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One Size Fits All

For once, darlings, we leave the opinionating up to you.

Issue #63 of V Magazine, which will hit newsstands on January 14th, celebrates women of all shapes and sizes.

Editorial: One Size Fits All
Photography: Terry Richardson
Styling: Mel Ottenberg
Models: Crystal Renn (5 ft, 9 in; 36"/31"/41"), Jacquelyn Jablonski (5 ft, 9 in; 32"/24"/34")

Crystal Renn is one of the best-known (we almost used "biggest" and thought better of it at the last second) plus-size models in the industry.

Now take a look:

Why are we leaving the opinionating up to you? Well, because we think it's worthy of discussion and yet we have little to say about it. We're not "plus-sized" women, which means we haven't been subjected to exactly what that means in a world where one can so easily feel marginalized by one's imperfections. Oh sure, men are subjected more and more to this kind of body anxiety (gay men especially), but as we all know, men and women are judged differently, especially when it comes to their looks. What we're trying to say here is, no matter how much we might obsess over our waist size and the relative firmness of our pecs and butts, we don't have that lifetime of pressure that women sometimes feel to be perfect.

Bottom line? We think the editorial is interesting, but we simply don't have a reaction that goes beyond "Hunh. How about that." Actually, that's not quite true. We have another reaction and that one is "Why?" Is there a point to this? What do you guys think? How do these pictures make you feel?


Post a Comment

Well, I think in general, I find Crystal to be a better model than the other girl, and I really like the concept of this... but it really isn't striking me as a big deal at all. The clothes don't suck, and that's all the reaction I've got.

I think it proves that, without a point of reference, it really doesn't matter the size of the girl modeling the clothes, as long as it fits well and she is in proportion.

Honestly I wouldn't have been able to tell that the girl on the right is so called "plus-sized" if the girl on the left wasn't so dang skinny!

Meh. They both won the genetic lottery, just in different states. It would be far more impressive to just USE the plus sized model (without the socks and heels which do not look good on anyone, but really not on bigger-than-size-twos) without comment. That's a far bigger statement. And is less condescending. "Look! She's a size 10 and not a hideous monster!"

I saw this online a week or so ago. I question the logic in dressing the models identically. IF you are celebrating all shapes and sizes, which I'm not sure they are, why not have them dressed individually? Putting them in the same outfits pretty much divides the conversation into which model looks better discussions. I know I'm being hopeful, but I really wish it was less about the models clothing size.

ARE YOU F*ING KIDDING ME!!! (the W people, not you guys).Please enlagre the quotes on "Plus size". That girl is a 4-6 instead of a 0.
Also, they photoshopped the hell outta her: in bigger sized, it is not only about the bigger garment: its about the not-so-smooth thighs, the underwear lines, the way the arms look from the back...
this condescending, stupid and frankly not an interesting shoot to watch.

That "plus-size" model has my measurements, and most people tell me I'm slender.

I'd rather see a full editorial with just plus-sized women, showing how beautiful they can be.

First saw the measurements and P.O'd -

36" bust is is FREAKING SIZE 8
31" waist is listed as a size 12 (and since the waist has always been my problem - I have trouble seeing that also)
41" hips are a 12

at 5'9" they are going out of their way to make the model on the right LOOK bigger. Perspective.

The first picture clearly was more close up on Crystal.

Editorial is bullshit. I wish these damn fashion editors would stop trying to pretend to be supporting plus sized girls. It's a Plus sized MODEL, not actual plus sized woman. The difference between these two girls is 20lbs, and the larger one doesn't weight more than 115lbs.

Give me a break. I'm so tired of this. As a woman who actually IS plus sized, if I see the word "plus sized" in a magazine, I don't want to see a woman who still weighs 75 lbs less than I do being called fat.

agree with the other posters that it would have been more of a statement if there had not be a blatant statement.

It's still not really one size fits all. Jacquelyn is a normal sized woman smaller than many women in the US. I'm roughly the same size as her and I've been called petite and thin. Now get a woman with double D's and a 45 inch waist to model your clothes and I'll consider it "one size fits all"

MyFawny hit the nail on the head. And I too prefer Renn's modeling to that of the other model. Just give her the spread, people- they way this is laid out, it provokes direct and merciless comparison which bolsters the status quo.

as noted, completely ridiculous that this is what "plus sized" means in the fashion editorial world. I also agree that Renn blows the other girl out of the water in terms of charisma/energy. The layout is fun graphics-wise, too.

this was quite a year for plus-sized models being a STATEMENT on the runway and in print. I am optimistic that this might be a sign of better things to come - for now it's token and exotic, but their presence at least breaks the old "but samples aren't made in larger sizes" excuse, and might lead to more creative things down the road.

Crystal's measurements hardly make her a size 10. I'm 5'9" and there was a time when I had measurements slightly larger than hers--I was wearing a six or eight. I was also just about 105 pounds, the lowest weight I've ever weighed in my life. I was bone thin.

And so is she--or at least she is much thinner and smaller than the average woman. I get that the clothing is meant to add thickness visually, but ultimately they both look like skinny girls. I think an average sized woman (not even plus sized) would have at least made the difference more noticeable.

Because of that, the point isn't really being made (unless the point is that Crystal Renn is the better model).

Hey, here's an idea! What if, just for shits and giggles, that magazine or ANY magazine for that matter, booked Crystal for a shoot and didn't hold up a sign that said "Look how noble we are for hiring the fat girl." I wonder how many people would take the editorial on its face (and body) value.
Putting those two girls side by side served no purpose but to point out that one is fatter than the other.
Kiss my fat ass, W.

As a plus-sized gal (I'm a beautifully curvy size 18, thank you very much) I don't see this as anything more than a feeble attempt at saying "See?! We can dress you big gals, too!"

The reality is this: Plus-sized models are not plus-sized the way real women are plus-sized. Crystal Renn is beautiful, but she can easily walk into the Gap and buy a pair of jeans. I need to shop online for Gap jeans because the stores do not stock my size.

When truly plus-sized women are valued by the fasion industry, let me know. Until then, you can find me at Lane Bryant.

I don't thing Crystal looks that much bigger. It's nice to see what the outfit would look like on me and not a size 0 model. I hope we see more of this future issues.

uhm....1980's called, they'd like their fashion back....

I call shenanigans on V. So they were kind enough to get a tall model that had a size 8 bust and size 12 hips, big whoop. That's barely encroaching upon the true average size of most American women (which is size 14). How patronizing. This reminds me of past challenges of PR that involved creating clothes for real women, where any model over a size two would send most of the designers into a fit of the vapors.

As a plus-size gal, was I supposed to be grateful that they threw out this bone and see this layout as one giant step for womankind? Honestly, I don't know which is more disturbing, the magazine's alternate sense of reality and largesse, or their idea of what a so-called "normal" size is.

I agree with, well, pretty much everyone here. If they wanted to get across the idea of "plus sized models can wear high fashion too" then they should've just shown plus sized models. Putting the two models side-by-side in the same outfits and nearly identical poses just invites people to say "OMG, compared to skinny Minnie on the left, the girl on the right looks FAT" (I don't personally think Crystal Renn looks fat here, but I can guarantee there are a lot of people who would). Frankly, I don't see the point of this editorial, unless it was for V to pat itself on the back and say "look at how daring we are to feature a plus-sized model!"

I'm sorry Crystal is tiny compared to most people, I mean I'm 5'8 and a size 8 or 10 and I'm pretty sure I'm way bigger than her. Shouldn't plus size, actually mean plus sized instead of non-anorexics or those with ridiculously fast metabolism and no boobs.

At first glance I thought it was just one model photoshopped. It's dumb and pretty boring.

Marie Claire had an article (not a photo spread, just a one page deal) about one of the women on staff who was a big girl. She basically was running down fashion tips she used that were pretty decently useful. Far more practical information than this shoot, which is boring, like I said. But then again, who ever said that fashion magazines give practical advice. That's what What Not to Wear is for.

sixgables said most of what I was thinking. Thank you, sixgables!

The rest:

Stuff like this is why I quit reading Glamour magazine long ago. I realized that I felt happy to pick one up, but depressed after reading through it. You just cannot simultaneously say "You're great as who you are! Celebrate it!" and "You're never good enough-- buy more of what we're selling!" at the same time, yet that is what they try to do...over and over and over and over. Screw that.

You can never be pretty and skinny enough for a fashion magazine, because their job is to sew insecurity. And when they lie about that irrefutable fact, they just look silly.

Eeek! I hate this! All it does is to show how much better the clothes look on the skinny girl ... and how I wish I was skinny!

I like the way the clothes look on the so-called "plus-size" model. I think the tired, old excuse of using bone-thin models because clothes hang better on them is lame. Make your clothes fit and look good on average women, because that's who will be wearing them.

If the starving girl on the right wasn't in the spread, I would not have even noticed that the very thin girl on the right was a plus-sized model. I am with those who said to put a real plus sized gal on a page, and then dress her. THAT would be instructive to many women!

This is beyond silly, irritating, and worthless. All it looks like here is one identical woman having been photoshopped to either look bigger or smaller in the waist, hips, calves, and arms.

I am NOT IN admiration of the "daring" nature of this layout. A HUGE OUT. I feel insulted. And I AM a REAL plus-sized woman. 5'3"—200#.

What a load of crap.

i think the photography and styling at this shoot are pretty tacky. crystal renn is gorgeous but i'm not into the shiny thigh, open mouth look. there's something sleazy about the whole shoot. that's what you get with terry richardson.

i'm 5'8'' with similar measurements to the crystal renn and i'd look ridiculous in those clothes. there's been a lot of photoshop here. i'm not plus size, i'm just not model size, and this still doesn't represent fashion for women with large breasts (like me) or women who are actually plus-sized.

a real diversity of women in magazines would be a statement: different shapes, ages, and ethnicities. until then, shoots like this are just empty gimmicks.

p.s. crystal is killing it in the last photo, though. her curves look better in that outfit.

All I can think when I look at these pictures is that I want to feed the girl on the left. She looks disgustingly skinny.

The skinny girl I would see walking down the street and wonder when the last time she ate was.

The "plus sized" girl I would silently wish I looked like that.

And the clothes are fairly hideous.

Crystal simply looks better in the clothes. Plus-sized or not, she's a better model.

I agree with what nearly everyone else here has said. That being said, I just finished Crystal's book, and it's a pretty interesting look into the fashion world and our body issues.

Is she truly plus size? Who's to say? I think it's a step in the right direction though compared to the size 0 models we've been seeing in recent years. She even states in her book that she wants to see more plus (and larger plus) models out there.

Crystal is a beautiful woman - no doubt about it - but as others have mentioned - when has a size 12 become "plus" sized? Uh nope - that's the "average" size. I've been her size when I used to swim a midle a day and yep I had the body of a Barbie doll too - everything firm and very curvy.

It would have been far more interesting if they put those clothes on an actual plus sized woman - like someone who is a size 16 or 18. You know what - those clothes would not have looked good at all - becuase I seriously doubt any woman at a size 16 (and yep I'm an 18) has thighs like hers - now way she does - a plus sized woman has got what's known as "inner thighs" - yah know - put your feet a foot apart and your thighs still touch.

