…where Dawn lists the words used to describe bigger women.
Dawn and Helen agreed to do a film about big women with the SouthBank Show in 1994 – directed by Margy Kinmouth. The film was intended to be a celebration of big women given their invisibility in modern media and was presented by Dawn.
Dawn presents her personal celebration of Big Women and the film draws on art, photography, fashion, film and and sculpture to ask why big women who were revered and celebrated throughout the history of art are now ignored by today’s culture.
The film recreates paintings by Rubens and Ingres, challenges today’s top artists and photographers to pay homage to womanly curves and includes a visit to a society of French big women called Allegro Fortissimo and a sojourn in the studio of designer Vivienne Westwood, who creates the perfect chocolate box dress for Dawn to model.
“There’s a long sequence where they’re photographing some large women to recreate old paintings, and the photographer is talking about why, perhaps, women used to be larger and now they’re not, and although he’s clearly trying to sound positive and inclusive, almost every word and every piece of body language seems to scream “why am I here having to look at these fatties?” He’s pretty awful, but I suppose he spends all of his time with skinny models, so he’s just not used to being with regular women.”
“Every photoshoot that they arrange, the photographer chooses to do a parody of the old masters. It’s almost as if they can’t imagine a large woman in any other situation than a bygone era. And when you hear the editorial team from Esquire magazine talking about the pictures, it’s frankly revolting. “Can you imagine going to bed with her?” Long pause. They talk about large women as if they are somehow a whole different, exotic species.”
Below is a still of Dawn fiddling with her off the shoulder dress as she gets ready for the show.
So what shape do you think you are?
Over time we will talk about how we dress our individual shapes and we hope you will join the conversation. For your interest, Dawn is closest to a no. 3 of the shapes that begin this post and Helen closest to a no.4!