Vogue + plus-sized models....this combination sounds antithetical, right?
We're used to seeing the impossibly skinny models on the magazine covers of Vogue. And after reading the magazine from cover to cover, we begin to feel guilty about that cheeseburger and ice cream. Vogue, a renowned fashion bible praised by many, has also been scrutinized and castigated for solely featuring models who look unhealthily thin. Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, strives to shatter the mainstream obsession with skinniness and also aims to dispose of Vogue Italia's negative reputation of narrow-mindedness.
Watch out for this month's Belle Vere: Vogue Italia. We'll be seeing a norm-shattering cover. Sexy, elegant, curvaceous models, Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine, and Robyn Lawley will be gracing the cover of this month's issue. It has been eleven years since a plus-sized model has been featured in Vogue Italia. Remember the gorgeous shoot with stunning Sophie Dahl? That was in 2000.
Photography genius, Steven Meisel, takes the honorable opportunity to contribute to this revolutionary issue and he does an incredible job at highlighting the absolute beauty and femininity of a plus-sized woman.
Franca Sozzani explains her bold move on her Vogue Italia blog:
"The magazine is not officially out yet, but questions on the reason behind the title Belle Vere (Truly Beautiful Women) have already arrived, along with another question: if these women are more beautiful, more beautiful compared to whom? First of all, this title has been conceived to raise controversy and to start a discussion. It's clearly a thought-provoking title. And, most of all, it doesn't want to defend anybody. I'm referring to the June issue of Vogue Italia, with a cover and an opening editorial featuring curvy women. Curvy is sexy: this is the message. These are women with voluptuous bodies and soft curves.
Sexy, because curves have always been a symbol of well-being and beauty, since antiquity. "You are so beautifully slim" is one of the most appreciated compliments of our times and it has been such since the 60s, when slimness started being interpreted as a reference code for the only possible form of beauty. Nowadays, a sex symbol for many generations, a timeless icon of beauty and femininity like Marilyn Monroe would be considered curvy. And what about Jane Mansfield or Elizabeth Taylor?
Beautiful, curvaceous, famous and loved by important men. Weren't they "belle vere"? Sure, this is not the only possible view on beauty, because beauty is multi-faceted. Tall, petite, shapely or skinny: there are admirers for all types of women. The body of a voluptuous woman is fascinating for the proportions and curves that other women don't have. The erotic fantasies described by great writers are often about women with this body type.
There are many novels and movies about the topic, so why have we devoted the cover, part of the issue and columns to this type of beauty? We've always been criticised because we publish pictures of super-skinny women only, so this time I'd like to be criticised because there are very curvy women on the cover of the magazine. And I'd also like to underline that sensuality is not related to size, it's quite the opposite. And that beauty doesn't follow preconceived standards. Everyone should be happy with his or her own body, without paying attention to trends and to what aesthetic prejudices impose as a rule.
No conditioning. Curvy today. Slim tomorrow. And the same it's true for covers and models. Freedom of expression. There's room for many different women, for everybody actually!"
Guilt-free and revolutionary sound good to us.