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Old 26th August 2006   #1
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Default Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

The other day, our friend and occasional forum contributor Kirsten made a discovery that is the plus-size-beauty equivalent of unearthing the Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the Lost Ark, and El Dorado, all rolled into one.

She found an online video of Charlotte Coyle's recent Channel 4 documentary . . . complete.

That's right: this is the entire show, freely available online. Clicking the link at the foot of this post opens a page with an embedded video (172 Mb) that plays the full 48 min. of Miss Coyle's marvellous program.

Fans worldwide will now be able to join the 2.3 million viewers who tuned in to watch Charlotte's beauty contest in prime time, on British television.

We have decided, for the moment, not to post excerpts from the show, but instead to offer it in its entirety, just as it was broadcast on British TV. Despite certain small details in the program that make one wince (like the title), it has real artistic integrity. It tells a compelling and surprisingly moving story, which deserves to be seen from start to finish. It is heartwarming, bittersweet, provocative, and remarkably entertaining.

Most viewers will tune in expressly because the video offers them a priceless opportunity to see Charlotte Coyle in living motion. They will not be disappointed. This is, in every way, Charlotte's story (and a captivating story it is), with glimpses of the model in many different outfits and contexts, from ordinary life situations,

to fashion-shoot glamour:

Some moments in the show are breathtaking visual documents of timeless beauty, such as the scene below, in which a stylist takes Charlotte's magnificent golden tresses in two massive handfulls, while she is dressing her hair. It evokes the image of a fairy-tale princess from a bygone era, being primped and preened by one of her handmaidens. And no one deserves such attention more than Miss Coyle.

The image below, from the contest itself, shows the model in an extremely seductive setting, and could well have been a double-page layout in a fashion magazine . . .

Also, watch for a moment earlier in the program, when Charlotte encourages a passerby to attend her contest, and the starstruck fellow asks, "Will it be hot? Will it be hot like you?"

But a surprising thing happens as one watches the video. One actually starts to get involved in the story itself. One profoundly empathizes with Miss Coyle's struggle to bring her extraordinary vision to life.

And although some of the show's contestants might seem like curious choices, their stories, too, begin to resonate. Don't be surprised if, by the end, you find yourself completely emotionally invested in the program, and grieving or cheering right along with the hopefuls.

Although models sometimes claim that "beauty comes from within," we tend to be skeptical of this notion, because the public generally sees a model's physical beauty, not her character. But in this case, every viewer of the show gets a real sense of Miss Coyle's personality. And amazing as this may seem, her inner beauty surpasses even her breathtaking physical loveliness.

Charlotte allows herself to be completely vulnerable on camera, and at times, reveals a fragility that is sure to bring out the protective impulse in every male viewer. But she also has a remarkable inner resolve. In several scenes, you may find yourself thinking, "I probably would have given up at this point." Your can't help but root for her to achieve her dreams--for they are glorious dreams indeed.

And for those of you who may be thinking that the show sounds rather serious, it also features many moments that are lighthearted and genuinely funny. Charlotte has a keen wit, and a great sense of humour, which serves her well in the moments of sheer absurdity that inevitably arise when one undertakes a project as complex as this.

It really is an extraordinary story, compulsively watchable. The narrative moves at a brisk clip--so brisk, that one wishes the program had been longer. (Apparently, a great deal of exciting footage never made it into the final cut, including more about Charlotte's modelling achievements, which one dearly wishes would have been included.)

But we don't wish to discuss the particulars of the program before everyone has had a chance to view it.

We will, however, mention a significant size-acceptance conflict that the program dramatizes. On two occasions in the show, Charlotte is spoken to in an upsetting and disrespectful manner--once by an agent, and once by an assistant.

Disturbing as these moments are, they perfectly encapsulate the struggle that size celebration faces today.

