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Old 21st September 2008   #1
HSG
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Default Shannon Marie in Seventeen


Yes, you read that subject line correctly. And it's true. This post is not about something that might have been, or could have been, or should have been, in an alternative reality.

It actually happened.

* * *

Seventeen magazine has long earned praise for occasionally featuring attractive (if small) pictures of appealing plus-size models in its pages. And when Whitney Thompson earned a cover and legitimate six-page spread in Seventeen as part of her ANTM prize package, this was heralded as a major step forward.

However, it turns out that everyone's favourite Top Model winner was not the first plus-size model to appear in a bona fide Seventeen fashion layout.

That honour belongs to an even more beautiful full-figured goddess--indeed, to the most gorgeous and admired model there has ever been.

* * *

In January of 1998, less than a year after the debut of Mode magazine, Seventeen ran what was then an absolutely unprecedented editorial: a six-page layout devoted to junior plus-size fashions, showcased by full-figured girls.

And three of those pages featured a teenage model who would soon become known and adored by all fans of timeless beauty: Shannon Marie.

These photos date from near the beginning of Shannon's career, when she was transitioning from straight-size to plus-size modelling, so they show her in her smallest guise. Nevertheless, even at this relatively tiny size, she already possessed every hallmark of Classical femininity.

The layout's title page features Shannon Marie relaxing on a bed, with an idyllic expression on her lovely face. "So dreamy" reads the cut line--and a better caption could not have been chosen for this serene image. Although Shannon's figure is thin, notice that it already displays characteristics of true feminine beauty: softness in the limbs and shoulders, and a hint of fullness at the waist. Her gentle, faraway expression perfectly suits the mood of the picture. The model's recumbent pose is highly appropriate, as plus-size models are most alluring in positions of indolent repose. The attire is ahead of its time: a sensual, fitted, figure-baring camisole, and a pretty, feminine skirt, all predating (and anticipating) Torrid and the "New Femininity" in fashion.

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A closer look (you may click on the image to view it full-size) shows the model wearing multi-hued violet eyeshadow that is both dramatic and fun (so appropriate for Seventeen), and which plays off well against her girlish pink lip colour and golden hair. Those fair tresses drape over her bare shoulders heavily, thanks to the enticing "wet look" hairstyle.

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The image offers plenty of narrative suggestions: e.g., a fair maiden has just washed her hair and dressed and made herself up, ready to go out; and while she waits for her suitor, she daydreams pleasantly about . . . well, one can only guess.

But it is the breathtaking second page in the layout, shown below, that displays the full measure of Shannon Marie's beauty. Surely the photographer who took this picture must have gazed upon her in sheer awe, dazzled by the angelic vision that he viewed before him. "Just--Just stand there," he may have said, mesmerized by those haunting yellow-green eyes--the one eye-colour that is even lovelier than fair blue.

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Her figure is thin, but soft, suggesting the goddesslike proportions that it would soon possess. The blue camisole--again, very progressive for plus-sizes in 1998--sets off her dazzling fair skin, the thin straps and armband adding a touch of feminine delicacy to the outfit. It is almost impossible to believe that such beauty could exist in human form.

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A close-up shows the subtlest of expressions--a half-smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, suggesting a touch of the model's wit and whimsy. Every element of her facial features epitomizes the timeless ideal--the roundness of the face, the wide mouth, the high cheekbones, the feminine chin, and again, those hypnotic eyes. Like history's storied beauties, she only needs to stand there and exist to capture every viewer's heart.

Click to enlarge

The third page in the layout is quite different, and is another unique presentation of Shannon Marie's talent. If the above two images were breathtaking in their calm and stillness, this one is a study in sinuous motion. So far, fans have only had one video of Shannon Marie's 2000 appearance on The Roseanne Show to gauge the effectiveness of her movements as a model. This page further demonstrates her balletic grace.

Click to enlarge

Again, although her figure is very thin, there are suggestions of the Classical curves that she would soon possess--a rounded midriff and shapely legs. Her tresses flow freely around her as she moves, matching the twirling of her skirt. Shannon's movements are a study in modelling technique, as her dance-like motions constitute the best possible way to show off the eye-catching appeal of a flared skirt.

