Preview: Day 2 of V Magazine’s Size Issue

Tara Lynn by Sølve Sundsbø*

Last week, I showed you the preview of Crystal Renn’s editorial of V Magazine’s upcoming Size Issue. V Magazine are obviously trying to generate a lot of buzz, as have released yet another preview from the issue: Day 2: Curves Ahead by Sølve Sundsbø. (For the complete editorial and full size images, head to All images are copyright V Magazine and respective photographers. The Size Issue is due out on 14 January 2010.)

As the name of the editorial suggests, these pictures place much more emphasis on the curvy body. In my opinion, the fashion is secondary to the thighs, hips and rolls on display.**

Candice Huffine by Sølve Sundsbø

While I am completely in love with the Day 1 editorial, I have a lot less love for this shoot. When a magazine like V attempts to display larger bodies as artworks in and of themselves, it always appears as though they are fighting their fashion instincts.

We all know that fashion magazines digitally retouch. A lot. Freckles, cellulite, shadows, uneven skin tone – anything that is perceived to be a flaw is mercilessly eliminated. However, in this shoot fat rolls, normally an obvious flaw to be removed, must be kept as a feature of the editorial.

So how does a photography team accept the inclusion of fat rolls and present a flawless fashion spread? By doing a really bad job of retouching.

Candice Huffine and Tara Lynn by Sølve Sundsbø

I mean, look at that. That picture is ridiculous. Candice Huffine has a beautiful roll on her back, yet her back does not bulge in any way. Tara Lynn has some adorable belly chub, yet her stomach stops exactly at the waistband and there is no overhang. Fat doesn’t sit so conveniently in real life.

This editorial is trying so hard to present the ‘real’ body and yet the finished product looks disappointingly fake.

*As an aside, that first image of Tara Lynn looks an awful lot like a number of fat softcore pictures I’ve seen. For example, this picture of erotic model that I featured on Hey, Fat Chick. I don’t know if it was deliberate but it sure is interesting…
Which bothers me, as it’s in a fashion magazine. “Look! Plus size models! We still don’t make sample sizes for them, but look how nice they are naked!”


27 Responses to “Preview: Day 2 of V Magazine’s Size Issue”

  1. 1 Josee 1 January, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I see what you’re saying but I love love LOVE this spread!!

    • 2 Frances 1 January, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      Yes, I saw on your tumblr how much you love this spread!

      I do think there are good things about this shoot. I mean, it’s a massive step forward that rolls are being shown at all. From what I’ve seen on various blogs and websites, this editorial has been extremely confronting for some people.

      But they could have done better. Everything looks so plastic – it’s like it’s Fat Roll Barbie.

  2. 3 Patsy Nevins 2 January, 2010 at 2:20 am

    They are beautiful, but they are MORE ‘perfectly’ beautiful than any real woman can be. It is true that when bodies carry any visible subcutaneous fat, it is not quite so neatly distributed & packaged. As I have stated before, I do not consider the ‘plus size’ models to be actually plus sized, but perhaps some of them MIGHT be at least in-betweenies were they not so ruthlessly (& badly) perfected.

  3. 4 wildefae 2 January, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Another thing I’m disappointed in – with V, with Glamour, with everyone doing “size” issues – is that this shoot is mostly nude. As you pointed out, it means they have to take their focus away from the fashion.

    And that’s exactly what they all do: instead of portraying fat people as legitimate models for fashion, they portray (us) as legitimate to be objectified — which is nice, maybe, sometimes — but hardly legitimate to stick in both jeans AND A tshirt.

    I was impressed by the Crystal Renn shoot — even if I wish they’d been modelling different clothes rather than sort of facing off — but this just seems like more of the same nude fat girls. Not super impressed.

    But yeah, it does seem ‘shopped, as well. I wish MY jeans fit perfectly to the curve of my stomach like that o_O

  4. 5 cc 2 January, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I usually agree with you, but belly overhang doesn’t happen if you buy the jeans big enough! 🙂 I try to avoid the muffin top at all costs- I would rather buy the bigger size than have it. LOL

  5. 6 PlusSizedFeminist 2 January, 2010 at 11:41 am

    One comment that I saw left me wondering:

    “matimus says:
    January 1st, 2010
    at 6:30 pm

    Well if we all are going to complain about showing “real” women. Then I want some real men. Do you know how much I work out to get that perfect 8 pack?

    Where is the mens plus division!?!?

    This is discrimination. I will not stand for it!”

    And I really do want to know. Where IS the men’s plus division?

    • 7 NotWednesday 3 January, 2010 at 11:31 am

      Men don’t need plus divisions, because their clothes already fit big men. And I don’t know about their appearance in fashion magazines, but there are a lot of fat men on TV and in movies, far more than fat women, and they get far better roles than the fat women.

    • 9 runwayrevolution 7 January, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      There are a few plus-size male models working in Australia, and there is a specific division of them at an agency called Brigitte in Germany but that’s about it as far as I know. There are plenty of ‘big and tall’ sportsmen (football, hockey, etc) that get the gigs elsewhere, when the company doesn’t use their own customers as models.

      There is no real supporting magazine or other work like fashion shows for larger men besides retail catalogs, hence no agencies bothering to seek them out.

  6. 10 Patsy Nevins 2 January, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Where are the men’s magazines that would show it? Sure as hell not something like Men’s Fitness?

    And it isn’t even ‘the same nude fat girls’ because the women they show aren’t fat, just pretty average-sized.

    As for rolls, some of us, if we are fat enough &/or just built that way (I am 5’6″, around 210 pounds, which still puts me toward the smaller end of mid-sized, but I carry a lot of my weight in my belly & ribcage area), even if the jeans are fitted perfectly, the roundness will be there. I have rolls when I am naked too.

