BIG Thoughts Midweek: Vogue Italia…more is more.


 …breasts and the illusion of pornography.

These Vogue Italia images have been all the rage the past few weeks. Conversation has bubbled up across the web discussing them. Comments range from criticism for their ‘grotesquely’ sexual nature, to concerns of exploitation and ‘pornography’. I can’t help but wonder, do breasts = pornography? I didn’t think so, but this certainly got me thinking…

“On the June issue of Italian Vogue, you’ll see something we don’t often see on fashion magazine covers: flesh. Breasts spill out of bras, hips bulge out of panties, and the angular bony figures we are so used to seeing are replaced with the softness of women who have unapologetically voluptuous bodies.”    From the New Yorker

Unapologetically? And here I’ve spent decades convincing myself I didn’t need to apologize for not being the boyish shape most designer’s design for. I look at the image above, and don’t really see clothes, but I’m not sure I see women selling their bodies either, I think I see artistic fashion photography. What do you see?

Even the poster-child for ‘plus-size’ has shrunk in recent years. And not to a healthy Women’s Health Magazine weight, but to a willowy runway weight. Do I blame her? -No. I enjoy succeeding in my business as much as I imagine she’s enjoying continuing to succeed in hers.  You wouldn’t criminalize a football player for gaining the weight he needs to be a linebacker, now would ya?

From the New Yorker article: Do you think plus-size models will ever get the same work and at the same rate as straight-size models?

No, I don’t think so, because for the moment — and we never know, you know? — but for the moment I don’t think we’ll see the same proportion [of plus-size models as straight-size models]. Just like we don’t see the same proportion of white and black girls. They use curvy models sometimes, like a provocation, but it is just to show something different, which I don’t like honestly. I loved for example Prada, the winter before last she used three or four girls which were curvy girls. So not everybody will embrace that, I don’t think so. But I think in a way we will stop to think, do you really want to go on with all these skinny girls? If this is the only question that comes up, for me [the issue] will be a big success.”  – Franca Sozanni

The poster above hung on the interior of my teenage closet door for years, not because it glorified a body type, or because it excused things, but because it was different – it made me believe there were options regarding perception, and assured me I wasn’t crazy for feeling a failure when it came to finding myself in the world of media at large. Knowledge is power, yes – but ultimately it is choice that is the ultimate show of prowess.

All I’m saying really, is that I don’t forgo enjoying fashion because I don’t look like a model, plus size or otherwise! And I certainly don’t forgo dancing because I’m not a ballerina, or avoid reading because I’m not an academic (well, this one can be tough, but dammit I try!). So this last image above, whatcha think? Hot porn chick? Or hot accessible designer dress?

Tired on a Wednesday.

XO

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