Seven total knockouts From far left: Crystal Renn, Amy Lemons, Ashley Graham, Kate Dillon, Anansa Sims and Jennie Runk. Bottom Center: Lizzie Miller.
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"The cavernous photography studio in New York City is bustling with fashion assistants, hair and makeup stylists, and models chatting in white terry robes. All typical on a photo shoot, but when the robes come off, you see what’s different. Kate Dillon, Ashley Graham, Amy Lemons, Lizzie Miller, Crystal Renn, Jennie Runk and Anansa Sims— some of the top “plus-size” models working today—have beautiful curves, round shoulders, belly rolls and lots of other womanly stuff many of us see when we look in the mirror. Oh, and there’s lunch, which the models actually eat. “Gosh, it’s so nice that they’re feeding us,” says Lemons. “When I was doing runway, all I was ever offered was water and champagne, all day long.” But it’s not the food the models are excited about—it’s the mission. They’ve been assembled to help Glamour continue an extraordinary dialogue on body image that you, our readers, began.
It started in our September issue with a small photo of Lizzie Miller sitting au naturel—confident, sexy and clearly unconcerned about a little belly overhang. We loved the photo, but it was just one of more than a hundred of full-figured women we’ve run in recent years, so we were surprised when it hit a nerve. “This is true beauty!” wrote one commenter on glamour.com. “A woman that eats!” Added Megan Fehl, 23: “Because of my own belly, I always thought I was some deformed woman, but not now. Holy hell, I am normal!” And in the words of another reader: “I’ve struggled with eating disorders and body image since I was 12. Seeing this picture is the first time I have felt good about myself and comfortable with my body (just the way it is) in a very long time. Thank you for the self-esteem.”
Why did this particular picture, at this particular moment, resonate with so many women? Some possible reasons: The recession has us all in a back-to-basics, tell-it-like-it-is mood, so realer images of women’s bodies seem appropriate now. Celebrities like Kate Winslet, Jessica Simpson and now, on page 182 of this issue, Scarlett Johansson have spoken out against a culture that nitpicks a woman’s every thigh dimple. First Lady Michelle Obama dresses to accentuate rather than camouflage her regal curves, and has the entire world swooning. And maybe, as Emme, a pioneer plus-size supermodel and host of More to Love, believes, “we’ve just had it with the beyond-slender, airbrushed-from-head-to-toe models and actresses who’ve dominated [newsstands] for over a decade.”
Glamour has been on this wavelength since the early nineties. We’ve put Queen Latifah on the cover twice and frequently feature other fuller-bodied celebs and models (including all the women you see here, with the exception of Glamour newcomer Jennie Runk). But the phenomenal response to the Lizzie Miller photo shows there is a thirst for an even more inclusive view of women’s bodies. So what’s keeping the fashion and media worlds from portraying as many size 10’s and 14’s and 20’s as we do size 0, 2 and 4? And what ratio of fantasy to reality does the average American woman really want to see in magazines and ads?"
Loving this! All these plus size models that are gorgeous in the November issue of Glamour Magazine. Great thing Glamour magazine is doing here, showing not only thin models. It's warms my soul seeing this. I do feel a little bit better about myself after seeing and reading this article, since I've always been "bigger" I start to feel better about myself, that I can be successfull too, I'm beautiful too, etc. I smile and I embrace my cruves. It reminds me that being bigger does not make me less attractive, there's beauty in all people, it's all about showing that confidence to the world around you.
Love your body.