Beauty In 2014 May Mean Looking to the Past for Inspiration
Beauty by definition.
1:The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit: loveliness
2:A beautiful person or thing; especially: a beautiful woman
3: A particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
4: A brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance
The concept of beauty is something that is truly fascinating and a relevant and recurring topic in my life. My chosen path is one where on a daily basis others decided if I had whatever beautiful traits they desire for their specific purpose. After years of this you begin, (or you should), to question who decides, and what makes these traits admirable? Not to mention , why should I listen to them. These are questions I plan on spending a lot longer thinking about as I see my opinions evolve. However, in the process of learning, I recommend a very relevant book by Ashley Mears, a model turned sociologist. In Pricing Beauty, Mears asks pertinent questions and dissects the business of literally “pricing beauty. In the spirit of exploring those ideas I wanted to look back and remember just a few moments in fashion that pushed the status quo and made me double take and love it just a little more! Xxx
How can one forget Andrej Pejic, the Bosnian transgender model that has been crushing boundaries since his entry into the fashion world. In 2014, I want to revisit this epic face for more than just his beauty. Andrej is a statement, a beacon of hope for many, and overall fierce as f*@k, walking runways in both men’s and women’s collections over the seasons, and even starring in the Dutch chain store Hema’s lingerie campaign. It’s almost impossible for the blond stunner not to have made it to overnight stardom and for that I love this industry. It sometimes truly creates worthy stars that bring to light more relevant questions, man or woman, who even cares anymore?
Next I remember “The Black Allure,” the Italian Vogue spread from July of 2008, which featured the “models of color” of the moment. Stars such as Joan Smalls, Jordan Dunn, Chanel Iman, Arlenis Sosa, and Ajak Deng, to name a few, stunned us in a beautiful vintage inspired spread that was reminiscent of the 20’s, with an almost infused Caribbean feel. For models of color, this was a huge statement. On the one hand it was amazing to see such diversity in one place, at one time, but it was also sad to think that it was such a shocker to the public for the same reason. This will always remain one of my favorite Vogue editorials, and also an eternal reminder that race is still such a prominent issue politically and in fashion, but lets look to a grander time when models of color will be booked just as frequently.
I remember seeing the plus size Italian Vogue editorial Belle Vere, and my boyfriend saying, “anytime you want to cause a ruckus just put someone not emaciated on a cover.” I thought about that for a second, and realized I hadn’t seen in my lifetime, on the cover of a major fashion magazine such as Vogue, so many plus size models featured. Upon further thought, I couldn’t remember seeing any plus size models at all! These woman were so sexy, so chic, and almost two of the models we would normally see featured! As the average weight of the American woman has significantly grown over the past decade, I wonder why we don’t see more full-figured models on the scene? Maybe the whole heroin-chic emaciated look that fashion loves so much, plays to the exclusivity of luxury, the unattainable perfection that models in this day and age portray making it almost to common to be a bit bigger? Is it just not exclusive enough? However, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what Vogue considers plus size girls pose over plates of spaghetti scantily clad. I’m not the biggest Kate Upton fan, but I would love to see more full figured woman come make their marks on the pages of my fave monthly reads. Bound to steal envious glares from the hungry models, and sneaking sexy peeks from men everywhere.
A transgender stunner, The BlackAllure, and plus size beauties stomping through barriers. Restrictions and societal norms only exist because we comply. Let us rethink beauty in 2014, looking first to our past, and now to a future that can expunge mental blocks stopping us from being a little more open minded. XXX