I no longer read fashion magazines. I don’t subscribe to them. I don’t impulsively buy them at the grocery checkout aisle. Unless I’m at the salon, bored stupid while waiting for abrasive chemicals to work magic on my mane, I steer clear of glossy beauty rags altogether.
They endorse a pristine level of personal maintenance that makes me feel — in lax contrast — like a wrinkly, flabby savage in outdated pants. And I try never to feel like that.
But there’s a magazine out this month that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. The June issue of Italian Vogue boasts a lush and provocative cover featuring … wait for it … plus-size models. That’s right: The cover and a generous interior spread celebrate four stunning women with hips, thighs, and hindquarters that don’t hide from hotshot photographer Steven Meisel’s leering camera. In black-and-white 1960s cinema style, the voluptuous ladies lounge in lingerie, sprawling half-nude on divans, crawling cat-like across tables, cuddling up to fur coats (how desperately do you want to see this right now?).
The headline: “Belle vere.” Real beauty.
I’m not one to defend the fashion industry. It’s fickle, it’s shallow, it’s fiendishly (and intentionally) out of touch with reality. Case in point: It trumpets grasshopper-thin girls as paragons of glamour, but has lost five “successful” young models in as many years to anorexic deaths. The youngest was 18; the smallest weighed just 73 pounds.