On the one hand, certain parties seek to diminish full-figured models in size, until they become culturally irrelevant. (This is the faux-plus approach to modelling, which is prevalent in Britain.) On the other hand, some individuals believe in size alone, and fail to realize the importance of beauty in the equation, "plus-size beauty."

Charlotte herself represents the perfect union of both, as a model who is genuinely curvaceous, and truly gorgeous. And if anything can challenge the media standard of female appearance, it is this: the Classical ideal that she personally embodies and represents.

Throughout the video, Charlotte expresses her hope that this contest will help change societal norms, and considering the incredibly high viewership that the program attracted, as well as the avid responses that her own astonishing beauty evoked in the media after the show aired, it is safe to say that she realized her dreams--and then some. Miss Coyle has singlehandedly achieved in Britain what it took Emme, Kate Dillon, and Mode to accomplish in the U.S.--and perhaps much more.

And just think--the sun is merely dawning on her career, and her potential to achieve further successes is simply limitless.

(By the way, with all due respect to the show's celebrity judges, we must affirm that would have picked a different winner in the actual competition.)

And now, without further ado, here is Charlotte Coyle's beauty contest--the most exciting sustained visual presentation of timeless beauty ever produced.

- Click here to watch the complete video

(The video does not launch automatically, so you will need to press the "play" button at the bottom-left of the screen to begin viewing.)

Last edited by HSG : 27th August 2006 at 02:08.
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Old 27th August 2006   #2
M. Lopez
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

Originally Posted by HSG
a great deal of exciting footage never made it into the final cut, including more about Charlotte's modelling achievements, which one dearly wishes would have been included

I have to agree. I loved the show - in fact, I'm amazed at just how much I enjoyed it, as a whole - but the real high points were when Charlotte got a chance to show off her modelling prowess, e.g. at the beginning of the show, while she's doing a photo shoot, or during her training session, when she shows her girls how to do those trademark fashion-model "big smiles". There really is a trick to it, you have to have a certain knack, a special talent to do it right. Charlotte does it brilliantly. Even when she first shows off the corset to the girls, she does a little turn and strikes a perfect pose. Pure magic.

I became so angry when her agent spoke to her like that! Maybe it was because of the fairy-tale princess comparison, but I couldn't help but think of the agent as a wicked stepmother, trying to diminish the princess's beauty.

And in all sincerity, how could anyone be so misguided? Here, the British plus-size fashion industry is given this amazing gift, this amazing opportunity, in the form of Charlotte, who is even more beautiful than Sophie Dahl - and they don't know what to do with her, because they're stymied by their own absurd standards. Thank goodness Charlotte didn't allow her own potential to be squandered, but followed through on a dream of her own.

It's a great video, and quite a story. (I'd write more, but I don't want to give anything away, for the people who haven't watched it yet.) Charlotte is truly remarkable and inspiring, both inside and out.
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Old 27th August 2006   #3
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

I agree about the sincerity that others have attribtued to Charlotte. When she says at the beginning of the program, "I tortured myself for too long. Years." you can tell it comes from a place of deep conviction. I remember the profile of her that was published in The Mirror last year described just how much pain she felt when she was younger, about being curvaceous. It's a triumphant end to a long journey for Charlotte, to have the confidence she does today. And it really aids her in the show, when she has to help some of her contestants work through their insecurities. "Inspirational" is right!

I found myself totally wrapped up in the story as well. It shows what a gutsy thing Charlotte actually did. I mean, put yourself in her shoes: where would you even begin trying to organize something like this? I wouldn't have a clue. That she pulled it all together is simply amazing.

