Coffee Rhetoric: The Thickness

March 28, 2007

The Thickness

So, I'm a die hard fan of America's Next Top Model, (despite Tyra Banks's growing annoying self-indulgent personality). I've watched the tears, the cat fights, and the glory of attaining the coveted modeling contract and perks that come along with being one of the show's stand-outs. I remember Toccara Jones, one of the first plus size models to make it on the show and into the top 10 before being eliminated, in the show's third season. Beautiful, buxom, statuesque, and charismatic, I was excited to see her make it as far as she did. However, the show's 8th season, not one but TWO full-figured models made it onto the show. Perhaps Tyra's growing acceptance of her own voluptuous 162 pound frame (which included her passionately telling the media via her talk show, to kiss her "fat ass!!") helped propel this new feature on ANTM. Needless to say, the two full figured models in question, Diana O'Connell (at a well distributed 198 lbs) and Whitney Cunningham (weight unknown) were in the bottom two this evening. For some unknown reason, I cried like a wee punk. Perhaps it was a case of the PMS'eez, in addition to coming to grips with and relishing my own voluptuosity, but I was stoked to see two gorgeous, thick young women make it on the show at the same time! Essentially and much to my chagrin, Diana would be the one sent packing. Her demise notwithstanding, I think this cult of personality is finally coming to grips with the fact that the average woman is NOT emaciated and strung out on coke. With the modeling world's recent ban on too- skinny models, Jennifer Hudson and America Ferrara (of Ugly Betty fame) being lauded on the red carpet, I do think that being sensuous in stature, is no longer a taboo. Designers are designing for the thick and comely, and the world can SEE that it's not a crime to be Fellini-esque. When one considers the likes of Marilyn Monroe (who was reported to be a size 16), Jayne Mansfield, and Pam Grier, emaciated forms never used to be the norm. Exaggerated hour-glass shapes used to be celebrated. I never understood the allure of ribcage and hip bones, quite personally. While some people claim that they don't want to see overweight women in bikinis, I, in turn, don't want to see underweight women in bathing suits either. Needless to say, I think the media is slowly, but surely realizing that women in their full, thick, and well distributed forms are indeed beautiful. When I consider this realization, I also consider the differing cultures that thrive in each respective culture. Fortunately, mine includes an appreciation for The Thickness.