While I like the idea. It would have been a far more interesting spread if they did three models. The super skinny gurl they have as "model", crystal as "average" and then someone who is a size 18. If they could pull off that spectrum witht he clothes looking flattering on the larger women - and even better - looking MORE flattering on the larger women then I'd be like "That's totally awsome"

my feelings about this - not so impressed. and a little frightened that most women's "goal" weight and size is now considered "Plus".

Wow. I must be one of the few with a good reaction to this. It showed me that super skinny or not, it's the confidence and attitude you carry that makes the look. Both women look gorgeous, but the added attitude of the "plus-size" draws me to her more.

'ARE YOU F*ING KIDDING ME!!! (the W people, not you guys).Please enlagre the quotes on "Plus size". That girl is a 4-6 instead of a 0.'

'36" bust is is FREAKING SIZE 8
31" waist is listed as a size 12 (and since the waist has always been my problem - I have trouble seeing that also)
41" hips are a 12'

I'm sorry gals, but I think your size estimations are off. There's no way a woman with a 31" waist is a size 4. Also, I have a 29" waist and I'm barely an 8, so a
31" probably isn't a 12 either.

In general, I find that the larger model looks better, but honestly those outfits are not particularly flattering for anyone, regardless of size. Still, an interesting idea for a shoot... if only it worked as well in reality as it probably did on paper.


I don't see the point of this editorial. The "plus-size" girl is far from plus-size for any "real woman" to relate to her.

I'm going to go against the grain and say that I enjoyed the shoot (for the record, I'm a woman Crystal's height and a few inches bigger in the waist and hips, several inches bigger in the bust).

Is it "mission accomplished" in seeing the average or large woman represented in fashion? Of course not, but I really don't get how people expect that to happen if not in small steps like these. I think it goes to show that a lot of the industry's excuses about why only thin women can model aren't true. A size 10-12 woman can wear your clothes and can make them look good and can make them appealing in a commercial setting. I think it also goes to show how normal, not grotesquely large as the industry seems to think, the body of someone like Crystal really looks, as opposed to that of the frankly emaciated standard model.

The people here stating that Crystal weighs 115 lbs. and wears a 4-6 seem to have some body dysmorphia going on. I don't know on what planet that's true, or at least typically true (every body is different, for sure). I'd be very surprised if she's too much less than a 12 and 160 lbs. And good for her, she looks great.

My main problem is in the sizing of clothes.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I was 5"7", weighted 125lbs, and wore a size 10. My hips were no where near 41". I was always accused of being anorexic before we even knew what that word was.

Did they change the sizing charts to make women feel fatter? I ate like a horse back then and couldn't gain a pound. Granted, that changed when I had my daughter & genetics caught up with me.

Start designing for all size women. Stop using what I call "Fat Lady Prints" for larger sizes. I see cute clothes that if they would just make it bigger, it would look just as good on me & I would buy it. It takes a bit more thought to creat for people who don't fit the "standard", but it can be done and we wouldn't have to be commenting on this type of editorial spread.


Wow, I'm surprised at the negative reaction to this article. I happen to have almost the same measurements as Crystal, except my boobs are bigger, and my measurements make me a 10/12. That is considerably larger than a regular model,and I guarantee that Crystal can not fit into a 6 or 8 as some of you are claiming. With a31 inch waist, it is extremely hard to find jeans and dresses to fit you, I imagine she has the same difficulty as me.

Of course, she is not a "Plus-Sized Woman", she is a "Plus-Sized Model", there is a difference, and they are not claiming that she is the former. They are simply demonstrating that the clothing can look equally appealing on ladies with curves as on ladies with none.

Several other women have said this already, so I apologize for the repetitive redundancy.

But, DUDE. I'm Crystal's height and larger than she by 8, 3, and 3 inches, respectively and I don't shop in the plus size section.

And no, she's not a size 6. She's a size 8 to a size 12, depending on the designer.

This demonstrates that larger women can wear many of the same styles when the effort is made for proper fit. Generally speaking, I would love it if more designers made the effort to make fashionable, in-style clothing for plus sized women. I realize it takes more effort because our proportions are different and larger women carry their weight differently (some top heavy, others bottom heavy, some have large stomachs, others large butts) but I think designers are just lazy.

Anon "-L" 11:25 - you took my lines
"'36" bust is is FREAKING SIZE 8
31" waist is listed as a size 12 (and since the waist has always been my problem - I have trouble seeing that also)
41" hips are a 12'"

but seem to be disagreeing???

I looked up several different size charts (since the industry cannot even get THAT standardized).
(and the charts ignore facts that women, especially have different proportions, so that most women don't have all size 6, 10, 14 or even 20, on the top, middle, bottom, arms, thighs, etc.)

Noone else has commented on my "perspective" comment - but looking again, if both models are the exact same height, the fact that the model at the right looks (slightly) taller makes it clear to me that the were TRYING to make her look even bigger than the model at the left.

@anonymous 11:36

Yes, they changed the sizing charts. My mom was an off-the-rack size 10 when she was in high school - she was 5'6" and weighed 120 lbs (and, of course, thought she was fat)

I was an off-the-rack size 10 (in pants and skirts) about 2 years ago. I'm 5'9" and weighed 155.

They have DEFINITELY changed the sizing, because I can guarantee you there is no damn way my mom and I were ever the same dimensions.

First off, I hate the pictures and the fashions. UGH. So ugly. WHy does the bent frog leg picture get taken over and over? It looks like someone is having intestinal problems, to put is nicely.

Who cares, is my 2nd thought. WHy "COMPARE" them. Just shoot the pic's and let it stand. Why would identical clothes look good on two different bodies anyway. Just sytle and shoot Crystal to show how beautiful she is and go on.

OUT and OUT.

I echo the "what's the point" sentiments.

If it is to prove that we don't need rail-thin models to sell clothes, an announcement should have been made at W that no longer will they hire rail-thin models to show off clothes and this proves why they don't need them.

But next month, they'll go back to rail-thin models. So that's not it.

Perhaps they were trying to reach out to the rest of us shlubs to say that high fashion really is accessible to us. Look, see these clothes that fit both size 0 and size 6? That's six whole sizes!

We see that all the time on the red carpet where size sixes where the clothes that the size 0s modeled off previously.

So that can't be it.

So I must conclude that this was the fashion editorial version of "I Can Do Anything" from "Annie Get Your Gun."

Having see unphotoshopped pictures of Crystal...she doesn't look like that. Her thighs aren't so smooth, and her curves aren't so flawless. When I saw the pictures, I lol'd. Really? *Really?* What a silly shoot.

And no, she isn't plus size. IF her measurements are correct (and I doubt they are) she probably wears a 8-14 depending on vanity sizing, averaging at 10-12. Those are normal, easy to find sizes.

Despite it being ridiculous and fad-tastic all around, it might be a step in the direction of making mixing model sizes the norm. Maybe. I'm not holding my breath. The industry has be saturated in thin (whatever societies version of it at the time) since day one, and I just don't see that changing. Social and political pressure may affect it for awhile, but I don't really expect any long term changes.

In the short term though, its definitely selling magazines, and I'm sure the editors are thrilled.

I for one am ok with it all, and prefer pin thin models. Sorry, but I *don't* want to see normal people modeling. I see normal everyday, I want to see fantasy and crazy idealized images in fashion magazines. I'm mature enough and secure enough to know that they aren't real, and their version of "perfection" doesn't make me less attractive. They're models, they don't reflect reality. I'm smart enough, and capable enough to figure out how to translate fads and fashions into reality for my curvy figure and tiny pocket book.

The problem isn't the industry. the problem is an epidemic of low self worth (especially, but not limited too) among women. If more women were confident and comfortable in their own skin, I don't think the industry would be used as a scape goat so often.

I'm wondering if making the model on the left look like a 12-year old who's been modeling since lunchtime, and Crystal rocking it was part of the "statement". You know, the "big is beautiful" or whatever they were trying for.

But I wonder if they know how much it backfired, and that Crystal still hasn't eaten this week, even though she's supposedly plus sized...

Renn's pictures have DEFINITELY been photoshopped to make her look substantially thinner. Unless she magically lost about 30 lbs in the last six months. Look at these pics of her from May 09 (specially the last one with the untouched cellulite on her thighs):

I agree with your entire post, MyFawny. Why dress the models identically? Wouldn't it have been more effective, fair and interesting if they had dressed them in completely different looks? How can one not help but compare the two?

I suppose they actually thought they were doing some great service by dressing a plus-sized model and showing that big gals can look --- attractive as well.

While the fashion editors of this editorial were probably busy patting themselves on their collective backs for featuring a "plussie," they underestimate the intelligence of their audience.

Like others have posted, it's also pretty clear that Crystal was shot as slightly different angles and degrees of closeness to the camera. She's also been photoshopped quite a bit.


I learned one thing: it's interesting to see how far the skinny model has to lean to the left or the right to create the same booty effect as Crystal. I guess traditional models have to work hard to create the illusion of curves.

I think the point of this editorial is something like "look! A plus size model can be fashionable too!" I just don't get why the skinny model is the standard, and the plus size model is the one being offered up for judgment. Instead of putting skinny clothes on a curvy model and showing that it can work, it would be much more interesting if they put clothes that flatter curves on both and we could see the skinny model fail to fill them out. It would put things in perspective, because "standard" models are TOO THIN, and they unhealthy.

I think the "plus size" model (the one who isn't emaciated) looks incredibly sexy and much more provocative than the skinny one. I wish she were the "standard" size because she's gorgeous. She looks healthier and much more lovely than too skinny one IMHO.

My immediate thought, when looking at these images side-by-side, was that it is the same girl photoshopped to look two different sizes. I suppose that's the point: They want the models to look identical so that it is entirely about the weight difference. Interesting.

It's a bit of a Rorschach: When I first looked at them, my immediate thought was that the girl on the right was too chubby to be wearing those clothes -- that the one on the left looks like a model and the one on the right looks like a Jersey girl -- And I am speaking as a person who has had weight issues my entire life, and who has been on the dieting roller coaster since the age of 10. But that external pressure is internalized. Likely was before I ever started. As much as the weight issue has (at times) driven me crazy, or to despair; and also (most likely) driven me to actually be heavier than I would have been had I never gained the obsessions that develop when both food & stick figures are fetishized, I still think that. But maybe that's partly because the girl on the left is so skinny that she is, essentially, desexualized, while the girl on the left (who looks like she has the energy that only comes from eating carbs) has the few extra pounds that give her a sexual energy make the short, tight, shiny outfits look a bit slutty. The girl on the left doesn't have the ooompf to make it look slutty - which I suppose is one of the reasons they use those emaciated girls with the vacant (hungry) stares. The heavier girl doesn't look as good in the clothes, but she does look like she's having more fun in them.

So I guess I've internalized mixed feelings about the weight. Part of me says the girl on the left looks like a bag of bones, but another part of me thinks those are the skinny legs I've been chasing since I was 10, and my life would be totally different if I had them (even though I know that obtaining them is a genetic impossibility). And another part of me laments all the time I've wasted chasing an ideal that, truly, doesn't exist. And when I feel that way, I rue the day I ever bought my first fashion magazine. The magazines didn't cause me to internalize all that on their own; they merely contributed (maybe reenforced) ideas of necessary perfection that were fed elsewhere - and showed, in pictures, what that perfection should look like.

