After its recent flirtation with blackface, V magazine has settled on a new publicity horse for its January issue. “Page Six” reports that the magazine’s first installment in the new year will be devoted to plus-size models. “Big, little, pint-size, plus-size — every body is beautiful. And this issue is out to prove it,” V editor Stephen Gan said. Models, which include Crystal Renn, appear clothed and nude, shot by photographers Terry Richardson, Bruce Weber, and Karl Lagerfeld, among others.
Like giving nonwhite models a fair shot at landing runway shows, ad campaigns, and editorials, casting plus-size models shouldn’t be so out there that it becomes an item to ooh and ahh over in “Page Six.” After all, plus-size models are really just normal-size people deemed “plus” by fashion’s extreme standards. Lagerfeld told Focus in October, “No one wants to see curvy women. You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.”
Plus-size models worked out pretty well for Glamour. After the magazine’s photo of plus model Lizzie Miller became a sensation, editor Cindi Leive decided to use models of Miller’s size in editorials for future issues, rather than rushing out a splashy PLUS MODELS ONLY issue. When magazines devote entire issues to that thing that they’ve shunned, it has the effect of tokenizing it. Look at the issue Italian Vogue devoted to black models. It was fantastic, but what then? Did the magazine incorporate new ideals into editorial concepts moving forward?
V is a very different sort of magazine from Glamour. You won’t find life advice in there about boyfriends and destressing and loving yourself and having great sex all at the same time. You find terrific pictures of the trendiest models wearing (or sometimes not) the trendiest clothes out there. And the January issue sounds like just that: a trend.
Heavy changes [Page Six/NYP]