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Here is one picture in isolation:

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And another:

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One of the mythic attributes of Aphrodite/Venus, the Classical goddess of beauty, was a love of dance, so it stands to reason that Shannon Marie, as the inheritor of the deity's title of "fairest of them all," would possess a similar affinity for movement. It served her very well in her modelling career.

* * *

Shannon Marie is that rarest of beauties who is gorgeous in every incarnation. When she was a straight-size model, she was the prettiest of the waifs. During her in-between stage, seen in the above pages, she was the loveliest girl in that category. And of course, when she blossomed into a true plus-size model, she became the loveliest goddess to whom Providence has ever given birth.

The photography in this editorial is first-rate, and the clothing is truly lovely. Fashionable even by today's standards, in 1998 the apparel shown here was far ahead of its time. Indeed, these may be the most attractive fashions that Shannon Marie was ever given to model--and one only wishes that she had showcased similar attire later in her career, when she was at the very peak of her beauty.

* * *

We have taken this opportunity to compose a cover page for Shannon Marie, of the kind that we have previously created for other plus-size models. It provides an easily-accessible menu of her links on this site, including the three galleries--which we soon hope to update with the above scans.

Discovering new images from Shannon Marie's career is like finding the Hope Diamond, and we are pleased to be able to share this hitherto-unknown editorial with her countless fans.

- Shannon Marie: Fairest of Them All...


Last edited by HSG : 22nd September 2008 at 17:48.
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Old 21st September 2008   #2
M. Lopez
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

She really is incredibly beautiful - like a dream-vision, truly. I definitely prefer the images from later in her career, when she was a true plus-size model (and even more goreous), but even here, Shannon's loveliness is undeniable.

Belated kudos to Seventeen magazine for this extraordinary editorial, and for choosing the best model they could have possibly selected. When they cast Shannon, they must have known that here was one model who would show anyone how beautiful plus-size girls can be.

But what a shame that it was such a singular feature, and that today, a decade later, it's still practically unheard-of to see a full-figure layout in Seventeen, or in other teen magazines. They should have made a plus-size layout a monthly feature. But Seventeen's loss was MODE's win, where Shannon Marie's beauty became famous.
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Old 22nd September 2008   #3
Emily
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

Gorgeous pictures which do Seventeen much credit. I love the soft ambience of the layout. They chose the ideal aesthetic for a plus-size layout -- and of course, the ideal model.

How amazing to learn that Shannon Marie was in Seventeen in 1998. She's a whole generation younger than her MODE peers, and many of them are still in the industry today. It would be thrilling to Shannon return to modelling.

But either way, it's a pleasure to see new images from her career. The only thing even more exciting would be finding new images from a few years later, when she blossomed into the most beautiful model ever.
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Old 22nd September 2008   #4
Chad
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

I have to echo what another reader posted in a different thread, when Shannon Marie's name came up: She is simply in a different class of attractiveness from any other plus-size model, and while this site celebrates numerous full-figured beauties, she is in a category all her own. No other model can touch her, and I don't know if anyone ever will.

Even when she was so thin, she was already supremely gorgeous. But as she became curvier, she miraculously became even lovelier. Her beauty is haunting, like a subconscious archetype, a princess out of a fairy-tale, or a heroine of romance.

There would be no event more significant in the plus-size fashion world than if Shannon were to return to modelling. These days, many more full-figured women think of themselves in the manner that she represents: absolutely, unreservedly gorgeous. She was ahead of her time, and today, would be many women's ideal representative. But whether she comes back or not, her legacy in unequalled.
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Old 23rd September 2008   #5
Graham
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

The only pity about this Seventeen editorial is that in 1998 (as was the case with the Whitney layout in 2008) the magazine selected a model on the smallest end of plus, instead of a genuinely full-figured girl. Of course, Shannon Marie's beauty transcends any categorization - but if the magazine had featured her in her 2001 form, when she was more curvaceous, the pictures, already gorgeous, would have been even more breathtaking.

