|23rd August 2006||#1|
Join Date: July 2005
Barbara Brickner videos
Over the years, many top plus-size models have lectured publicly about body image, usually in educational settings and at size-acceptance venues.
Emme originated the tradition, and each year, during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, she still gives public presentations on size-related topics. Kate Dillon followed in her footsteps, and even spoke at Harvard University on one occasion. Natalie Laughlin and Gabrielle Taber also adopted the practice, and most recently--as noted on this forum--Crystal Renn has made herself available for body-image seminars.
Wonderful as these efforts have been, the models' appearances were ephemeral, one-time-only events. None of their speeches were ever transcribed for the general public, so the only direct beneficiaries were the limited number of people who attended the talks themselves.
This past May, during "Respect Your Body Week" at Seattle Pacific University, Barbara Brickner delivered a lecture about positive body image, and subsequently participated in a panel discussion on the topic. In a moment of singular inspiration, however, someone must have advised the model's team how wonderful it would be if Mrs. Brickner's discussions could be captured on video. Now, lo and behold, two .flv clips of Barbara's SPU appearances have been posted on the model's Web site (at the links provided below), and are available for public viewing.
The videos run 5'45 and 4'30, respectively. The first comprises Mrs. Brickner's own talk, and the second excerpts her comments from the panel discussion.
I was so ticked off that I would show him that if he wanted "large," I would give him "large." I promptly went to McDonald's, got a super-size fries . . . a chocolate shake, and . . .
(The sound that you just heard was a collective sigh of adoration from every single Barbara Brickner fan in the world.)
Barbara also tells of her resistence to industry pressures to diminish her size (and therefore, her beauty). As she explains,
I have to stay true to who I am, or I will go nuts. I have had German clients call my agency and say, "You know, Barbara, next shoot, she needs to be a size 12." (I'm typically between a 14 and 16.) "And she needs to be a size 12." And then, the next client calls up and says, "I really need Barbara to be a full 16." I cannot do that. I cannot do that to my body. I have to be who I am, where I'm comfortable, and that's just the way it is.
One suspects that Barbara's greatest campaigns, the ones that have generated the most ardent enthusiasm, and electrified the public, were shot while she was at the higher end of "between a 14 and 16." And fans will eagerly second whichever brilliant client asked her to become a "full 16." But Mrs. Brickner's determination not to diminish her perfect Classical proportions has earned her the undying loyalty of aficionados of timeless beauty the world over, and made her the most popular plus-size model of all time.
Barbara expresses no false modesty about the significance of her craft, and about her own particular importance to the aesthetic restoration. She enthuses that
Every single job that I have been on has been a celebration of who I am, as a woman.
Truer words were never spoken. There is no such thing as an "ordinary" Barbara Brickner shoot. Her every campaign has been unique and original, and has contributed significantly to society's reawakening appreciation of Classical beauty.
Mrs. Brickner wisely advocates taking ownership of one's own life choices, and realizing our common potential to influence the people around us:
I'm not going to take responsibility for the whole industry. I cannot do that, personally. . . I'm raising a daughter in this world, in this society, but I do, as a mom, have to take responsibility for helping her shape her personal ideals. . . . What I'm really saying is that we do have to take personal responsibility for ourselves and our families.
As Barbara explains, society may indoctrinate girls into enduring diet-starvation and exercise-torture, but they each have the power to reject this brainwashing. Moreover, mothers have a sacred duty to protect their daughters from this (or any) harmful ideology, and to bring them up with an alternative set of values, entirely different from those of the mass media.
In the most reflective segment of the two clips, Mrs. Brickner quotes Psalm 139:13:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
and offers a compelling interpretation of the passage:
What I love about this psalm is that we were created in God's image. We are exactly the way that He wanted us to be. So when I think about that in my life, had I starved myself to get down to a size six or eight . . . I may not have had the life experiences that I've had. I may not have had the opportunities to travel around the world, to see the things that I've seen, to make a positive, healthy difference in our society.
Barbara expresses, in metaphysical terms, one of the central tenets of size celebration: that being full-figured is a natural feminine state, and that attempts to fight one's curvaceous tendencies confound the will of nature (or, if one prefers, of God). No wonder efforts to diminish the body are such a painful ordeal for women, while figure-enhancement is, by contrast, an enjoyable experience. The body seeks to reach its own most comfortable size, a predisposition which--depending on one's own philosophy--one can attribute to genetics, or to the divine will.
And speaking of the visual presentation, we would be remiss not to praise Mrs. Brickner's styling, which was obviously carefully considered. The denim was undoubtedly chosen to help students relate to Barbara, while the jacket adds a touch of professionalism that is appropriate in the educational context. The ultra-feminine, body-conscious top underneath, however, reveals Barbara as a living goddess. It emphatically presents her as "the model," and its organic pattern and feminine cut, with a glimpse of decolletage, identifies her as a personification of timeless beauty. In the video, fans will also notice that she wears two decorative necklaces--one around the neck, another somewhat longer. And the crowning touch, the hairstyle, is one of the most gorgeous that she has ever worn, a romantic arrangement of cascading tresses that augments her beauty immeasurably.
If the public regularly viewed images of gorgeous plus-size models such as this, Classical ideals of femininity would quickly be restored.
Last edited by HSG : 2nd January 2011 at 15:28. Reason: Links updated
|24th August 2006||#2|
Join Date: August 2005
Re: Barbara Brickner videos
I think it's incredibly admirable of Barbara to reject industry pressure to starve herself into a faux-plus size. This is a major problem in the industry, and one that just won't go away - the efforts to neutralize the subversive effects of full-figured models by diminishing their size.
Barbara's principled stance in this respect makes her talks so much more meaningful. She doesn't just pay lip service to body love - she actually lives it. If more models had the courage of their convictions, the way Barbara does, and if the smaller plus-size models became more genuinely curvaceous, the industry would be far more effective at changing society's ideals of beauty.
I found her interpretation of the Biblical passage quite heartfelt. And I'm glad that she added a feminine touch to her wardrobe and hairstyle. Even students who might have been resistant to her words alone must have been persuaded to accept her message by her sheer physical beauty.
On that note, there are two new images at Nordstrom worth sharing. The first shows Barbara modelling an empire dress. I love the cut around the bust, which is both sexy and elegant, especially with that ornamental detail. I'm not as fond of the lower area, which seems a little too flat, and surely could have been made more romantic. The expressions is pure Barbara magic.
This "Shirred Two Layer Dress" is a little more decorative, and the description plays up the feminine touches: "Ruched, beaded bodice plunges to a V-neck before softly cascading to a fluttery hem". Nordstrom helpfully offers a reverse view (which should be mandatory for every dress image):
It's also worth viewing a little smaller, to see the gorgeous sihouette that it makes on the model's figure. Those romantic details are so curve-friendly.
|25th August 2006||#3|
Join Date: August 2005
Re: Barbara Brickner videos
This was WONDERFUL to see. Barbara has a lot of insight into both the straight-size and plus-size industries. What I am so disappointed to hear is that even in plus-size modeling, she is asked to change her size to suit the whim of the employer, to whittle herself down to a 12. Will somebody please explain to me why an employer (presumably a PLUS-SIZE company!) would not, instead, simply procure an outfit in Barbara's size? Doesn't that seem like a win-win for everybody? Bodies are not supposed to be diminished to fulfill business needs. This industry is shameful in so many ways. An entire paradigm shift is needed.
I am so glad Barbara stands firm. Her daughter, and countless others (including my precious 8 year old), will benefit!
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