    • 11 Frances 2 January, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      PlusSizedFeminist does raise a good point. There are male models and there is a men’s fashion industry – both of which completely overlook plus sized men. Nick over at Axis of Fat has written about this a few times.

      I know you’ve got this thing about plus size models, but don’t start categorising any women as ‘fat’ and ‘average sized’ on my blog.

  7. 12 NotWednesday 3 January, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I don’t know, it seems like the retouching for the previous one is much worse, but just not as noticeable, because of the size and poses of the models. The skinny model’s leg in the fourth one is all screwed up, much too long, and none of them have fat rolls or any hint of fat, aside from being thicker. The models also seem much skinnier in the first one.

    Plus, The “One Size Fits All” thing is pretty fatphobic, 12 is the average size for women, so showing size 2 and size 12 is hardly covering all. This one isn’t perfect, but it’s not terrible.

    • 13 Frances 3 January, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      I agree that the retouching in the last shoot, while obviously there, is not as noticable. The reason tou don’t notice it as much because it’s about the fashion. This shoot is specifically about the bodies, the attention is drawn towards the bodies, and so the editing – at least to me – is that much more severe.

    • 14 runwayrevolution 7 January, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      The other model with Crystal – Jac Jablonski, is a size 4. Ford says so, but who knows for sure? I would put CR at a 10 at the moment, she definitely looks sleeker than usual in a new editorial just out.


  8. 15 lagatta à montréal 7 January, 2010 at 10:42 am

    These are very young women. It depends on each person and how her curves (bones, muscles and fat) are distributed, but I certainly had no “overhang” on jeans at Tara Lynn’s age, and a very slender waist while already being rather curvy (mamma italiana). I’m a generation older now, and while still pretty much an hourglass (yeah, I know, “sand running to the bottom”), I’d never dare such a pose as my midriff is no longer so firm. People of all sizes come in different shapes.

    Of course they are airbrushed and made up in a fashion shoot – they should be treated like so-called “straight-sized” (tall and skinny) models. Just no body modification please!

    Tara Lynn is very beautiful. I’ve never seen her as a model or heard of her, and it is such a common name or pseudo that tonnes of models come up googling it.

    • 16 friend 11 February, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      Tara Lynn is a long time friend of mine and I can tell you honestly, she really is that beautiful. There’s a reason that not all heavy women can be models. These ones are because they have beautiful skin and not so lumpy curves. These women are not as heavily photo shopped as all of you out there say she is. And they aren’t teenagers either. Just lucky, beautiful, talented women. Tara has always been proud of her body and I think you can see that in her shoot.

  9. 17 runwayrevolution 7 January, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    If you want to know how the models look in real, unretouched life then watch the video that comes with the preview. You can see all of the shots as they were being taken and do a comparison.

    Tara Lynn is the largest girl, she is a size 16 with 45″ hips and is the only girl wearing plus size jeans (Seven, from LB) I would bet that they were properly altered to fit. Why would V do anything half-assed with all of the attention it was going to get??

    If anyone has questions on this particular shoot that they want answered, they should send them to me at info @ They need to reach me before the 9th Jan.

  10. 18 Rui 18 January, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Linda… simplesmente Linda!!!!

  11. 19 Betty 23 January, 2010 at 6:46 am

    i agree the photoshopping is weird and unnatural, but it is a first step in the right direction. and if no one promotes it positively, there won’t be any in the future. Maybe i wasn’t watching the right video clip, but it sure seemed to show the untouched images too fast to see and slow down & zoom in on the retouched images.

    Frances, I entered you in this contest, but there is something you have to go back and do to get votes : good luck!

    • 20 Frances 23 January, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      Luckily, I seem the be one of the only people disappointed by this spread!

      I agree with you re: the video – everything flashed very quickly to actually see the models ‘before’ and ‘after’.

  12. 21 Pear 25 January, 2010 at 5:12 am

    I love this blog and I love YOU so hard, Frances! Yesterday I read through it from the beginning to the newest entry.

    Coincidentally, today a newspaper style supplement had a piece on curvy women – it was about this very editorial by V magazine. And it was so disappointing to read after the joy of your blog, let me tell you.

    In fact, it failed so hard – the journalist asserted that “sensible” women have always known that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and there’s no one superior category – all this, and she had called Beth Ditto a freak in the very preceding sentence! Moreover the journalist was all about the boobs, not really acknowledging the fat in other, just as joyful places – she mentioned the “odd roll”, as if more than that would be criminal. No mention of the strange editing which might explain the “odd roll” in these photos.

    Truly, I don’t want to read stuff like that. I’m looking forward to more from you.

    • 22 Frances 25 January, 2010 at 8:55 am

      Thanks Pear!

      Ugh, whenever journalists attempt to write about plus size anything, they invariably screw it up. They say size doesn’t matter, but then manage to alienate anyone outside sizes 10 to 16. It does my head in. SOMEONE GIVE ME A JOB AT A NEWSPAPER – I’M BETTER.

      PS. Update your blog, woman. I love baking and I want some recipes.

  13. 23 RunwayRevolution 9 February, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve put the finished interview conducted with 2 of the models from this shoot online at:

    Unfortunately the agencies are being a bit severe with who gets to talk to the models so I didn’t have access to all 5 of them, but you still get a good look at the whole thing.

    As for the influence this magazine editorial has had – there will be a Madison coming out very soon with 3 women given similar treatment, and they will be fully clothed and sized Oz14-16.

    • 24 Frances 9 February, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      Oh, that’s veeerrry interesting re: Madison magazine. It’ll be interesting to see how they style with our labels. You’re so handy, Pip – always in the know!

  14. 25 URIEL 11 May, 2010 at 2:52 am


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