But another reality is both girls are very pretty. So despite whatever issues the heavier one would have being a model or an actress, she'll never have to deal with any serious looks-based rejections or marginalizations.


Phew! That was a mouthful (no pun intended)!


@2cents -
I see what you're saying - and I agree to a point, but I find this part - "The problem isn't the industry. the problem is an epidemic of low self worth (especially, but not limited too) among women. If more women were confident and comfortable in their own skin, I don't think the industry would be used as a scape goat so often." - a bit problematic.

One could argue that the reason a lot of women have problems with their self-esteem is because we are constantly bombarded by images of the impossibly beautiful. Even long, lithe, thin models are photoshopped to look thinner.

Which came first, the low self-esteem egg or the photoshopped chicken?

Rillion said...

Stuff like this is why I quit reading Glamour magazine long ago.

I actually came on here to post that if you want to see a great spread of non-airbrushed plus-sized models, check out Glamour's November issue, or Google "the woman on page 194". Yes, most of those girls still have bodies to die for and are only considered plus-size by the bizarro fashion industry, but it's still a lot more real than what you see in other mags. Glamour's one of the few magazines I've read that really seem to make an effort to include different body types without being patronizing.

She is plus sized? Oh Jesus, I'm a fat cow and I wear a 4. I love the concept, I love the clothes, and both women are beautiful. But instead of plus size, I'd call her pretty average. And that's why women have body image issues.

I would have never guessed that she was a plus sized model. Actually, I have seen a few of those pictures before and I didn't realize it. I didn't even realize those were two different people.

I don't think there's much of anything I can bring to this discussion, so why bother posting?

Strength in numbers, I guess. I have a 27" waist, 41" hips and a 32" bust. I weigh 140lbs. I am 5'4".

I'm a size 6.

How in THE HELL is Renn a plus sized woman?

I'm certainly not stick thin, I'm athletic with junk in my trunk. I'm petite-ish, but there are many people smaller than me.

I'm not fat.

If those measurements make someone plus sized, then call me plus sized.

This is ridiculous. I would rather see real women in clothes, with real bodies. Hello, I'm pear shaped, so please put people of all body types in all shapes of clothing so we can tell how something might look on us! Putting it on a skinny model is different from seeing it hanging on a rack @ the store.

I find this ad a tad insulting if we're going to analyze it.

But Renn is definitely rocking the clothes and looks way better in them than skinny chick.

Bullshit gimmick.

When I read "celebrates women of all shapes and sizes" I certainly was expecting more than a series of two models in the same garments. Yawn.

And did they deliberately pair Crystal with an inferior skinny girl? Because she's clearly the better model here. That's insulting as well -- "here, put the fat girl with this really crap model - it will make her look fabulous!"

Anyway, we all know that a plus-model is not a plus-woman, and we all know that plus-models are average or smaller-than-average. I guess any small step is a good thing, but it's hard not to roll my eyes so much it makes it difficult to see the pics.

To me, the most memorable thing about this piece is seeing how sickly the skinny chick looks next to someone like Crystal.

...if you wanna grind it, wait til you've refined it.

*no different than seeing it hanging on the rack @ the store....typos be damned!

She's not plus-sized! What are her clothes there, a 6 or an 8? This just goes to show that the fashion industry is insane, and that very few designers are talented enough to construct clothing that hangs well on real female bodies.

Grgg said...

But I wonder if they know how much it backfired, and that Crystal still hasn't eaten this week, even though she's supposedly plus sized...

Crystal Renn is pretty outspoken about her former eating disorders and body issues. She has a book titled "Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves." I'm pretty sure she's eaten this week.

As long as women permit the fashion industry to treat them like this -this is what we're going to get.

Not to sound ignorant, but what is the "normal" size ( both clothing size and measurements) for most American woman? At least, those between 18 and 30. I really don't have a good point of reference in order to compare the two models to "normal" women

Well, I might as well just go out and kill myself...
If the model on the right is considered plus size, I must be plusplusplus size...
After seeing this, and the plus size 4!!!! model that Vogue kindly offered all of us... I haven't got a chance....good bye to all of you, it's been wonderful

Anonymous, last time I checked the average adult American woman is a size 14, weighing an average of 144 lbs. and standing between 5'3"-5'6". I don't know what it is for women 18-30, but I think it's safe to assume that they'd be thinner. Interesting question, though.

I agree with Michelle (Comment #2). I also think Chrystal Renn is a better model, more interesting to look at.

The problem with this editorial, in my opinion, is that neither girl looks good in the clothing. The outfits simply aren't flattering to either woman. So, while V mag is trying to do something enlightened, it just comes off as looking mysogenistic.

At the risk of sounding preachy, I don't dig the whole "real woman" line. A size 0 woman is still a real woman, and there are many perfectly healthy size 0 women in the world (even in America). It's one thing to specify a preference or opinions, but it's another to degrade someone's gender identity based on their physical appearance. At a 14, I am no more "real" or no more a "woman" than a thin woman.

I read about a study a while back about a certain species of lizard (I think) in which the females were decorated with a bright red spot. The males were attracted to that spot, and would flock to the females with the brightest spots. So some scientists took some of the female lizards and painted them to make their spots brighter-- artificially brighter than they would ever be found in nature. The males went crazy for those females, forsaking the ones with the brightest natural spots in favor of the artificially enhanced ones.

A comparison could be made to boob jobs, but right now I'm thinking that the only reason the girl on the right looks at all chunky is because she's standing next to the girl on the left. When I raise my hand to cover the girl on the left, the girl on the right looks beautiful.

I'm all for doing the best you can with what you have, but artificially high standards don't benefit anyone, do they?

I think that the editorial would have more impact without the two. In the end, it just ends up being gimmicky. It leaves the same feeling as an infomercial.

I certainly wouldn't mind a move towards larger models, but that's for aesthetic reasons. I prefer the sort of "pre-Twiggy" model to the waif look.

I think the every day woman has begun to expect models to be a representation of her. We say we want to see plus-size in magazines, but when that happens, we will want to see "real" woman in fashion magazines. The closest to seeing "real" women in advertisements are Target flyers, and that's about as good as it's gonna get, ladies. Fashion isn't necessarily about the every day woman. Hell, it's not even always about women.

Even if plus size models are used on the runways, they are still going to be genetic lotto winners. They aren't going to be every day sorts of people. They will still be ridiculously beautiful, have bodies that you have to work hard for even while being genetically blessed. Fashion isn't reality. It can be about reality; it can hold a mirror to reality. Expecting fashion to be reality would take away power & interest. We see that on Project Runway.

All that being said, I think the shoot is a silly ploy to try and appease the masses.

The thing that caught my eye - and that I thought was the point of the editorial - was the very similar proportions of these ladies. Because of it, the clothes "read" pretty well on both. From a biological perspective, a 10-inch waist-to-hip ratio pretty much signals an attactive body, even if there is a substantial weight difference between the models shown.

And I agree with some of the later posters - dress sizes are so variable. Go shopping for vintage clothes or even sewing patterns and you will be surprised. The tape measure does not lie.

Bleh- what an uninspiring shoot! I mean, really... aren't fashion editorials meant to provoke or invoke some kind of feeling or fabulousness? Like the Ymre shoot with the animals and cheese shot in lush black and white? Or the color saturated shoot with the balls and balloons? Or the gorgeous one in the fencing school? Or even ones the provoke thoughts about sexuality, power and control?

This shoot is as generic and dull as they come. It's bland from the '80s Pointer Sister/ Cyndi Lauper clothes and hair to the blank white walls. The photoshopped leg shine.... its all so boring. If the point was that "hey, size 10/12s, you too can look like a refugee from a miniseries on '80s music videos," then congrats! Job well done.

If the idea was to see a "plus sized" model work it, then well done. Renn is a better (at least in these pics) model than Jablonski. She works poses better and gives good face. (Exception: pic 1- that pose in that skirt is bit like- here's my girlie bits!)

This feature seems to be trying to say fashion is nit irrelevant to "normal" women. If a plus model like Renn can wear the same fashions as a typical model, fashion CAN speak to all those non-models out there. The blahness of the shoot (free of props, backdrops, fantasy lighting or effects as it is) seems to attempt to create an atmosphere of normalcy to reinforce the accessibility of fashion for all women. Given that, BIG FAIL.

What this spread emphasizes is how out of touch fashion typically is from "real" women. 1- Renn is not an average woman. The average US woman is over 45, 5'3", around 160 lbs, and wears US 16/18.
2- Most women don't want to wear shiny miniskirts, keyhole foundation garments as outerwear and garish prints with other garish prints. Most of can't wear that stuff because it is tacky and unprofessional.
3-If you want larger sized women (over a 10) to see fashion as accessible, you need to either create the fantasy as you would any other editorial or find clothes that work for the average woman's daily life and show them in a stripped down, generic setting.

I hate it.
If they're going to use a plus size model, with curves and a waist and bust and real hips, she should be dressed in clothes that celebrate that shape.
Instead they put her in clothes designed to make the body interesting when it doesn't have much else going for it other than being thin.

I agree with a poster before. As a naturally thin person, I don't get all that "real" women talk. And I find offensive the suggestion that I would not be a real woman myself.

I also find it ridiculous that models are considered the more real the more surgery they go through.

Like everyone one is applauding your bullshit, W. Until magazines use a wider variety of women without hitting us over the head with the fact that they used a PLUS-SIZED MODEL (gasp!), or, as in the 90s, a non-Caucasian model, no one is going to be pleased.

I just wish they would stop airbrushing the hell out of everyone. Why can't magazines have all different kinds of women, attractive in their own ways, modeling clothes? If a woman can rock the hell out of an outfit and add something artistic to the photograph, why can't she be a model, regardless of what size, shape, color, or dimension her body or face is? It's just ridiculous that there is this standard that is so strictly adhered to for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. Maybe I'm wrong, but wouldn't magazines make MORE money if they started showing a wider variety of women? All ethnicities, sizes, styles, etc.? Then all women would find something to relate to, and all women would grow to appreciate diverse beauty. We wouldn't open a magazine anymore and see the same types of models (5'9"-5'11", 90-110 lbs.) without fail; instead, we would be excited about the diversity in every issue. Wouldn't everyone rather see different-looking women, instead of the same rotating models that are completely interchangeable in a lot of cases? It's just so boring. It's been done, and I think we're ready for something different.

It's not like any of us (except maybe 1%) open these magazines and get to see what these clothes would look like on US. You can see it as art, in which case, it doesn't matter if the models' bodies look anything like yours, but see my argument above for that one. Or, you can look at fashion modeling as a way to assess what you might like to purchase for yourself. In which case, diverse modeling would also help the clothing industry, since more women would probably be more open and creative with their clothing choices if they could believe that their own bodies would look good in the clothes. We really have no way of knowing until we try clothes on ourselves (unless we look like models), and I bet most women don't even bother because they're so discouraged.

