If you haven't been living under a rock, you may have heard about Vogue Italia's most recent cover controversy. Instead of matchstick legs and lollipop heads decked in evening wear, the magazine's most prestigious photo position is taken up by a shot of three plus-size models in relatively tasteful, silk-and-lace lingerie.
And they're drop-dead gorgeous.
However, that hasn't stopped the curators of couture (as well as your average Target patron) from throwing around a whole lot of negative talk. In a recent New York Magazine interview, even Vogue Italia's editor, Franca Sozzani, ends up sounding a little wishy-washy on the subject. When talking about the models, she said, "They are really beautiful in a way, and happy to be like that." We should all be so lucky to be beautiful in that way!
Robyn Lawley is one of the lovely ladies to make this cover shot. To set the record straight, here are her measurements (as recorded by her modeling site):
Height: 6' (185 cm)
Bust: 39 inches (99 cm)
Waist: 32 inches (81 cm)
Hips: 43 inches (110 cm)
Bra size: 36D
Interestingly enough, there's a post going around one of the more popular social blogging sites about Marilyn Monroe. Unusually, though, it doesn't cite her sex-kitten appeal or extol her blonde bombshell image; it doesn't even bash the largely brainless on-screen characters she brought to life. Instead, it shows a few shots of her in a white, one-piece bathing suit (left), and rattles off her measurements. Though these aren't unwavering (since, like any woman, she fluctuated a bit throughout her life), here are her stats, for your reading pleasure:
Weight: 118-140 pounds
Height: 5'5 ½"
Bust: 35-37 inches
Waist: 22-23 inches (not God-given - this was still a time of popularity for girdles and corsets, especially for women in the public eye)
Hips: 35-36 inches
Bra size: 36D
What's really neat is that her thighs touch, she's got a little bit of cellulite, her tummy pooches, and her triceps would probably jiggle if she waved. Neater still, if you look at her measurements through a modern lens, you'll see that for most of Marilyn's life, she would've worn what amounts to a medium at Ann Taylor Loft or Banana Republic.
My point is that these women on the front cover of Vogue Italia are taking all kinds of hell for being plus-size cover girls, but when it comes to the numbers, one of the women who has come to epitomize the American ideal of the sexy is proportionally not much different than Vogue Italia's controversial covergirls. So it doesn't matter if you're walking the catwalk at New York Fashion Week or playing the sex-kitten for your admiring boyfriend, beauty is beauty, whether it's "plus-size" or "straight-size."
Unfortunately, that may not be something we'll see reflected in pop culture for quite some time. After all, "all in fashion are victims . . . of the beauty of the moment," says Sozzani.