Vogue's lingerie spread is a shout-out to curvy girls

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Photo: via Vogue

Vogue has published an online editorial dedicated to big boobs, featuring the kind of cup sizes not usually found in its glossy pages. The busty-girl spread, titled ‘The Best Lingerie Comes in All Sizes’, comes hot on the heels of Victoria Secret’s ‘Perfect Body’ scandal and the Calvin Klein controversy, where size-10 model Myla Dalbesio was seemingly publicised as being ‘plus-size’. Could the timing be more perfect?

Unlike the aforementioned ads, the Vogue spread actually includes a wide and diverse range of bodies modelling pretty underthings. (We’re talking wide and diverse for real-world standards, and not just fashion.) “My kind of #supermodels,” photographer Cass Bird wrote on Instagram. 

Bypassing its usual casting agencies, the magazine poached members of ALDA, a body-positive coalition of models, including ALDA creator Ashley Graham, Danielle Redman, Inga Eiriksdottir, Julie Henderson, and Marquita Pring, who banded together after the closure of Ford’s plus-size division.

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“Give me a D! Give me an F!” the page reads. This is certainly a positive development given that, generally, the magazine’s body type of choice tends to hover around a size 6, when the average size in Australia just happens to be a size 16.

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Another plus is that the focus of the shoot is on bras – from demi cups to balconettes – and as any large-chested woman knows, shopping for the right support is exponentially harder if you’re anything exceeding a D-cup. (As for swimwear shopping, well, prepare to drown in many a dowdy design.)

Though ‘in-betweenie’ model stands as a somewhat awkward term invented to bridge the considerable gap between sample and plus sizes, its emergence and the increasing number of models who choose to identify with it marks a larger sea change within the fashion industry. As Myla Dalbesio explained toThe Cut, not so long ago such a middle ground didn’t exist.  

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“There was no agency that would accept a girl over a size 4 onto their straight-size board. It just didn’t happen, so girls that were my size had no place to go. Those [plus-size agencies] were the only boards that would accept us, so even though we weren’t ‘plus-size,’ that’s how it ended up.”

As The Cut points out, nine years ago, Dalbesio was deemed ‘plus-size’ because she wasn’t waif thin. Nowadays, Wilhelmina has changed its plus-size board to ‘curvy’ and former plus-size agents with Ford have broken away and started Jag, a modelling agency that’s completely done away with labels.

How refreshing it is to see these models succeed despite not fitting into one size category. As for Vogue, this is a big step forward for a magazine that once peddled a skinny-only agenda. Earlier this year, they featured Candice Huffine in their April issue and famously placed three plus-size models on the cover of Vogue Italia.

The black-and-white photos from their latest shoot are stunning, sexy, and — like Calvin Klein’s latest add campaign — don’t explicitly call attention to the fact that its models tout full-figured numbers above the straight-size norm.Vogue's message is simply that bras are personal, practical, important, and that everyone deserves to wear a pretty one of their choosing.

Though the models appear in their own separate slideshow (which you can view in its entirety here), we’re hopeful that one day we may see women from every size spectrum – straight, plus, in-between – represented within Vogue's pages (paper, not just virtual) without any arbitrary labels attached. After all, the only thing these ladies have in common really is the fact that they’re wearing bras.