FWIW, I'm a size 0 or 2...but I am also just under 5'4", and BOY does it piss me off that I can never see what clothes would look like on a short girl. And yes, I have definitely internalized that clothes just can't look as good on short women, just as I am sure many "plus-sized" women have internalized that clothes can't look good on you if you aren't thin. It's all bullshit that is being served to us, and we need to stop eating it. We're all hot, if we just embrace our own hotness and stop putting one another down, we'd probably all see that.

ASK said:

Noone else has commented on my "perspective" comment - but looking again, if both models are the exact same height, the fact that the model at the right looks (slightly) taller makes it clear to me that the were TRYING to make her look even bigger than the model at the left.

ITA. Crystal appears taller in all of the pictures, most notably the first one in which she is clearly squatting deeper than the other model is, yet the distances on the page from the tips of their toes to the tops of their heads are the same.

Vera said:

At the risk of sounding preachy, I don't dig the whole "real woman" line. A size 0 woman is still a real woman, and there are many perfectly healthy size 0 women in the world (even in America). It's one thing to specify a preference or opinions, but it's another to degrade someone's gender identity based on their physical appearance. At a 14, I am no more "real" or no more a "woman" than a thin woman.

Sing it! Can we have a moratorium on this "real woman" thing, unless you're comparing humans to CGI or robots?

I think the article is hypocritical, because everybody knows that a "real" plus-size woman or model like Crystal has cellulite (and "inner" thighs, like somebody already mentioned).... if it weren't for the magic of Photoshop, they would have never been able to have an "editorial" like it, because, let's be honest, nobody likes to see cellulite like it looks in real life.... I think most plus-size women would tell you that they wouldn't mind the actual size of their thighs and ass, if they were as smooth as they look in Crystal's pictures in this magazine....

Okay, I'm considered blessed with a size 2 body, but when I look at these photos, I would LOVE to have Crystal's curves. Yes, I agree, she's not "plus-size" but she does seem more "average" then the other model. The only thing this editorial proves to me is that the grass can always seem greener on the other side.

I disagree with someone that said that Crystal is a size 4 or 6, I am a size 4/6(depending on the store), sometimes an 8 in pants at stores such as Zara and I can assure you that the model is bigger than I, just wanted to clarify that "plus-size" models are not, in fact, sizes 4-6. As another poster said she is about a size 12.

I know I might get roasted for saying this but I hate the fact that there is such an emphasis on promoting either really skinny or large body images. I don't understand why there is not as much focus on showing more athletic girls in magazines and fashion shows. Girls who actually work out and eat in a healthy manner. I know there are women out there who are either skinny or "plus-sized" by genetics, but then there are those who don't eat, throw up their food due to the fashion world's use of skinny models or binge and not work out because of the campaigns to embrace larger figures.

What I am trying to say is that instead of promoting either of these lifestyles we really ought to try to promote fitness. A healthy, fit body does not have to mean just Jessica Biel or Doutzen Kroes, it can also be that of Serena Williams or Beyonce, who have serious curves but you can tell they work out like maniacs.

@ Lauren- your post was beautiful and I couldn't agree more.

Why can't someone in the industry take a risk and start a REAL magazine? Or heck even a photoblog (like Garance Dore and The Sartorialist only even more broad in subject matter) that documents people of all heights, sizes, and backgrounds.

Such a publication would feel more like a journal or a scrapbook which I think would only enhance the items shown.

Obnoxious, clowny clothes and poses. Is what they associate with "fat girls." Great.

If that is what they consider plus sized then we are all dead and this is hell. They look NORMAL to me.

Using a token plus-size model is not change. It's using a token, and it doesn't count.

The other thing I have to add is my agreement that of the two, Crystal is clearly the better model of the two. I love her work.

Anonymous, I agree with you- it would be nice to see some athletic looking women as fashion icons. One thing that struck me with this spread was how neither model has any visible muscle tone anywhere. This is probably because of the photoshopping, but still... why not show us some women with the curve and angle of muscle? Sure, we can find these woman in Shape and Oxygen and other fitness mags, but they don't find their way into fashion shoots.

I've noticed a lot of people have commented that they'd like magazines to feature more typical women, but that gambit is often a fail. All of the plus magazines (which generally used size 12/14 models) that I can think of (Grace, Mode, Figure, BBW) have gone belly up. Back in the early/mod 90s, Shape did a feature on average sized, athletic American women. And while half of the letters praised the bit and loved the women, half the letters were horrifed that a mag devoted to fitness focused on a bunch of fatties. The Dove ads also stirred up many comments but ugly fatties. Even the recent Lizzie Miller feature generated as much horror as pleasure.

I'm just not convinced a lot of people want to give up the total fantasy that traditional fashion mags create- the fantasy of wealth, infinite leisure time, and unattainable beauty and thinness. Even the thinnest of readers can't relate to elements of the fantasy- most women work, have financial pressures, demands on their time. Like I said above, either stay with the fantasy regardless of the size, age, color of the models or give us the variety of bodies, colors, ages with realistic clothes that fit our lives.
The question is: what part of the fantasy is more important to the readers?

Damn- Anon 1:15 - I guess in YOUR head you were trying to sound reasonable ??

Girls who actually work out and eat in a healthy manner.

(and that the emphasis ins on skinny 0 or large??? 10-12?? girls).

Through most of my adult life - size 16 (to 18 or larger) DESPITE 5 to 7 hours of exercise per week and a healthy (not starvation) diet.

Recent years - size 18w (to 20w) DESPITE cutting carbs and exercising 8 to 12 HOURS per week.

I don't expect to see a lot of size 20W, I just be happy to find clothes in stores, not stuck with mail order and such a limited number of outlets and choices.

There definitely is a disdain for larger women - especially obvious when even the financial impacts are ignored. For example, at most stores, a HUGE percentage of the clothes on clearance racks are XS - while the L, XL, XXL are gobbled up at full price

Yes I know there are exceptions, but often those are things in the barn-size plaids, ugly huge florals, or mis-cut for larger sizes.

One of the impressions that I got from this editorial was that it was as if they were saying "even big(er) girls can wear high fashion."

THAT is my biggest problem; the fashion/entertainment worlds seem to think that only stick-thin women get to wear couture, and if anything, this editorial serves as the big "DUH" that that's not true.

As others have said, as long as the proportions are right and the fit is good, anyone can look great in just about anything, regardless of size. And that's a reality that I don't think needs such a justification as this ad.

Is there simply no place for a stunning editorial with only plus size models? Is it just not fashion unless there is a woman who can wear a size 0-2 in the photos?

Further, the model on the left looks unhealthy to me. I do not believe that the majority of models just happen to be 5'9"+ and a size 0-2.

What, is size 8 plus-sized now?!

The thing that truly galls me about this is the subject. "One Size Fits All!" - as though they are congratulating themselves on being body-responsible and think you should congratulate them too. "Isn't it wonderful that you can be plus sized and also be in our magazine?"

How about "LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL WOMAN?!" for a headline? How about, "ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!?" How about someone using her in an ad campaign that DOES NOT use the word "plus sized"? The idea that she has to be the model for the fashion industry looking behind its very narrow borders is disgusting.

The bottom line is that there is absolutely ZERO percent chance someone - namely a young girl - will see this and think, "Wow, I can be bigger than a model and beautiful too!" It's, "I can be bigger than a model if I want to be labeled as 'big' or 'plus-sized.'" And if they think that's going to stop one single girl from sticking a finger down her throat, they are as deluded as we all suspect.

Until we start calling models "minus-sized" and these woman "normal" (and not Crystal, she's got too amazing a body even for a "normal" woman), I don't want to hear it. Give the pejoratives to the girls who are actually unhealthy. Stop masking put-downs in glossy fashion headlines. It doesn't work.

Couture is worn by rich women, typically older, mostly middle-eastern, typically not a size 0 model. I doesn’t matter what size they’re anyway, that’s the whole point of couture.
What does this have to do with couture? I don't get it.

If people would swarm newsstands to buy fashion magazine featuring "plus-size" (?) models, they would put them in the magazines. It is just not the case.

And there is nothing unhealthy about being a size 0. Being anorexic is unhealthy, whatever your size. Being overweight is also unhealthy. In the context of all the talk about the "average" woman, as health issues go, anorexia is a disease of infinitival relevance, comparing to overweight, especially in America.

I like this editorial a lot. It shows that good colors, prints, and proportions flatter any body type. Yes, Crystal is not really plus-sized. However, she's not a size 0. The point is that you don't have to be a size 0 to look good. The main thing that magazine editors say in response to their glamorization of thinness is that real women don't want to see themselves in print. In other words, we say we want the truth, but we couldn't handle the truth. So, maybe Crystal is as real as they think we can take. I think that they have a point...maybe. Thoughts?

Anon, Yes, there is something unhealthy about hundreds of very tall young women being a size 0-2.

I'm 5'10". I understand what it takes for tall women to be a size 0/2. For the vast majority of us, it's not a matter of eating well and exercising regularly.

Thank you GT-- You hit it all right on the money!

These pics create opposing feelings in those of us that have been working since girlhood to get what we never can have---- the type of body the fashion industry is selling to us.

I wish that the spread used different clothes-- clothes that would be more accessible to all. Honestly, except for the very young, who didn't already dress this way in the 80s, the vast majority of us aren't going to wear these. A photo spread with just Crystal would have been nice.

People: a "Plus Size Model" has NOTHING to do with actual plus-sized clothing - she just isn't a sample size, therefore she is "plus-size." (Plus size models can be as small as a size 8.)

I'm certainly not defending this, but it's a point of confusion that always comes up whenever these discussions arise.

It's great to show high fashion looking awesome on a larger model.

Who CARES if you'd wear it or not? Would you wear anything else in V? Fashion mags aren't supposed to look like we do or how we dress.

Traditional models don't represent the way non-plus-sized women look; right or wrong, they present an idealized image. Why wouldn't a plus-sized model also show an idealized image of those sizes?

Arley is right on:

I agree that the layout makes it look more like a photoshop exercise or "before/ after."

It's also showing that clothes "read" a lot differently on different body-types. What looks avant-garde and high-fashion on Jacque looks ka-POW sexy on Crystal: this can be a blessing and a course for women with some flesh to push around.

I'm a very curvy modern size 2-4 (probably more like a size 10 or 12 in sizes from 15-20 years ago) who deals with some of the issues plus sized women do: I have to get my bras special-ordered; things look slutty on me that don't on my friends, etc. This spread doesn't make me angry. Loosen up, ladies. It's a step in the right direction.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

Anon, Yes, there is something unhealthy about hundreds of very tall young women being a size 0-2.

I'm 5'10". I understand what it takes for tall women to be a size 0/2. For the vast majority of us, it's not a matter of eating well and exercising regularly.

Amen. I'm 5'9", I pretty much eat what I want and exercise sporadically, and I don't think I've ever been smaller than a size 8 since hitting puberty. My little sister is 5'11, worked as a personal trainer, and runs marathons. She's a size 4. I've seen her in a bikini, and I can't imagine her being 2 sizes thinner without looking emaciated. I know there are tall women who are naturally that thin and are perfectly healthy, but it's definitely not the norm. Most of us would need to go much further than just eating healthy and exercising regularly, and apparently further than even working out for a living to reach that size.