I was especially moved by the Portsmouth episode. The company president asks, "What's going to make people come to it?" and after suffering some knocks, Charlotte says, with quiet conviction, "It's my show. They'll come." And later, after she leaves, she adds, "If you don't believe me, I believe me, and I can do it. I can do it and I will do it, there's no doubting that" There's no false bravura here, just an admirable level of determination and drive. I say, with all my heart, "BRAVO" to her for making this happen.
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Old 27th August 2006   #4
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

I remember when Charlotte's Torrid covers first started coming out, causing an absolute sensation. It was immediately obvious that she was one of the most gorgeous women in the world. But I wondered at the time - could her beauty be a trick of photography? Could anyone really be that stunning? Well, this show filmed her not only in high-fashion glitz, but in some decidedly unglamorous moments, and it turns out that she's just as much of a goddess with no makeup and in a plain sweater as she is dressed to the nines. "Once-in-a-lifetime beauty" is right.

Her sense of humour is fantastic. I laughed out loud when she was describing the dance routine that she hoped to include in her contest, and pointed out that "having the right music and the right styling will give it more of an effect than girls falling on top of each another, cause that is what's going to happen!" Or when things were falling apart, just before the doors opened to the Beauty Reborn producution, and she avowed, "I'm gonna throw up".

By the way, in answer to the company president's question, "I'm just wondering how much of Joe Public is interested in plus-size people?" well, we now know the answer, don't we? 2.3 million viewers' worth, that's how much. Charlotte was right to say: "It's my show. They'll come." And so they did.

(And that's not even counting those who will be watching it online, or in other countries.)

I hope the British fashion industry now finally realizes what a treasure they have before them.
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Old 28th August 2006   #5
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Default Recognizing talent

Originally Posted by M. Lopez
Maybe it was because of the fairy-tale princess comparison, but I couldn't help but think of the agent as a wicked stepmother, trying to diminish the princess's beauty.

Believe it or not, I had the same idea. I also thought of that scene in the movie Amadeus, when Mozart writes one of his great operas, and the Emperor tells him that he doesnt like it because there are "too many notes"! One of the greatest composers of all time gives the court a masterpiece, and the Emperor cant even appreciate it, and wants him to "dumb it down". Thats reminds me so much of Charlottes situation. Here she is, an amazingly gifted model, beautiful beyond belief, and actually curvy - which is exactly what everybody keeps hoping for in plussize models. And the industry doesnt even realize what a talent they have in her, what masterpieces she could be creating. They want to diminish her, when she is perfect just the way she is. "Too many inches", like "too many notes". Its maddening.

And this comes on the heels of what Barbara said in her videos - that some clients have pressured her to diminish in size, but she refused (thank goodness). I dont think its a coincidence that the very best and most popular models refuse to dwindle down to faux-plus standards - standards that the public deplores.

Thank goodness Charlotte found a way to overcome the limitations of the industry. Maybe it was even a blessing in disguise, as her program has surely touched many more people that any fashion campaign ever could. But I hope some British clients see the light and use her in the future. She could electrify the European plus industry.
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Old 31st August 2006   #6
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

I've watched the program twice now, with growing pleasure. I think the key to the show's success, and to the unexpectedly positive reaction that much of the media has had towards it, is Charlotte herself -- not only her beauty (although that is indisputable), but also her captivating personality.

For want of a better way of putting it, Charlotte is feminine, in the very best sense. She is a lady. She has class. Even in situations that are quite trying, she still maintains her poise and dignity (not to mention her wit).

What I also like about Charlotte is that she isn't "loud" or shrill, but meaningful. She has a soft touch. She has depth rather than decibels. She is motivated by the deepest convictions, but isn't in-your-face about it. Rather, she is persuasive and determined. She leads when she must, but does so with grace and understanding and compassion. Most important of all, she is not motivated by resentment, but by a genuine belief in true beauty.

In fact, I think this show is a comment on the role of beauty itself, in our society. If we extend the goddess analogy that is frequently invoked on this forum, Charlotte does fulfill the role that Venus played for Classical culture, by bringing beauty to the modern world, by restoring true beauty to a culture that has been deprived of it, or has been taught not to see it. She employs the timeless beauty with which she has been blessed to help shape our culture for the better.