No matter what, though, she's spellbinding in this layout. I used the "Pretty Cool" photo as my wallpaper, and co-workers (both genders) kept asking me all day, "Wow, who is that?" Shannon Marie casts a spell on anyone who sees her.

By the way, I think she had an affinity for the subtle, wry smile that's visible in the "Pretty Cool" page. Who can forget this Fashion Bug ad from MODE? (which was posted on the forum last year):



Again, there's that poochy half-smile, which is adorable.

And with all due respect to a certain lady in U.S. politics today, no one has ever made the beehive hairstyle look as gorgeous as Shannon did.
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Old 24th September 2008   #6
Kaitlynn
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSG
The third page in the layout ... further demonstrates her balletic grace ... Shannon's movements are a study in modelling technique, as her dance-like motions constitute the best possible way to show off the eye-catching appeal of a flared skirt.

This is so true. Shannon Marie is so beautiful that it's easy to get hypnotized by her appearance, and forget just how talented she is as a model, how extraordinarily accomplished she is in terms of pure technique.

I remember in the "Modelling with Shannon Marie" article on this site (http://www.judgmentofparis.com/sh/modelling.htm), another girl who worked with her commented on how

Quote:
She was very fluid and natural in her movements and the photographer loved working with her. In fact everyone on set did.

You can see that in the movement pictures in this editorial- her innate grace, and comfort with her body.

You know, there are certain elements of Shannon Marie's look in several other popular models whom we all praise on this site (e.g., Valerie, Charlotte Coyle, Kelsey Olson, Marritt, Chloe Agnew), but really, Shannon is sui generis, in a class of her own. There is no substitute for the real thing
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Old 28th September 2008   #7
MelanieW
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad
There would be no event more significant in the plus-size fashion world than if Shannon were to return to modelling. These days, many more full-figured women think of themselves in the manner that she represents: absolutely, unreservedly gorgeous. She was ahead of her time, and today, would be many women's ideal representative.

I agree with both points. Nothing could be more exciting than seeing Shannon Marie come back. And its true that although when she began modelling, many curvy girls were still too self-conscious to think of themselves as goddesses, today there is an entire generation of curvy women - her generation - which has grown up to think of themselves as ultra-gorgeous, and could see in Shannon Marie an idealized version of themselves. She would be the perfect model for today.

Comparing these Seventeen scans to the Fashion Bug ad below, it boggles the mind how much more beautiful she became - and yet she was already the lovelist of models in those Seventeen pages. But how is that possible? How could perfection surpass itself and become more perfect? Here is an analogy: the concept in mathematics of "degrees of infinity."

Although ininity seems to be the ultimate number, if you count infinity in denser incremedits - say, counting not just 1, 2, 3, etc., but 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. - then that count of infinity is even greater. One infinity is greater than another.

Similarly, by becoming more curvaceous, Shannon Marie improved on perfection.

I dont think any model will ever rival her title of "fairest of all".
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Old 21st October 2008   #8
renata
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

I never saw MODE when it was originally in print, but I became aware of Shannon Marie (and so many other plus-size model) from this site, and I have to say that of all of them, Shannon really is the prettiest. No comparison. I agree that she became even more beautiful when she was fuller-figured, but even in these pictues she was already the most gorgeous. There is just something about her that no other plus-size model has ever had, and it must be something that comes from within.

It's isn't just that she has the perfect looks. She does, of course, but it's more than that. When you see her, it really feels like you're looking at an angel, an angel in human form. She's soft, rounded, but also...luminous. Her pictures are soothing. It's something transcendental, like the effect of a great work of art.
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Old 30th December 2008   #9
Hannah
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Default Re: Shannon Marie in Seventeen

Allow me to add my name to the list of people who believe that Shannon was the most beautiful of all models. Even though I much prefer her when she wa fuller-figured, she was already an angel in this editorial. I love the gentle stillness of the "pretty cool" picture. It creates a wonderful mood. You actually feel calmer, just by looking at that photo.

However, this is my first time seeing the Fashion Bug ad in this thread, and wow. Utterly breathtaking. One of the most gorgeous pictures I've ever seen on this forum. That is the epitome of true beauty. I don't think any model could ever be lovelier than Shannon is in that ad.
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