First as many have mentioned, NO ONE looks good with cankles from tie-dye socks in heels. 0% of the human population can pull that one off without looking like they have fat ankles and own somewhere between 3-6 cats (or perhaps exotic rodents, depending on how much crazy the socks give off).

On the "plus size" thing, I don't get it. I know a lot of women who look very skinny to me and they tell me they're size 8. I don't know how big a 12 is; is that the average size of the modern woman? I don't know anyone that size. At the same time, maybe it's good that they're sorta-kinda taking "larger" women since the public is responding so well to it and we can start having models who aren't unrealistically skinny? Although I'm going to be honest, I don't have a problem with size 0 models at all really.

I hear a lot of people griping about how "plus size" models don't represent "plus size" women, and I definitely understand that. It's gross how much pseudo-PC wank is going on in the fashion industry now that Crystal Renn has her book out and Glamour had that silly picture. But at the same time, it's still the beauty industry. Not to be insensitive, but some people in forums are calling for a "true" representation of the "plus size" woman, i.e. obese, and as much as I want to promote self-love and a good body image, it's not fair or right to promote one that's unhealthy.

So the fashion industry can suck it because they're being total assholes marginalizing women who aren't even fat and pretending they're so glorious for accepting them, but at the same time I'm not on the bandwagon for promoting an unhealthy body image, in either direction. Can we just regress towards the mean?

Also, someone needs to tell Lara Stone to fuck off.

It would be more credible if the "plus sized" model actually had a little tummy pooch.

Here's the thing guys: if the models on the pages of magazines looked like you, we'd be less likely to buy what they're wearing. Advertisers are some of the emotionally sharpest people on the planet. They know exactly what it takes to sell us stuff and magazines exist to get us to buy it.

Lots of studies have been done about what type of model sells products. Women were more likely to buy a product advertised by a thin, beautiful model, even if their first emotion when looking at her was self-loathing. Actually, especially if that was their reaction. The implication is that we subconsciously think that if we have said product, we'll be more like the model.

Feeling good about yourself as you are means just that - as you are - without whatever a company is trying to sell. Study participants were less likely to buy the product (she looks just like me! I don't need whatever that is). It's not a very effective sales pitch.

So, we're going to forever be seeing thin models with only a few "plus sized" ones thrown in for political correctness. Magazines that feature big women fail because they don't make us feel bad enough to go buy stuff.

It's all subconscious and it's pretty much the way all advertising works. You can say you're immune to it, but you're not. No one reading this of all blogs lives in a yurt in Alaska away from all consumer culture. So skinny white models with good hair for all of us!

Meredith T said...

People: a "Plus Size Model" has NOTHING to do with actual plus-sized clothing - she just isn't a sample size, therefore she is "plus-size." (Plus size models can be as small as a size 8.)

I'm certainly not defending this, but it's a point of confusion that always comes up whenever these discussions arise.


"if the models on the pages of magazines looked like you, we'd be less likely to buy what they're wearing."

See, I understand that logic, but I'm apparently wired backwards from the rest of the world. If I see somebody who looks like me, I say "damn..if she can carry that off, so can I!!", whereas if I see somebody who looks NOTHING like me, I think, "Well, yeah, of course she looks good, she's (insert adjective here) and I will never look like that, so why bother?"

Actually, I think the clothes are hideous for the most part, as is the styling.

Crystal does seem to have the better poses, and I'm glad to finally understand the difference between "plus sized model" and the plus sized garments in the stores!

I think I'm more upset that models have to be so tall. I know it's about the look of the clothes, but there are plenty of fashionistas who are not 5'9"...At 5'1" and 111 pounds,I wish I could find anything that didn't hang on me or make me look like a little girl.

I mean has anyone shopped in a petite section recently? If I could find a great pair of pants without an elastic waistband, I think I would just die.

I don't think everyone needs to see someone who looks just like them, and I don't think the fashion industry has a responsibility to portray all body types. They should and will hire models who look good in the clothes. Crystal looks good in the clothes, and I think that's a point worth making with this shoot.

For the record, contrary to the belief of a lot of these commenters, being fat does not mean that someone is unhealthy, just as being thin does not mean that someone is unhealthy. All of these "health concerns" are just one more ploy to get away with criticizing other women's bodies.

Laura said: If I see somebody who looks like me, I say "damn..if she can carry that off, so can I!!", whereas if I see somebody who looks NOTHING like me, I think, "Well, yeah, of course she looks good, she's (insert adjective here) and I will never look like that, so why bother?"

I feel that way too. While I might admire the work and aesthetic that went into making an outfit that looks fab on a 5'10" size 2 model, I have no desire to buy it b/c I know it wouldn't work on my body type. But show me something that looks fab on someone shaped like me and I'm grabbing my credit card and running to the store!

Models have always been thin, but the demands that they now be anorexic really isn't attractive.

Whenever T & L show the comparison between a runway model and an actress wearing the same gown, the curves on the actresses' bodies always make the dress look better.

And Hollywood actresses are by no means even the size of "Plus" sized models.

Next to normal human beings (including Hollywood men) the actresses appear to be mere wisps, so I don't understand why models need to be a bag of bones.

It doesn't make the clothes look better.

It's nice to see what the outfit would look like on me and not a size 0 model. I hope we see more of this future issues.

Agreed. I like that you can tell what the garment looks like on a size 0/2 as well as on a size 8/10.

i just wish they would get a real plus size model. becuase when they say one size fits all, they don't really mean it. they mean it fits someone besides the poor, food deprived girls who they usually use. and when they say plus size, they don't really mean plus size, they mean pretty normal, healthy looking body. i think plus sized women can look fantastic, in fact i know a few who do. i with they would embrace the woman body and not give us all this BS about how you have to look like a starved prisoner of war to look pretty.

(5 ft, 9 in; 36"/31"/41") is "plus-size" only in the world of fashion. In the real world, it's on the thin side of average.

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Crystal's fantastic, and I love seeing her model anytime because her measurements are exactly the same as mine...well, my boobs are slightly larger.

I'm a size 8, and if only I'd lose those last pesky 7 pounds, I'd be a size 6. Obviously, Crystal doesn't need to lose an ounce - she's gorgeous, confident, and fierce.

But she's obviously NOT shopping in the plus size department.

I'm back with more comments! =D

First, GothamTomato nailed it. Completely. I'm "thin" now, but have dealt with body issues throughout my life. Although I never resorted to *physically* unhealthy measures, I probably stress over food/image much more than I should. Despite being a supporter of beauty/health at any size, I have very exacting standards for myself, all of them stemming from internalized pressures of what is attractive/unattractive. Luckily(?) though, I don't apply my standards to others and think that Crystal puts on a better show than the other model (but at the same time, I want the other model's look for myself- it's odd!).

Second, anon, I wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that being fat necessarily means one is unhealthy. The same goes with being thin. I think Vera's comment on that is quite apropos.

Third, I actually have read that women would rather buy from women who look like them or are (in their opinion) slightly less attractive. I hate to say it, but I think I subconsciously am like that too. o.o

Seriously? Why are people in the comments section getting worked up over what size/weight they think the plus-size model is and then comparing that to themselves? Why should it even MATTER what size/weight she is?


I dunno if I'm the particular demographic you're looking at in this post, TLo. But I'm 5'9" and I wear a women's 28/30. I don't weigh myself, but it's somewhere around 320-330 lbs. I've never been on a diet, I have perfect cholesterol, I have a great sex life, and I think I look pretty damn good. My friends (even though most of them are straight males, heh) regard me as the best-dressed person they know.

So what I'm trying to say here is that I don't think this "editorial" applies to me. I don't feel disgusted by the size 0 model or need to call her an anorexic skank in order to feel better about myself. I don't feel inspired or threatened by Crystal Renn because she's "plus size" and skinner than me (but I WILL say she's still smokin' hot. Girl's got some sweet thighs).

Truth is, I DON'T CARE. It's a feeble and offensive attempt by W to look PC while still making everyone bite their nails over their weight. To be honest, I was just left thinking about how crazy-awesome I'd look in that green dress.

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Oy vey, honey. There is no universal big girl hive mind. Some of us are larger than Crystal and still think it was a good editorial that's a step in the right direction. We aren't just going to wake up one day to find fashion magazines suddenly full of large women. It's a prefectly valid opinion whether or not you agree, so there's no need to call the thin girls stupid.

Many in the fashion industry claim that it's necessary to have models size 0-4. This editorial says, quite eloquently in my opinion, that no, that's not necessary at all.

Well, at first I couldn't tell what the difference between the two girls was until I reread their figures. That is the first sign that perhaps your editorial is not making the impact you hoped it would.
On the other hand, Crystal's size is surprisingly close to my own meaning if I had only been born 9 inches taller I too could have had a career as a plus sized model, oh happy day. Thanks for clearing up that self esteem issue V.
Seriously though, these are two models posing, the size difference is negligible, deal with our size 10 asses fashion mags cause we are damn fine and we don't need you to tell us that.
Also...the clothes are kinda fug.

Leah, I feel your pain. My only solution is to shop in the juniors section and then get my pants hemmed. I'm lucky that my grandma will hem them for me, but you should be able to find a tailor who will do it, and some stores offer tailoring for free with the pants. Figuring that out has really improved my shopping experience.

Anon 6:33pm: you rock. I think you're what this industry needs. Women of every size who know they're gorgeous.
No hating on the zeros! While there is a huge possibility of food issues, that's just fueling the idea that people have the right to judge a woman's body, thin or not.
To me it's very similar for an outsider to call out a larger woman as being unhealthy as for an outsider to call out a smaller woman as being unhealthy.

Crystal is hardly plus-sized. Curvy yes, plus-sized, hardly.



Has someone sent their thoughts to the magazine directly?


this spread just makes me realize that the clothes look better on crystal, and in general "normal-sized" women. i don't care what the magazine was going for, but it makes me love my curves that much more! :)

I'm most troubled by the comments about Crystal Renn's measurements making her a size six or on "the thin side of average" or that she must only weigh 115 pounds are coming from. I think she's beautiful and I have no problem with her body or the way she looks in any of the clothes I've seen her in, so this comment is not meant to be negative, but sizes are numbers based on measurements, which means her size is easily computed, and she's definitely not a six. She's between a 10 and a 14, depending on the chart you use. Renn herself has said, in articles that I've read, that she is a size 12 and weighs 160 pounds.

I am 5'7" and I have nearly the same measurements, 38-30-41, and I know for a fact that no size six on the planet is going to fit me, and I know for a fact that I am not thin or even average and that at 115 pounds, I'd be emaciated. It's a little weird to see that people aren't very good at taking what they see in a photograph and attaching real numbers to it.

In my own personal experience, people almost never guess my weight accurately and are always shocked at how much higher the number is than what they would have guessed. That doesn't make me feel any better when I have to wear belts to keep one size of pants from falling down but the next size down won't fit over my hips.

