds like she is a lot of fun to be around, but also very intelligent and, most important of all, very principled.

It angered me to hear that agents have pressured her (or any model) to diminish herself. That's part of the reason why she is so popular - because she IS curvy, genuinely curvy, and not a skinny girl manipulated to look fuller. When I look at the gorgeous swimwear image posted above, it makes me believe that I too can wear a swimsuit with confidence, because Kelsey has a womanly physique and looks absolutely stunning in swimwear. That picture shows both truth AND beauty. That's what everyone is yearning for. That's what we all want to see. Shame on any part of the industry that tries to diminish the very qualities that make Kelsey so inspiring.

I love how she put it:

“Just recently, I told my agent, just put me at the size I am, on the board. These are my measurements, and that’s what I am.”

Bravo for that. That's exactly how all full-figured women should feel about themselves: "This is who I am," and proudly acknowledge their size. Kelsey is inspiring in both word and deed.

And she's so generous as well, especially in how much she credits everyone who works with her for their talent. I have to agree, though, with what the interviewer said - that she deserves to realize that she herself is the main reason why her pictures are so effective, because whoever the photographer, her photos are always gorgeous. She herself is the element common to them all, so it's due to her beauty and ability that she produces such an amazing quality of work.
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Old 19th May 2010   #4
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

Wow, what a gift! Thank you! I'm especially thankful that you, and Kelsey, appreciate Disney. So many little girls would never have had any exposure to the fairy-tale princess ideal if it weren't for Walt Disney's vision. (Sleeping Beauty was his favorite, too!)
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Old 19th May 2010   #5
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

Words cannot express the beauty of that swimwear image.

As a long-time lurker at this forum, I've been a Kelsey fan for years, so I'm delighted to be learning more about her. She's so interesting to read about, and I think we're all really lucky that she took the time to let her fans know more about her.

It was fascinating to learn a bit about what makes her such a great model. One passage especially stood out to me in that regard -- when she described her technique, which could be called "method modelling":

“Then you think, what would you do if the photographer were someone that you were trying to attract? And why are you trying to attract them? Is it a sexual thing, or is it just, ‘Oh, I need you.’ You know what I mean? There are different elements.”

Method actors and actresses don't just deliver the lines on the page, but go beyond the script and think of a biography for the characters that they portray, and ask questions like why their characters are doing what they're doing in a scene, what their motivation is, what they did just beforehand, what they'll do right afterward, etc. Part of Kelsey's brilliance as a model, then, is that she adopts a similar technique with her pictures.

I think that's why her images seize the emotions the way that they do and involve the viewer so much. With each picture, she doesn't just strike random poses, but tells a story in miniature, and creates a persona.

Amazing talent -- equal to her stunning beauty.
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Old 20th May 2010   #6
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

Having read this interview, I find that I now "see" Kelsey's pictures with so much more depth than before. I truly love her personality. She's insightful, good-hearted, and sounds like she has an upbeat, positive attitude. Very likable, and no doubt delightful to be around.

I enjoyed the setting of the interview and how it gave the discussion a theme. As a fan of fairy-tales, I really appreciated how reverent Kelsey is about the great Walt Disney and his vision:

“It’s a shame, because this is what it should look like,” Kelsey affirmed. “I think that was the whole point of his design, was to make it this magical thing, and to take elements of the frontier, and Fantasyland, and just kind of make it this really magical place for people. I think it’s great.”

I wish more people had that kind of idealism. It seems so right that Kelsey is a romantic, and not a cynic.

For me, the funniest bit was when, after Kelsey received some praise, she asked her interviewer if he "wrote these things down." That's what many girls will ask when a man pays them a big compliment ("Oh, did you write that down before you said it?"). But of course in this case, the answer was very obviously "yes" - a whole forum of such written comments, in fact! It's funny that Kelsey forgot that for a moment.

“Do you write these things down?” Kelsey asked of my penchant for giving compliments.

The irony of her question hit us both at once.

“As a matter of fact, I do,” I pointed out, holding up the printout of my first Kelsey-related forum post.

“Yes,” she acknowledged, laughing.

“It’s funny you should say that,” I proceeded, as if explaining something that she didn’t know, “because it just so happens that I have a whole Web site where I write things like that—”

“—all the time,” we finished in unison.

That sounds like it was a hilarious exchange for both parties.
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Old 20th May 2010   #7
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

I really adored the little personal insights about Kelsey that this interview offered. I've always admired her for her beauty, but this profile humanized her and made her very relatable too. She sounds like a wonderful person in every way.

I love what she said about taking her time with getting ready before going out, that that is when she gets to relax and have some time for herself:

“Oh, no,” she said with a chuckle. “No. No, getting ready is ‘my time.’ Some people meditate or go jogging; I get ready.”

The background stories behind her modelling shoots were really interesting, like the fact that she models to music when she does her costume campaigns:

“The photographer that I’ve shot with for those—not for Torrid, but the other company—he works with children, so if it’s Cinderella, he’ll put on classical, waltzy music, so it’s really fun,” she reminisced. “And he’s a really animated guy, and he’s super funny.”

I wish there were a video of that. I didn't know that photographers played music during shoots to get their models in the right mood. I'm sure that Kelsey looks very graceful when she moves in time to Strauss waltzes.

