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Old 31st October 2010   #1
Join Date: July 2005
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Default ''I Am Beautiful'' by Igigi and Rosie Mercado

As readers of this forum will be aware, the inaugural West Coast incarnation of Full-Figured Fashion week wrapped up just yesterday in Los Angeles. As always, the event was a spirited celebration of plus-size beauty.

Over the next few days we plan to devote a number of posts to the FFFWeek festivities, but we must begin with what was surely the most powerful single moment during the event's runway showcase--the premiere of a short film titled I Am Beautiful, produced by Igigi and starring the Face (and Figure) of Full-Figured Fashion Week, Rosie Mercado.

The video speaks for itself--and it does so very eloquently--but be prepared. This is a raw, intimate portrayal of Rosie, and also a window into the discrimination and oppression that many genuinely full-figured women confront in their daily lives.

It is not comfortable viewing, nor is it meant to be. It is a challenge to the audience, a thrown-down gauntlet, a work of art that will rip viewers out of their comfort zone and dislodge them from their complacency. It is a challenge to everyone who sees it, a stinging "How dare you? imprecation to everyone who has ever expressed or enacted prejudice against full-figured women.

But it doesn't end bleakly. It concludes with Ms. Mercado affirming her extraordinary, imperious beauty. What begins in pain ends in joy--as the finest works of art so often do. In expressing her delight in herself, Rosie invites the viewer to share in this pleasure. Even the most curve-o-phobic and thin-supremacist individuals will instinctively feel a greater attraction to the uplifting emotion with which the video concludes rather than the cruelty that Rosie so bravely exposes at the video's beginning.

This video will change minds. This video will move hearts.

"I am beautiful," Rosie declares. No one could possibly deny it.

Bravo to the model for so starkly exposing her pain and her truth. And limitless praise to Igigi for conceiving and producing this devastating, powerful video. Igigi recognizes that there is much more to "plus-size fashion" than selling attractive clothing. It recognizes that this industry can be a vehicle to combat one of society's most shameful ills--the oppression of full-figured women. Igigi is investing its time, energy, and resources into changing our culture for the better.

If that sounds like an audacious purpose, it is. But the enormity of the challenge is not dissuading Igigi in the least. Rather, it is motivating the company to be even more enterprising, and far-sighted, and ambitious.

All full-figured women benefit from Igigi's vision.


Last edited by HSG : 31st October 2010 at 23:57.
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Old 4th November 2010   #2
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: ''I Am Beautiful'' by Igigi and Rosie Mercado

As noted in the general thread about the runway finale of FFFWeek L.A., the moment that yielded the most enthusiastic applause of the night was the appearance of Rosie Mercado on the catwalk, at the conclusion of the Igigi segment.

Traditionally, in haute-couture runway shows, the final look in the collection is the showstopper, the ultimate design, the richest and most ornate item: the bridal gown. Each haute-couture show that is structured in this manner tells a story--a story of a young ingénue who goes a-progress through life in various vixenish guises (represented by the many different items in the collection), catching men's eyes with her dynamic daytime apparel and ensnaring their hearts with her elegant evening looks, until finally she selects the man whom she will allow to be her lifelong worshipper and accepts his marriage proposal. The couture wedding gown thus represents the conclusion of her romantic pursuits.

Click to enlarge

To have luscious size-28 model Rosie Mercado don the bridal dress at the end of the Igigi show was highly appropriate from an aesthetic point of view, to be sure. It was fitting that the most opulent of models be attired in the most magnificent gown in the collection. But it was also meaningful from a thematic point of view. Rosie's moving I Am Beautiful movie played first, and was immediately followed by the Igigi runway show. Thus, one could see the two appearances by Ms. Mercado--her opening film and her concluding runway walk--as bookends, illustrating the process by which she (or any voluptuous goddess) confronts the size-negativity of life, as exposed in the film, and emerges triumphant in a display of happiness and fulfillment, indicated by the beautiful bridal gown. This dramatized a process of going from the deepest pain, as illustrated in the video, overcoming it, affirming one's beauty, and finding life's true bliss, and the ultimate affirmation of love.

Click to enlarge

Rosie looked resplendent in the wedding gown, embodying the most lavishly indulged of goddesses, a regal monarch used to enjoying the finest things that life has to offer, one who is richly rewarded for her alluring, imperial desires. She walked the runway like an empress, her technique every bit as accomplished as that of the most prestigious supermodels. One felt a sense of awe in her presence. As she walked the catwalk, the applause from the audience was thunderous. No smaller girl could have generated a remotely comparable effect.

Click to enlarge

Here is the complete video of the Igigi runway show. The colours are a bit filtered, which is unfortunate. On the other hand, the music that accompanied the original runway show has been replaced with a more beautiful track, more fitting to the theme of the show.

After the intermission, the I Am Beautiful film was screened for a second time, at which point Rosie walked the runway again--this time in black--and was joined by Igigi designer Yuliya Raquel, who delivered the following impassioned speech:

For this runway show, Igigi seamlessly blended size-advocacy and curvaceous beauty into a stunning visual presentation that challenged the audience's complacency even as it inspired their aesthetic sensibilities. Fashion can achieve cultural transformation. Indeed, such advocacy aids in the promotion of clothing, and vice versa. So long as the models are gorgeous and genuinely full-figured, they can inspire women to feel better about themselves, and to adorn themselves in the latest styles. Igigi recognizes that this is a win-win scenario. May other labels follow suit.

And bravo, once again, to Rosie for her grace, honesty, and extraordinary beauty.

(Click images to enlarge.)

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Old 4th November 2010   #3
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Default Re: ''I Am Beautiful'' by Igigi and Rosie Mercado

The video speaks for itself--and it does so very eloquently--but be prepared. This is a raw, intimate portrayal of Rosie, and also a window into the discrimination and oppression that many genuinely full-figured women confront in their daily lives.

This brought tears to my eyes. How could anyone call this radiantly lovely young woman anything but beautiful?
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