Americans have a complicated relationship with our bodies and therefore a complicated relationship with clothing, especially when it comes to clothing size. A lot of people lie about their measurements and their sizes because they find their real ones embarrassing. Apparently this leads to most people not really being able to judge what other people's measurements are because they've been misled so often that they have a false sense of what a body means, numerically.

Until everyone is comfortable with the numbers that go with the way that they look, people will keep on lying, and other people will use false numbers to make themselves feel bad, or to judge other people and find them lacking.

Me, I can't fit into a size twelve in pants. I wear a 36E bra. Most of my dresses and tops are size large or extra large. I'm large. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm okay with it, but I'm not going to lie about being it, either.

Crystal would look fine if they hadn't saddled her with the ankle socks. As it stands, she bears an eerie resemblance to a Robert Crumb drawing.


(Rolling on the floor laughing so hard I nearly peed my size 18 jeans.)

Oh,and p.s. to my beloved TLo: Didn't you know there are no fat men?

Oh my goodness, where to begin? First of all, Crystal is not plus-sized--I don't care what anyone says. I live in Milwaukee, Land of the Large, and she's not that. She's just not skinny. She has a good figure.
Secondly, the clothes shown in this layout are not flattering on either one of those girls. Short, tight and shiny makes everyone look...slutty! The clothes (and the accessories and the styling) are plain hideous.
Lastly, I really am plus-sized, and it's true that I don't want to see larger girls modeling clothes in magazines. Editorial fashion is largely fantasy for most of us...and seeing that fashion and styling on a plus-sized model ruins the fantasy a little. I see a large gal in the mirror every day--I don't want to see one in my fashion magazine.

I think this editorial is incredibly insulting no matter what message the magazine was trying to imply. They clearly do not get what it is like to be an average sized person in the real world- whether it be a size 6 or 60. Or, that you can eat more than a piece of celery and still be beautiful.

Beautiful people come in many varieties and it's stupid to think that everybody has to achieve ONE ideal of beauty.

Thanks for that, anon 10:48. I was getting annoyed at all those comments too; considering I have sort of similar measurements but Renn has 6inches on me, there was no way I would believe she were anything less than 150+lb, and even though I'm mostly out of the numerical size scales and wear S/M/L-type clothing (er, if you go to grad school you get to put off shopping for real-world clothes for a while, haha) I wasn't about to believe she was less than size 8, either.  Unless you are talking about NY&Co sizing, 'cause those run huge, the last I was in there.

(Though I guess your comment is probably too late in the thread to matter, sigh.)

Also, of course they have to have the same clothes, otherwise they can't use their oh-so-clever title. :p

I wonder more about how Jablonski always looks into the camera, whereas Renn doesn't as often as she does—it could just be the shots they picked, or it could just be these two models, but it's kind of interesting.

I guess I'm way in the minority here but to be frank, this big and beautiful nonsense has got to stop. Obesity is an epidemic in the US. Americans are considerably less healthy than the citizens of other comparable industrialized nations because being overweight has become the norm here. It has been estimated that the cost of health care could be cut by 10 percent across the board if only Americans would start treating their bodies better.

Crystal Renn, while gorgeous (though photoshopped within an inch of her life, see the link to un-altered photos of the model another commenter posted), is overweight judging by her BMI (she is reportedly 5'9 and around 170 pounds, making her overweight.) This cannot be touted as the norm for the American society. Acceptance of this sort leads to complacency and complacency regarding weight is something we simply cannot afford.

I'm not saying that the other model is any more/less healthy than Renn, but the point is by exhibiting so called "real" overweight and obese women as beautiful and ideal there will be considerable repercussions in the form of even further obesity in a country that simply cannot sustain growing any larger.

Mostly what I got from this editorial was that I am, apparently, plus-sized. That amuses me, but also greatly frustrates me on behalf of my friends who can't easily find clothing that is stylish or flattering in the shops due to them actually being y'know, "plus-sized".

Size 12 can pretty much be considered grossly obese in Asia. If you're a size 14, forget shopping normal clothes. If you're size 16, be prepared to be attacked by pitchforks by Chinese boys who may think you're the Incredible Bulk.

I am a Chinese girl weighing 91kg and standing at 5'11''. I am practically monstrous in a world where size 2 is considered not thin enough. I have heard some of my classmates complaining about their 22 inch waists.

This magazine editorial is insulting and condescending, but fairly accurate in describing the reality of today. And that, I think, is the saddest part of all.

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Yeah, except the BMI's kind of a crock of shit...

A person's health is measured by their blood pressure/cholesterol/blood sugar, etc. Yes, you could say "but a lot of fat people have high-whatever," but so can skinny people. And people outside the BMI's little window of Normal can be perfectly healthy.

So how do we know if Crystal Renn or anyone has good or bad cholesterol? We don't unless we talk to their doctor. Gasp! Then how will we be able to judge her and everyone else in order to feel superior? If only it could be as easy as checking if someone's hips are wider than 30"....

Honestly, I don't know what they were trying to do with this, but, even if the "size plus" model editorial is a great idea, looking to those two models I was like "urgh,the size plus looks so heavy compared to the other model" whereas she's absolutely not fat. So, the point is, if I was a girl with a "common size" looking at those two models I would feel worst about my size than if there was just Jacquelyn.

Honestly, if I were the designer I'd hire Jacquelyn - the thinner model- to showcase the clothes.

In Crystal's pics I mostly look at the way she's working her curves, while Jacquelyn is built like a regular store mannequin so I only pay attentions to her clothes and her face.

A person's health is measured by their blood pressure/cholesterol/blood sugar, etc. Yes, you could say "but a lot of fat people have high-whatever," but so can skinny people. And people outside the BMI's little window of Normal can be perfectly healthy.

Yes, thank you! Unless we are dealing with super extremes (even then there is room for skepticism), health is not measurable by a photo.

Plus size? It's a long time ago, but in my youth I wore size 14 (at least that was the size designation then) with 34-24-38 measurements, weighing about 135 lbs. I don't know how this related to the models of those days, but I was probably only one or two sizes larger and I was by no means considered a plus size. Now with concerns about so many people, including women, being overweight -- even obese! --the fashion norm has become unrealistically skinny as related to reality.
The time has come for the fashion world to be honest and admit that their criteria just don't reflect women as they really are.


"A person's health is measured by their blood pressure/cholesterol/blood sugar, etc. Yes, you could say "but a lot of fat people have high-whatever," but so can skinny people. And people outside the BMI's little window of Normal can be perfectly healthy."

The key word there is can be. Yes there may be outliers who are perfectly healthy, but again, this culture of denial has got to end. You must be delusional to think it is a good thing to be overweight... yes some of those who are overweight may be healthier than those within the normal range but the statistics about the health of those who are overweight and obese don't lie. People need to stop making excuses... propping up people like Renn as ideal only serve as another excuse and another reason why obesity will become an even further problem in American society. She should not and cannot be a role model for the sake of the health of our society.

I'm size 0 and XS in American clothes. I'm size 11 and M or L in Japanese clothes. I'm size 6 or 8 in Italian clothes. And more interestingly, I'm size 9 or 10 in American vintage clothes from 60s. What does this say?

I think it's a 'novel' idea that magazines come up with every so often to try to keep their readership, and allow themselves some credibility when they use emaciated models for the rest of the year.

An interesting point was made by Michelle, in that she mentioned that clothing should fit well and that the person wearing it is in proportion. I agree that well-fitting clothes can make any person look fabulous, but the fact of the matter about proportions is that they're subject to fashions too. Dressmakers typically still adhere to the hourglass shape of the 50's - formalwear in particular is guilty of this -while casualwear tends to favour differently shaped people at any given time.

The curves that the 'bigger' model has definitely are beautiful, but i wonder what she'd look like when standing next to a real-world woman. Sure she's bigger than the model, but then again most saplings are too.

To anonymous who said:

12/29/09 9:04 AM I'm size 0 and XS in American clothes. I'm size 11 and M or L in Japanese clothes. I'm size 6 or 8 in Italian clothes. And more interestingly, I'm size 9 or 10 in American vintage clothes from 60s. What does this say?"

Yes, this is indeed interesting. I am now a size 0/2 in America, even though I'm in my 40s and haven't the same body I had in my 20s. If I did, I don't know what size I'd be supposed to be... The other day I was in a vintage shop trying dresses in size 2 and 4 from the 40s through the 60s and I couldn't even start to zip them up. The size 0 ones were a non starter. So yes, they have put sizes down so that everybody has a lower size than before. And so the outrage about "size 0-models" being emanciated has to be looked in context, and all that talk about models in the 50s having curves (they did) is false in the implication they were bigger sizes than current models: they weren't. As to the difficulties to find fitting clothes today, a thin petite young girl will have much harder to find clothes than an average size 12. Anyone who shops in vintage clothes knows this.

But this is all part of this big dellusion this country suffers since quite a while, where the standard is to mess your hair and call outrage because a model is "too" thin, when the biggest health problem of the nation is overweight, and people being too fat is by far a more relevant and worrying issue, from a health perspective, than people being too thin. It's not politically correct to say this, but it's the truth wheather we like it or not.

I think GothamTomato nailed it in several ways, but particularly as a Rorschach test. While I may not have an easy time finding clothes (by most size charts my bust is XS, my waist is M, and my hips are XL), I have always had a fairly positive body image and I though Renn looked great and the other model just looked sad and sickly and I wanted to bake her cookies.

That "plus-sized" model is in all the Lane Bryant ads. The clothes have to be tailored to fit her, because they're too big for her. Lane Bryant starts at size 14. The photos are nice, but what pisses me off is that Crystal is STILL the idea of what a fattie is. Um. No.

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At first I thought it was the same girl photoshopped in different sizes. Lame.

Anon "when the biggest health problem of the nation is overweight"

REALLY?? Is this by the same people who wrote those "global warming" emails?

OK you send the issue off-topic, so....

I'd say cancer, heart disease, diabetes (to the point of amputations, dialysis, death) are far bigger issues.

(and lets not blame the victims, ok?) I've know plenty of small, thin non-smokers who've died of these diseases. In fact most of the people I've known who've suffered these diseases were not fat (and did not smoke).

Great aunt had a throat cancer and her voice box cut out. Not only was she thin and she never smoked, swhe never lived with a smoker and never worked in a smoking environment.

Best friend's family, her parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncle all died from diabetes (and most had amputations) and only one of them was heavy.

But several of these diseases are the chicken and the egg - for a good number it seems that whatever caused the disease can be what makes you fat (ie inability to process sugar/carbs?, a bad heart making vigourous exercise not practical, etc?)

Why is everyone freaking out about how "skinny" the plus-sized model is? There is NO WAY she is only 20lbs heavier than Jac Jablonsky. How do I know this? I am 5'9" and share those same measurements. I am 160lbs!!!! That is easily 40+ lbs heavier than the model.

People's comments are really grinding my gears here. While I don't consider myself fat - simply average - the fact that people are enraged of the relative non-plussiness of the model is ridiculous!

THANK YOU to the above poster. I'm SO SICK of hearing about how only overweight people get diseases and are responsible for the downfall of our country (Didn't it used to be the gays?).

If I were to go to a hospital, would there be any thin people occupying bed space, or only the overweight?