The best, though, was how she narrated her Figure magazine shoot on the sailboat. Her description made me feel like I was right there as part of the experience. Kelsey's admission that she's scared of sea creatures, and then had to confront the sight of them mating right in front of her in the water, was great:

"That was really, really amazing,” she said in a dreamy manner. “And it was this 1962 sailboat. They don’t even make boats like that anymore. We got to go out… I am horrified of sea creatures and sharks, so I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ And it was summer, and they come there, and they mate, and it was just… That was so much fun. I’ve never really gotten to do something like that. It was kind of like a vacation but with someone taking pictures. And Miami, it’s really beautiful there. You see why people live there. And it’s hot. It was just hot. It’s so beautiful. It’s so lush there.”

What a fantastic experience.
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Old 21st May 2010   #8
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

I loved the interview, but I really wish that Kelsey would recognize and acknowledge her own beauty. It just goes to show how messed up the world is, when it comes to women and body image, if even someone like Kelsey (who is as lovely as any girl can possibly be) still sometimes doubts her own attractiveness. This proves how overpowering the pressure to be emaciated is, if it can even touch someone like Kelsey, who should be beyond any self-doubt.

I respect Kelsey so much for helping to combat the very forces of size-negativity that plague even her.

Paradoxically, though, I admire her for her humility, which is a very genteel and classy trait. Someone who is truly beautiful doesn't need to shout it or insist on it. It's obvious to everyone around them, and it's a mark of their graciousness and generosity that they allow others to sing their praises -- as Kelsey allowed the interviewer to do. I was very glad to hear that she appreciates the things that people post about her on the forum. It's a privilege to give her the praise that she deserves.

Others have quoted some of the best exchanges in the interview, but here are a few smaller comments that I thought were nice. I liked how she described her childhood home:

“Well, La Verne is very, very old,” she explained, “And it was an orange town. The downtown looks a bit like this. My house was built in 1901, so it kind of has this look to it.”

It seems so right that Kelsey should have grown up in a venerable house with a touch of historical character, and not in a modern, box-like structure. Perhaps those turn-of-the-century surroundings even helped to awaken her aesthetic sense at a young age, for the interview shows that she loves beauty in all of its forms.

And I'm sure that everyone here enjoyed the revelation that she knows about and appreciates Lolita fashion:

“I mean, I think it’s great,” she admired. “You go on these Web sites and you see all these little girls, and they’re super cute, and they put so much time into it…”

I'm not surprised that Kelsey admires the craftsmanship and prettiness of it.

She's even more enchanting than her gorgeous pictures would have led one to believe.
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Old 22nd May 2010   #9
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

One of the things that I loved about this interview was that it embraced a more meaningful interpretation of Walt Disney's vision for his theme park than what one usually encounters. These days, people associate the Disneylands and Disney Worlds with children's characters, but Disney's original idea was something more deeply cultural -- a trip back in time to a bygone, more beautiful era (from the 19th-century, represented by Main Street U.S.A., to the Middle Ages, represented by the medieval castle), and a hearkening back to the more life-affirming values of those past ages.

I liked the reference to Disneyland as "an outpost of the Old World in the New, occupying several acres of American soil like an embassy from the land of myth."

That photo of Sleeping Beauty's Castle is stunning. That's the first time I've ever seen it with the California mountains in the background. For a moment, I actually thought that it was Neuschwanstein amid the Bavarian Alps. The castle's lineage is evident.

With her Old World beauty, her traditionally curvy figure, and her sweet disposition, Kelsey was the ideal model to be profiled in such a setting. The whole experience has a touch of fairy-tale magic about it. She is a treasure.
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Old 31st December 2010   #10
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Default Re: Interview with Kelsey Olson

Originally Posted by HSG
Prepare to meet the prettiest angel of them all.

Click to enlarge

- Click here to read the Kelsey Olson interview

I have read countless marvellous interviews and essays on the forum over this past year, but without question, hands down, my favourite item was this three-part Kelsey Olson profile. Kelsey is my favourite model, so that helps, but I also adore Disney, so to read about this storybook princess being interviewed right underneath the battlements of a fairy-tale castle was utterly perfect. I could picture the whole afternoon in my mind.

The profile explored many rich themes, but I also enjoyed the moments of humour. This was a cute exchange where the interviewer played off Kelsey's remarkable humility:

“What about your all-time favourite picture?” I asked. “If you had to choose one photograph to take with you to the grave…”

“I don’t know. It just depends,” she decided—and then added something that made my ears prick up: “They’re all really pretty. That’s what I think I like so much about modelling—because I love photography, so it’s a nice…”

What was this? Had I just heard Kelsey give her work a compliment, saying that all of her images were “really pretty”?

“I loved hearing that,” I told her. “Hearing you say that all of your picture are really pretty.”

“No, no, no, no!” she jumped in. “I meant…! That’s not what I… That’s not what I meant! I mean, like, the picture…”

“You do know that I’m going to single out that quote when I format the interview, don’t you?”

“No, don’t do that! Don’t do that!” She had to make sure that not even a trace of conceit could be deduced from her words.

“All of my pictures are really pretty…” I spelled out slowly, as if transcribing her statement.

“No, that’s not what I—”

All of them,” I repeated.

“No, I… Oh, my gosh. That’s really horrible. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“But you should,” I exhorted her.

“No, I just like the teamwork of it,” she insisted.

“Yes, it’s all coming together,” I uttered in a mock-Machiavellian voice.

Kelsey chuckled. “Oh, man.” But I could tell that she knew that I was just kidding with her.

I hope 2011 brings with it many, many new campaigns and test from Kelsey (just like that gorgeous swimwear image, for example).
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