The June cover story in Vogue Italia, Belle Vere, was all about the curves. Languid, bare-breasted models gaze from the pages, pouting and purring in their lingerie. They’re beautiful – gorgeous in their preened, fleshly glory. There’s a luxurious air about them that no amount of pouting on a stick-thin model could convey. These are women of appetite – they look like they’d be fabulous company at dinner, not like they ought to be on some nutrient drip. Surely, this is a celebration of women’s bodies at their finest. A beauty ideal to which we can all aspire should we so desire.
Or is it just marketing? Sales may be flagging so perhaps a little notoriety – in the shape of someone with breasts all of her own flesh – was needed to pick them up. The poses are no different from those adopted in any other lingerie photoshoot: on her knees, legs apart, breasts tumbling from her corset. She’s enjoying herself – or doing a fine job of faking it – but for whom? And why the porn star poses? Sexualised isn’t the only way to present a woman, even if Vogue is trying to make the point that just because your body fat ratio isn’t 1%, doesn’t mean no one will want to look at you. So long as pouting for the boys remains the default manner in which to convey sexiness, it doesn’t matter what dress size the models, it remains a no-win situation. She’s still just a figurine no matter how normal her figure. We don’t have to take off our clothes to know we look good naked so neither should she.