Frankly, I'm far healthier than my thinner-than-average parents were at the same age and I'm far heavier than they ever were. Why? Probably because they both smoked and ate a typical 50's high fat diet. Although I'm heavy (since birth) I'm a healthy eater with excellent blood pressure and cholestrol numbers.

Enough of the fat prejudice, go pick on someone your own size!

@ ASK - Your words:

(naturally) Thin women saying Loosen up, ladies. It's a step in the right direction.

duh - obviously the brain is smaller along with the sz 4-6 body

I think my reading comprehension is fine. I just see very clearly that there were plus women who felt the same way, and I don't think that disagreeing with your interpretation of this article makes someone stupid. I also don't think it's cool to make statements that correlate someone's intelligence to their body or physical appearance. I don't think any of those are particularly revolutionary ideas.

I understand your frustration with a lot of the ignorance on display here, but doesn't mean you need to become part of the problem.

To those who think our cultural health crises should be solved by body shame, the most expensive and deadly diseases in America are not caused by fat. They are caused, to the best of our knowledge, by genetics, exposure to carcinogens, lack of activity, substance abuse, and diets that are nutritionally inferior, not high in calories. None of those issues inherently cause or are caused by fat (in some cases, in fact, quite the opposite).

Your "concern" is ignorant and misplaced. The idea that fat and poor health are synonymous actually often leads to thin/average people being unaware of their level of risk and not getting screened or taking proper precautions.

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@ Vera

To those who think our cultural health crises should be solved by body shame, the most expensive and deadly diseases in America are not caused by fat. They are caused, to the best of our knowledge, by genetics, exposure to carcinogens, lack of activity, substance abuse, and diets that are nutritionally inferior, not high in calories. None of those issues inherently cause or are caused by fat (in some cases, in fact, quite the opposite).

Thank you!

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Check out to see some AMAZING plus size clothes. The model - MalykaNima Jackson is FAB too!

What hypocritical BS. Not being able to see their bones doesn't mean someone's plus-sized. And there are many causes of the obesity "epidemic," including how our food is subsidized and distributed, but maybe the psychological component wouldn't be so strong if we weren't all saturated with media images that idolize the impossible skinny over the healthy and vibrant. Sure, that's the standard for designing clothes, and there are aesthetic reasons for it (or at least I'm willing to entertain the argument for them), but when you go out of your way to be "inclusive," you have a responsibility to make it more than just lip service.

I worked my ass off for two years to lose 60 pounds. I wear a size 10 and I run half-marathons. The "plus-size" girl may be healthier and more voluptuous than the other model, but she is still on the slimmer side of the spectrum and certainly not plus size, and I find calling her that simply insulting to anyone who has ever struggled with body image as a larger woman or who has ever gone through the physically and emotionally challenging process of losing weight.

Grrrr. You hit on my pet peeve.

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Not to be a jerk to anonymous, but adult onset diabetes is usually/mostly directly related to weight gain whether it be from lifestyle or chemical imbalances. Heart disease, the number one killer in the US, has a very strong correlation with weight.

My mother has been a nurse since "before man walked on the moon" (her quote, not mine). She's been a home health nurse for years now and when she started she primarily saw the results of life long smoking. Now the bulk of her patients have obesity related health problems. I know a good number of nurses who would also agree with this.

Don't dismiss obesity as not being a significant challenge. I'm not writing it off as a personal responsibility issue either (it's a lot of things - personal responsibility, poverty, access to foods, American agriculture, our food culture, work culture, etc) but you cannot dismiss it.

That's plus sized? Really? Most women would kill to look that good.

All I'll say before stepping away from this fuster-cluck is

Correlation =/= Causation.

Whatever. The point is, there are a number of health issues related to excessive food (sugars+fat)consumption and lack of exercise. One can argue how big a health issue weight is. But the fact is that the outrage about people (models) being thin has very little justification. If it does encourage people to loose weight was wrong with that? as for anorexia, it is a terrible terrible disease, which affects a very very small number of people. The thing is, there are far more people in the US that would benefit from loosing weight than there are who would benefit from earning it.

I sincerely doubt that seeing a woman like Crystal *encourages* people to gain weight.

I do think, however, that the saturation of thin models makes women *want* to lose weight, but gives them unrealistic expectation of how much weight should/can be lost. It also doesn't give them any indication of *how* to lose weight properly.

But, this is really too big a burden to put on the fashion industry.

Let's place it where it belongs, the food industry. Let's push for healthier restaurant options (yes, even at fast food), affordable fruit and veggies, and non-misleading and freely available nutritional information. Los Angeles recently passed an ordinance that requires all large food chains to include the caloric information at the table. Bravo LA!

I went to the pictures first and I didn't catch on right away that it was 2 models. Crystal seems like a good model, so I'm happy for her success, but overall I find it hard to get worked up about.

I'm insecure about my body some days and I feel like this ought to cause a reaction, but it doesn't.

I suppose it would be more useful to have an article about how to flatter each individual size and shape.

I feel like "plus sized" is a stretch. "Normal sized" or "slightly less hungry looking" is a more accurate description.

Marie - you wrote a less judgemental response that I appreciate (I'm the Anon you referenced.)

The issue I have with this is like the comment above - correlation is NOT the same as causation (thank you.) And in your list causes you missed the fact the for many people the answer is "we don't know".

I've seen posters calling it winning (or losing) the "genetic lottery".

Like the friend I mentioned with 100% rate of diabetes in her family or the non-smoking aunt with throat cancer, etc.

I don't want to rely only on ancedotes, but I can list many that contradict "popular science" or insulting opinions that "you must be cheating" or you'd loose weight on what "you claim" you eat.

I don't get why people can witness skinny people eat "like pigs" and be unable to gain, but cannot acknowledge that others can eat healthy or even very low calorie diets and be unable to loose.

I've noted here before I was on a doctor supervised 1000 calorie diet for 8 weeks - including daily aerobic exercise of .5 to > an hr - and gained 8 lbs.

- A little note to take it back to the fashion...
If you start out with a small frame and gain a lot of weight - you can go a long way before you have to go into plus size clothes. But if you start with a large frame (say a 14) you don't have far to go. Can't big (short, tall) women have pretty clothes, too?

Exactly, anonymous. Yes, there are some correlations between weight and some of those illnesses. However, that tends to be because some people's bodies will respond with both fat AND diabetes/heart disease/etc. to the same stimulus.

For example, diabetes. Only Type 2 is correlated to weight at all, and that's because some cases of Type 2 are caused by over consumption of high glycemic foods and an exhaustion of insulin production. For some people, that same diet will cause obesity. For many, it won't. The problem is the diet, not the fat. The same can be said of the low HDL diets and insufficient excercise that often leads to heart disease.

You know what group of people often eats high glycemic, low HDL diets and doesn't exercise enough? Americans. Slender Americans, large Americans, average Americans. All of them. If you want to throw medical science around as a reason to judge people's bodies, you need to actually understand the medical science.

Body shame is not an effective tool in fighting obesity OR improving public health (obesity has increased in the last 50 years since popular models got thinner), and the statements here claiming that a disorder as harmful and deadly as anorexia is acceptable collateral damage are sickening.

"I don't get why people can witness skinny people eat "like pigs" and be unable to gain, but cannot acknowledge that others can eat healthy or even very low calorie diets and be unable to loose."

Because the fact is, if you don't eat, or eat very little, you get thin, whatever your metabolism.

You only need to take a trip to Africa to realise this...

Whereas the contrary is not the case, some people can eat a lot and not put on weight (although this only tends to happen in youth).
The fact is, in the West, we basically all eat more than we "need".

I can't help but notice how much more compelling Crystal Renn is to look at, "plus size" or not. She's just the better model, more dynamic. Her confidence makes the hideous clothes almost acceptable, and her curves make that otherwise-meh last outfit a good way. I'd be happier to see more spreads with Ms. Renn as the model, not because she's not a frickin' human pencil, but because she's fun to look at; she looks like she's actually enjoying her job, and I always enjoy watching people enjoy their jobs (e.g., the giggling cast in the Carol Burnett Show reruns I saw as a kid).

Other than that, this appears to be a very pointless stunt, and the clothes are fug, and the Photoshopping is, as usual, laughable. OUT, but I'd like to see more of Ms. Renn, if you please, silly fashion editors.

Anon 6:09 -
"Because the fact is, if you don't eat, or eat very little, you get thin, whatever your metabolism. "

That is not necessarily true. (I mean obviously you will die if you don't eat (or drink) anything - is that what the genetically "un-blessed" should have to do?)

Some people's metabolisms are not wired properly and go into starvation mode. (And even in those cases thyroid (et al) levels can still test normal.)

Otherwise please explain how someone on a supervised diet can eat less than 1000 calories for 8 weeks and GAIN 8 lbs. (or gain 3 lbs in 3 wks comsuming less than 8 calories? - while this one is even more restrictive, I put more emphasis on the other example, because it is over a 2 month period. )

I think the thicker woman looks much better.

I found my own reaction to the photographs interesting. When I looked at the "regular" model, I thought, "Wow, look at those clothes. What is she wearing?" When I looked a the "plus sized" model, I thought "Wow, look at that woman and the clothes she's wearing." ...when I saw the plus-sized woman, I mentally registered that is was a woman wearing the clothes, rather than a clothes-hanger that breathes.

Whoever said the larger model looks more sexual is right! She just exudes sex appeal, while the other model simply looks good in the clothes, period.

"Otherwise please explain how someone on a supervised diet can eat less than 1000 calories for 8 weeks and GAIN 8 lbs. (or gain 3 lbs in 3 wks comsuming less than 8 calories? - while this one is even more restrictive, I put more emphasis on the other example, because it is over a 2 month period. )"

Supervised or not, your body probably went into starvation mode. ESPECIALLY if you went from say, a 2000 calorie diet of average eating, to a 1000 calorie diet of super healthy food. Your body probably freaked out. Frankly, I think any doctor who recommends such a diet needs to take a basic health class... But thats me. =)

Honestly, I'm still blown away by how many people are taking her body seriously. She is SO SO SO photoshopped, its painful. If you see pictures of her unphotoshopped body, you know she doesn't look anything like that either - especially through her thighs. I would like them to repeat the shoot without photoshop. Then we'll talk.

She's stunning, and she knows how to work the camera, but this whole thing is a painful sham. It saddens me how she's making all this fuss about promoting "real" (gag me - all women are real, regardless of size, I hate that phrase) women, and how she's a plus size model, and she (or her handler - however it works) ok'd this? Hells to the no.


What I find most annoying, and distressing, is how this spread has encouraged yet another thread commenting on the weight and presumed "normality" and "health" and "beauty" of the two women modeling the clothes.

Comment on the clothes, fine. Do they make the women look happy and attractive? Does the spread help us appreciate the clothes, or not?

Instead, though, we're commenting on whether or not the women inside those clothes are meeting some unobtainable standard of perfection, whether it's a standard defined in terms of physical fitness, aesthetics, whatever.

In other words, we've fallen right into the same trap that the magazine has, and that a lot of us here are claiming to challenge. Why do we think we have the right to pass judgment on these women's bodies in the first place?

