V Magazine’s “Size Issue” may have finally brought plus-size models some long-deserved publicity, but one Web site has been singing the praises of fuller-figured fashion models for over a decade.
The Judgment of Paris features images of the most popular plus-size models, as well as an online art gallery, illustrated essays, video clips, a discussion forum and much more.
The site’s name refers to history’s first beauty contest, a classical myth about a Greek shepherd named Paris who was asked to judge the most beautiful of all the goddesses. Judgmentofparis.com updates the myth by allowing visitors to choose their favorite plus-size model.
The name also indicates the site’s mission to critique the fashion industry (Paris being the fashion capital). The Judgment of Paris condemns the emaciated standard of appearance that modern fashion promotes.
Many of the site’s pages compare images of plus-size models with depictions of ideal femininity in sculpture and painting throughout history. “The vogue for thinness is a relatively recent phenomenon, an aberration,” asserts site creator Heinrich Saint-Germain. “Historically, artists favored a fuller-figured look. Today’s plus-size models bring that timeless ideal to life.”
On the site’s lively forum, visitors discuss a host of topics, such as why the beauty ideal changed from full-figured to skeletal early in the twentieth century.
One of judgmentofparis.com’s boldest claims is that this shift away from the traditional preference for curves to the androgynous, contemporary standard was part of the suppression of beauty in all of the arts. “Throughout history, beauty was the artistic ideal, but early in the twentieth century, the art establishment broke from this tradition,” Saint-Germain states.
“From brutalist architecture, to dissonant music, to abstract painting, ugliness became fashionable as beauty was slighted. The rise of the modern fashion model with her unnatural look – angles instead of curves, hardness instead of softness, flat planes instead of round contours – was part of this cultural upheaval.”
The Judgment of Paris champions the return of the historical ideal. “It’s not that plus-size models are beautiful ‘despite’ the fact that they’re full figured,” Saint-Germain explains. “They’re beautiful because they’re full-figured. Their softer appearance represents the essence of femininity.”
After a century of minimalism and what the Judgment of Paris calls the “aesthetics of guilt,” people everywhere may be hungry for a more generous definition of beauty.
For more information visit www.judgmentofparis.com