The "burlap-sack test"

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Posted by HSG on August 04, 2004 at 03:35:12:

In Reply to: Valerie at Fashion Bug posted by Chad on August 03, 2004 at 20:18:00:

A reader once made an interesting comment about the Fashion Bug ad featuring Shannon Marie that appears in the first post in this thread. She stated that while that image was surely one of the greatest examples of plus-size beauty she had ever seen, it was only extraordinary because of the model. The dress itself was somewhat formless, she pointed out, and apart from being sleeveless, had little to recommend it. "But Shannon Marie is so lovely" she went on to say, "that she could even model a burlap sack, and make it look terrific!"

This "burlap-sack test" is especially relevant for plus-size models because, let's face it--even today, unless a girl is modelling for Torrid, the chances are that she will often end up showcasing apparel that is somewhat on the dowdy side. And that is when her beauty and her talent are really put to the test, because in such a circumstance, if an image is to succeed, it will depend entirely on her--on her aesthetic qualities, and on her modelling technique (along with whatever assistance the photographer and his creative team can provide).

This Fashion Bug cover more than proves Valerie's ability to pass the "burlap-sack test" with flying colours--indeed, with an A+. As a type of clothing, ponchos come alarmingly close to being burlap sacks. But even clad in a poncho, Valerie still manages to create a great image. Not only does she look as pretty as ever, but, as Chad rightly points out, that really is a textbook-perfect pout. "You know you can't possibly take your eyes off me," the expression seems to say--and who can argue?

As for Fashion Bug, their revised Web site is still a bit hard on the eyes, but the company has always been so unerringly brilliant in its casting, and so progressive in its photography, that it is impossible to say a word against them. FB has never allowed itself to be relegated to secondary status in the Charming Shoppes family, but rather, still leads the way in size-positive imagery.

Valerie smouldering on the Fashion Bug cover, Fall 2004:

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