(And don't answer, "Because they're models." Just because they get paid to wear clothes doesn't make them less human, or less worthy of consideration.)

Sarah wrote "The key word there is can be. Yes there may be outliers who are perfectly healthy, but again, this culture of denial has got to end. You must be delusional to think it is a good thing to be overweight... yes some of those who are overweight may be healthier than those within the normal range but the statistics about the health of those who are overweight and obese don't lie. People need to stop making excuses... propping up people like Renn as ideal only serve as another excuse and another reason why obesity will become an even further problem in American society. She should not and cannot be a role model for the sake of the health of our society."

If the most overweight people in our society were Renn's size I believe you'd have the improvement in health care costs you were speaking of in your previous post. Many people could stand to be healthier, yes. But being Crystal Renn's size would make millions of people healthier.

Wow so, the "plus-sized" model and I have similar measurements (same bust, smaller waist and hips) and I'm a size 8 up top, size 4/6 on bottom.

In the real world that's not plus-sized. Most women are 14 and up. So even plus-sized models are screwing up women in the head.

On a purely aesthetic note, the plus-size model fills out the clothes better in my opinion.

What I find hilarious about this spread is the idea that Crystal Renn represents a "real" woman in these pictures, when compared with the other, thiner model. The truth is, there are women around that look (more or less) like the thiner model, there are real women roughly like her, like them or not, find them sexy or not, the tinkering has not made her into a cartoon character.

Whereas the body of Renn in this pictures is a product of photoshop and doesn't exist anywhere in reality. Crystal does not have those thighs and bottom in reality. In the last picture, her right leg has been so much altered it is exactly the same width as the one of the thinner model. The truth is that the proportions of Crystal Renn do not coexist with the smoothness of those thights and belly. And there is nothing wrong with that. But I would think we should be more outraged that the magazine is proposing that it is possible to look like this in the real world when what they are portraying is a cartoon character.

Our concept of "real" is becoming increasingly distorted. Worrying.

I just had to measure myself to figure out if I was closer in size to the small girl or the big girl. "Plus-sized" my a*se. They're indistiguishable.

As a slim girl, I'm not so fussed about the weight of models, but I'd really like to see models with scars and interesting, unusual, individual features. While this is unlikely to ever happen, at least there's an outside chance that larger women will one day be represented.

To all the commenters trying to be "supportive" or whatever by saying that Crystal Renn isn't "much bigger" and is a "size 4" and "115lbs," you must be kidding. She has to be at least 160, and you're not being supportive by playing down her weight. To be supportive would be to say that there's nothing wrong with being 160-180, especially at her height. To everybody else, carry on.

I find this editorial otherwise unremarkable.

I don't have an emotional (or personal) reaction to this except that it seems sort of dopey to me.

The clinical setting?... Blech.

Why not just feature Crystal in a regular editorial with interesting setting, etc and not make a big deal of it?

(Maybe the designer houses wouldn't like it?)

She's gorgeous and shows off the clothes well.

My first reaction is, "these women are plus sized?" Please. I know many women who would beg to differ. How screwed up is our society that women as fit as them, with a few curves, is considered plus sized?

Do a google image search of Crystal Renn. Her body does not look like this. She has been thinned out via PhotoShop. Obviously PhotoShop is used to fix the perceived figure flaws of any model, but to not show Crystal's body for what it is in a spread such as this is the hight of hypocrisy. It's the magazine's way of trying to have its cake and eat it too: Look we're featuring a plus-size model, and look how great she looks in the same clothes as the thin model!" My guess is that Crystal didn't look as great as the thin model, given Crystal has heavy thighs and a bit of a belly.

She is a lovely woman with a beautiful, curvaceous body that is not honestly represented in these photos. So instead of celebrating a curvy, full-bodied woman looking beautiful in a fashion spread, we're distracted by the fact that she's supposedly a plus-sized model but doesn't look to be anything other than averaged sized.

Yup. I agree with the majority here.

That is NOT plus sized. It's normal. Not even normal, since most of us out there really ARE plus sized. The other model is minus sized, which is where the real problem of making women feel inadequate starts. Get rid of her and let Crystal have the shoot.

Another editorial for V Magazine's Spring 2010 Issue

Photographer: Solve Sundsbo
Styling: Nicola Formichetti
Make up: Frank B (The Wall Group)
Hair: Esther Langham (Art + Commerce)
Models: Candice Huffine, Marquita Pring, Michelle Olson, Tara Lynn (Ford NY), Kasia P (Click)
source: theFashionSpot

I think they should change the name of the article to "One Size Fits Small." That so-called "plus size" model is skinnier than the average American woman. She's my size, and I wear a size 12. (Though I will admit, she is much more toned than I am, I couldn't wear those clothes!) In any case, this is slightly insulting.

Why are we so offended that an average sized woman is a plus sized model?
We don't seem to be offended that micro-tiny women are "normal" sized models. Isn't it the same concept? The model is a smaller version of the actual demographic.
I think it's crap, too. I'm just confused why the plus sized model is so shockingly offensive and the other models aren't.

Re the Crystal and Jacquelyn ed
I like it but don't love it. Crystal looks like she is trying too hard but they both look great and exude charisma and "it." I wish they would have showcased more of a variety of clothes, poses and settings. While I think that the message is anvilicious, at the same time it seems like the fashion industry, no matter how pretentious or self-important they think they are, need to be hit over the head to knock them out of the calcified state of "you can never be too young or too thin."

I see this issue as (hopefully) paralleling the Vogue Italia Black issue and regardless of the motives and output with the VI issue, more black models started cropping up on the runways and in magazines. Hopefully we will see an increase in plus size models in fashion endeavors. While I totally accept that the fashion standard is tall, thin and young it boggles me that in an industry supposedly driven by creativity that so much group think exists when it comes to models. One would think that of the thousands of looks sent down the runway in a season or the tens of thousands of magazine pages produced each month that at a minimum ten percent would reflect something "different" and not in a sensationalized way, be it an older model like Carmen Dell'Orefice, a plus model or a short (non-celebrity) model.

Anonymous on 12/28/09 at 11:36 AM said....."Did they change the sizing charts to make women feel fatter?"

Hell yes they changed the sizing charts. The starting high end designer size was a 4 when I was in high school. In today's high end designer clothing I wear a 0 or 2 and I am the exact same size I was in high school due to great genes. The clothes are bigger today than 20 years ago.


Like some previous posters have mentioned, my garment size varies wildly (my weight ranges between 120-125 at 5'5") depending on the brand and type of store (boutique/vintage/department). So, I've given up guessing what that's going to be lately.

All I can say is I am incredibly happy I can design, pattern, and sew my own garments. :)

In the thumbnail I had no idea that that model was"plus-sized." I preferred the plus sized girl! She is a better model and had so much more expression in her face - she looks more ALIVE.

Can't we just have a happy medium? Fashion models who are somewhere in the middle of these two so that they look healthier? Perhaps size 4's instead of 0's?

Sounds good to me :)

I think it is a really important step to have more things like this. Although a lot of it is just shilling to sell more magazine to a 'bigger' audience so to speak.

It's telling that a lot of the comments so far have been about how Renn "isn't even plus sized anyway" but you can see right there the difference between the two of them. If Renn is beautiful and looks good in the clothes and isn't even plus sized why aren't there more girls her size getting work?

Someone needs to pay attention to these opinions and also this kind of gesture has to be appreciated. It is going to be an incremental movement to get bigger girls into real fashion and this is an important step,

Am I the only one that doesn't take much of a message about myself from models and magazine layouts? I realize not everyone might feel the same way (especially young people), but I am not threatened by seeing photoshopped, beautifully lit, genetically gifted people who might also work quite hard to look the way they do. Their photos are like works of art and they are walking clothes hangars on the runway. I don't fully get why people think THEY should look like that or believe that EVERYONE else thinks they should look that way.

For whatever reason (I've never really considered it), I don't compare myself to models (BTW, speaking as a gay male here with a BMI of 31...not a female). I'll never look like a male runway model. From my skeleton on out, I am not built like that. I'm not 6ft2. I don't have broad shoulders. I have "rugby legs" or "hockey legs", which means I have muscular thighs and butt. Comparison doesn't make sense to me, and the more weight I have put on the LESS sense any comparison makes to me.

One thing that makes me a little more unhappy with my body (I just figured it out as I read the comments here): the suggestion that photos of skinny or fit people become a commentary on me, or that I somehow become a commentary on them. I don't want to be compared to a model. I don't want to think they everyone else is making these comparisons about themselves and probably me. I don't even know that I would want to look like a runway model if someone could magically make it so. I know I don't find that look especially sexy.

Free to be you, free to be me and just hope that everyone is as healthy as they can be.

I think it's great to see in the media that a "plus-sized" woman can look just as beautiful as a skinny little model. Does a little something to banish the "I could never be as pretty as her because I'm not as skinny as her" mentality.
Also, to those who claimed Crystal must be a 4-6, I've looked up her measurements and she is most definitely not. I would know, being a 4-6. I would say she is a beautiful, healthy size, though. I think she is a great example of being confident in your natural body shape and size. She doesn't kill herself to look skinnier than her genetic disposition, but does not let herself go.

I had to go back and read this several times, because I couldn't understand what plus-sized had to do with those photographs.

That woman is NOT plus-sized, and the fact that people are congratulating "awareness" of larger women using a woman who isn't as large as the *average* American woman makes me want to beat my head against a wall.

There are some things a fat chick just should not wear, and everything this fat chick is wearing falls into that category.
Cover that flabby shit up, girl!

I agree with Michelle. The "Why?" is to show that beautiful clothes can be modeled on beautiful people of any size. I really like the side to side comparisons for this. This editorial makes me really happy. As a plus-sized girl who has always been obsessed, I would be overjoyed if this became more popular. I think it's wonderful. I love Coco Rocha and Chanel Iman and all them but they're not like me. I want to see how someone like me looks in high-fashion clothes.

OMG you have a majour problem over there in the US!
"Most women are much bigger" than the "plus"-size model? In my eyes she's perfectly normal, but if most women are MUCH bigger, then most women are overweight, and many probably in the unhealthy range.
But then I've heard that 1/3 of the population in the US are in the obese-range now.
I think you all should deal with the real problem, a too unhealthy lifestyle. Weight isn't all about looks, it's mainly a question of quality of life. And you don't have to starve or eat hysterically healthy to stay thin/slender.
May sound harsh, but from the outside it's quite easy to notice that many americans seem to have gotten used to the sight of overweight people, and that they have begun to see being overweight as being of normal weight. Kind of scary. Sorry if I hurt anyone who struggles with weight-issues, I wish you all the best!

This magazine issue just sends us the message that anyone can wear a sexy dress for as long as she can carry herself and have the confidence to walk (saying behind her mind - so what I can, this is me)

The so called 'plus sized' model looks great, and next to her the other model looks too skinny and a bit unhealthy. The more normal size definatley looks better and they should think about using them more often. I dont really see the point they are trying to make though, they are just drawing attention to the fact that the models that they generally use are too skinny. Especially seen as the 'pluz sizes' are like a size 4-6, which is still smaller than alot of peoeple

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