One of the contestants in the show talks about how "nice" she felt during the contest, and how sad she is that it's over, that "she wishes she could feel nice like that all the time." I know exactly what she means -- that she wishes she lived in a world in which true, feminine beauty were recognized and celebrated (as it was during this contest), rather than maligned or suppressed (as it is in modern society). We should all feel profoundly grateful that Charlotte has significantly helped to bring that ideal a step closer to reality -- a world in which plus-size beauty is appreciated, and full-figured women can "feel nice . . . all the time."
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Old 1st September 2006   #7
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

Originally Posted by HSG
(By the way, with all due respect to the show's celebrity judges, we must affirm that would have picked a different winner in the actual competition.)

After we posted the above comment, quite a few readers wrote to us, asking whom we would have chosen as the contest winner.

We should preface these remarks by stating that the judges of Beauty Reborn were privy to information about the participants of which none of us is aware, and therefore, it is difficult to second-guess their decision. But based purely on beauty, one of the contestants decidedly stands out from the rest. She is a curvy angel with long blonde hair and soft, rounded facial features, who regrettably has only one line in the show.

She wears pale blue in most of her scenes, such as in the following stills, from the show's "training weekend":

Later, she states that "Twelve began, and twelve should finish," in the discussion about whether one of the candidates should be allowed to participate in the final event, despite certain extenuating circumstances.

In the contest proper, dressed in a baby-blue outfit, she seems to glow with her own celestial light:

(Watch for her sinuous dance movements, when the camera pans across the row of contestants on stage.)

This is yet another reason why it would have been wonderful if the program had been broadcast as a full, multi-part series, instead of compressed into one episode. Viewers would have had time to pick a favourite, and to mentally cheer them on. And how delightful it would have been to have witnessed more of Miss Coyle's efforts to bring her vision to life--particularly her interaction with representatives of the British fashion industry.

Nevertheless, the fact that the program was made at all, and broadcast in prime time, is little short of a miracle. Let us hope that it finally launches Charlotte on the stellar career that she deserves--a career that could well and truly bring about a rebirth of timeless beauty.

- Our humble tribute . . .

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Old 2nd September 2006   #8
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

I am in complete agreement with everyone who feels that the wrong winner was chosen by the judges. I'm sure that she is an amazing women but she was just not the most beautiful contestant.

I actually attended the show in May which was so much more exciting than the footage what we got to see on the programme.

Each girl had two changes of clothes (one smart casual round and of course the corset round) and had to give a two minute speech on why they think they deserved to win. There was also an amazing afterparty once the contest had finished.

All of the girls were absolutely amazing - confident, bubbly and eloquent. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the final edit which seemed to show many of the girls 'depressed' about their image. I think this would have much more to do with the programme makers than the girls themselves, who in real life were simply amazing.

On the night I had a clear favourite. Charlotte introduced her as Tracy. She had black wavy hair and the smile of an absolute goddess. To my disappointment she only had one line in the whole programme, something about never having looked in a Kays Catalogue.

Lastly, little was made of how successful Charlotte's performance was on the night. She was an amazing hostess, who was witty and confident throughout the show and I personally would never have believed that she had never presented before.

Roll on Beauty Reborn 2!!!!
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Old 2nd September 2006   #9
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

I definitely agree that this blonde contestant was the prettiest (although nobody can compare to Charlotte herself). What she said was also really sweet, coming to the defense of the pregnant lady like that. If she had appeared on TV with Charlotte to promote the show, I think even more people would have been convinced by its message, that you can be full-figured and very beautiful.

I wish more of the actual Beauty Reborn show had been included in the program. It sounds like it was wonderful. This should have been a whole TV series. But Iím glad that they filmed it and showed it at all. Whoever made it should bring it out as a DVD, with lots of extra scenes.
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Old 4th September 2006   #10
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Default Re: Charlotte Coyle's show (COMPLETE video!)

Loved the show! Loved Charlotte! She's adorable and sexy!
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