Fairest of the fair

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Posted by HSG on January 25, 2005 at 02:11:47:

Whatever else may be true, Valerie Lefkowitz still possesses the loveliest facial features of any plus-size model whose career is currently active.

This new photo is among the model's best. Her headshots from last spring may have been even more arresting in terms of overall beauty, because they exhibited her cascading blonde tresses tumbling over her bare shoulders. However, this image, which is blissfully free of any distorting colour filtering, and shows her bathed in gentle white light, makes the her immaculate natural colouring even more apparent.

The combination of delicate and flawless fair skin, the whisper of pink in the cheeks (which could well be a natural blush), those sapphire blue eyes, and most importantly, the exquisite roundness of the model's facial structure, combine to make this a stellar example of timeless beauty alive in the present day.

Compare this image with the painting by Emile Vernon, titled Reverie, which Emily recently posted. The faces of the two models are remarkably similar, although the features of Vernon's sitter are just a tad fuller and richer. Were she alive a century ago, Valerie could well have modelled for that painting. Alternatively, if Vernon's sitter were alive today, and had her photograph taken, the results would resemble Valerie's new headshot.

Similarly, although no colour photographs of Lillian Russell have survived, contemporary illustrations (as well as first-person accounts) inform us that this living goddess possessed the same "pink and flaxen" colouring that Valerie exhibits. The facial structures of both goddesses are also similar, both exhibiting the heartbreakingly gorgeous roundness that has represented the ideal of feminine comeliness throughout the ages--although, like Vernon's model, Lillian's features were more replete.

As the destructive properties of suntanning become better known, the timeless ideal of fairness is revealed as both a lovelier and a healthier ideal of beauty than our current standard of incinerated skin--just as the voluptuous ideal is a healthier and more natural ideal than the modern vogue for starvation.

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