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Old 7th June 2011   #1
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Kelsey Olson: Passionate Red

While the Judgment of Paris does admire the magazines that publish images of full-figured goddesses, the photographers who shoot them, the designers who create clothing for them, and the hair-and-makeup artisans who beautify them, our main enthusiasm is reserved for the models themselves, because after all, without these angels, no images of plus-size beauty could exist, and all of the other creative individuals involved in the plus-size fashion industry would have nothing and no one to adorn.

Furthermore, if a model embodies the timeless ideal to an extraordinary degree, then even her most casual images--yes, even her agency Polaroids or personal snapshots--will be greater expressions of plus-size beauty than all but the most carefully crafted magazine editorials.

Take the case of the fairy-tale princess of plus-size modelling herself, Kelsey Olson (40d-39-44, size 16). Her Miami agency, Dorothy Combs, recently released a number of new images of the model, one of which is this never-before-seen photograph from a celebrated test by Maria Rangel.

This is an utterly breathtaking headshot as only Kelsey can create. Her fair tresses, sky-blue eyes, and round facial features epitomize ideal feminine softness. She appears gentle, even angelic, with a look of innocence sparkling in her doe-like eyes. The viewer longs to protect her and take care of her, sheltering her from the vicissitudes of the world. And yet, for all of her fawn-like vulnerability, she also exhibits the hallmarks of well-fed robustness, evident in the glimpse of her buxom decolletage. Furthermore, the sight of her parted lips, embellished in passionate red, injects an undercurrent of hungry seductiveness in the image, while her golden hair, heavenly though it may be, also displays vixenish volume. She creates the persona of an ingenue who carefully cultivates an irresistibly girlish demeanour in order to ensnare her suitors' hearts, while appetitive passions secretly smoulder within her.

The same acclaimed session with Maria Rangel yielded the following celebrated masterpiece, released several seasons ago, about which Kelsey reminisced in the third part of our interview with the model:

“That’s hot,” Kelsey beamed. “I like that.”

“This was an early lingerie shoot for you, but you look pretty confident there,” I stated.

“Yeah,” she affirmed. “I was still kind of nervous because I had never been that naked around someone.”

A thought occurred to me. “Did it help that it was a female photographer?”

“Yeah. Yeah, and Maria is all about celebrating women. I really liked that,” she acknowledged, allowing herself to express some delightful enthusiasm about her work. “There are some other ones that I have of that, and it was just very Guess — like in the ’90s — so I really enjoyed that. I really liked that style.”
How wonderful that now, at last, Kelsey's admirers have been treated to one of the "other" masterpieces from this shoot, which remains one of the finest tests of Miss Olson's career to date. Kelsey may describe these images as resembling Guess ads, which they certainly do, but they also exhibit a softness and vulnerability that is uniquely her own.

In addition to the new image from Kelsey's Maria Rangel test, Dorothy Combs also recently released a host of new Polaroids of Miss Olson, which are perhaps the most effective polas that we have ever seen.

The first in the series offers a gorgeous figure study of the model, showing off her buxom contours as well as indicating the sensual fullness of her waist. Kelsey's top, in her signature shade of red, lovingly embraces her soft curves, while the fitted jeans define her womanly hips. Her facial expression is so refined that the pola could just as easily have served as a headshot; she appears gentle, yet eager, and very present. The majority of models, minus-size or plus-size, could spend an entire career trying to create an image this beautiful and never succeed, even with the most elaborate hair, makeup, wardrobe, and setting. This is the new high-water mark among modelling Polaroids.

A close-up of the model shows her beaming with delight, fresh faced and full of energy. Her golden hair cascades over her shoulders, while the low-cut top offers a seductive view of her voluptuous décolletage. Observe the various size-positive details which add to Kelsey's loveliness, such as the fleshiness of her arm, and the fact that her clavicle is submerged in soft fullness. Her complexion is flawless.

A second full-length likewise celebrates the opulent curves of Miss Olson's physique, but for this image, she adopts a more consciously alluring demeanour, particularly evident in her steamy gaze, which she achieves with a seductively arched eyebrow and a slight downward tilt of the head, as well as a hungry look in her eyes. The way in which she clasps her hips has an alluring effect, drawing the eye along her womanly proportions and triggering in the viewer a subconscious yearning for tactile engagement.

For a second close-up, Kelsey adopts the most winsomely girlish expression of all, a wide-open smile that evokes the pure joy of a child. Her buxom curves are abundantly on display, yet the open-hearted delight of her expression renders the effect entirely wholesome; for that is precisely the quality that Miss Olson epitomizes better than any other model: wholesome sensuality. The deft hand gesture prompts the viewer to imagine that in a moment, the model might plunge her hand into her golden tresses.

A final full-length shows the model employing an interesting opposition of curves, twisting the upper portion of her body slightly in one direction, and the lower portion of her physique slightly in the other direction, yet still orienting herself forward. The result is a double-helix effect that leads the viewer's eyes along the various contours of her figure. This is a signature example of effective plus-size-model posing, for whereas the decomposing anorexics of the runway jut out their corpse-like limbs in weird, tortured angles, full-figured goddesses like Kelsey best show off their sumptuous proportions when they create sinuous S shapes with their bodies, as Miss Olson does here.

While we greatly admire the abilities of creative photographers who shoot models in ultra-glamorous ways, there is no substitute for the innate beauty and talent of a true goddess. Standing in a simple room with hardwood flooring, a white curtain rigged behind her, Kelsey displays more allure in her mere Polaroids than most models could generate even when gracing the pages of a high-fashion magazine.

And when the beauty of a deity such as Miss Olson is presented with evocative lighting, and when her tresses are feathered and the hair/MU artisans perform their magic, then the results stagger belief, as is the case with Kelsey's photographs by Maria Rangel, shown above, which surpass even the Guess ads that served as their inspiration.

Perhaps this is what has been holding back the plus-size ideal for so long: the awareness, by the purveyors of minus-size emaciation, that on a level playing field, full-figured models would easily surpass the cadaverous waifs in beauty, and that the public would never wish to return to Kate Moss and her ilk once they took in the sight of goddesses such as Kelsey.

Let us hope for even more opportunities for plus-size models in the future. And while we are waiting, let us enthuse about the images that these models do create, because even their most casual snapshots are stunning expressions of timeless beauty.

- Click to view pola at a larger size

HSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2011   #2
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Default Re: Kelsey Olson: Passionate Red

Originally Posted by HSG

What a lovely photo. This is the one that I'd love to view at a larger size. It's almost as body-conscious as a swimwear pic. The cranberry red gives a little colour to Kelsey's complexion (which it wouldn't be able to do if she were darker-skinned; but fortunately, even California, Kelsey has remained relatively fair, which is key to her beauty).

This is what a plus-size model should look like, not a skinny size 10, but a voluptuous, curvaceous, youthful beauty, visibly plus and very shapely, but in a soft, feminine way. Perfection.

If she were wearing a skirt, and if she were shot outdoors, this Polaroid would be as stunning as any professional photo- all thanks to the truly amazing beauty of the model.
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Old 16th June 2011   #3
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Posts: 103
Default Re: Kelsey Olson: Passionate Red

I am haunted by the beauty of this photograph.

I've come back to this thread several times to look at it. Kelsey is beyond breathtaking.
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