The body positivity movement got a bump this week when Vogue featured plus-sized model Paloma Elsesser on its cover for the January 2021 issue.
In a post to Instagram earlier this week, Elsesser shared the magazine cover and praised Vogue for allowing people to see that bodies like hers are “no longer radical.”
“I woke up the morning of this shoot and hit my knees as I rolled out of bed. prayed for protection and care — for a day where I could honor how monumental this was,” she said. “For the voices to be quieted, to know that this was bigger than me, and to know I was exactly where I needed to be. The day was crisp and the low hanging fog kissed the long island pond I’d pose in soon enough.”
“Everything became so surreal as I looked out to Gabby, Latisha, Susie and Annie to work and collaborate with women I so deeply admire,” she continued. “To know that I’m shooting an American vogue cover as a chubby, short, mixed-race womxn who never imagined this would be her reality.”
Though Paloma felt deep gratitude for the moment, she also felt dissatisfaction over the fact that there is much more work to be done.
“Although my heart swells with gratitude, I am not satisfied. I urge fashion to never let this momentum seize until seeing bodies and experiences like mine and beyond are no longer radical, no longer different; no longer rare,” she said. “I want to see bigger-bodied femmes, dark skin femmes, disabled people, and all the iterations of identity that have left so many alone in media. I want this moment to render a new year of possibility and a lifetime of hope.”
Paloma finished thanking everyone “who has championed me through this process, my heart knows no bounds.”
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Paloma’s presence on the Vogue cover follows a recent trend in the fashion world featuring women of varying body sizes. This past summer, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2020 issue featured the “curviest model ever” with the presence of Hunter McGrady.
“For some reason this year, I really went in feeling my absolute best,” McGrady told Fox News earlier this year. “Any kind of insecurity I had just went out the door… Every year I shed a little bit of that insecurity because let’s face it, we’re all human. I love myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have any insecurities. But this year I feel like I really let that out the door and went in feeling with this feeling of just being the best that I can be. And I just had fun with it. I’ve already seen some of the photos and they’re amazing. I just feel really, really great about this issue.”
McGrady added that she hopes her presence will dispel certain misconceptions people have about plus-sized models and dispel some of the stigmas.
“I think a lot of people think that [plus-sized models] are able to eat whatever they want,” she explained. “They don’t work out. They just sit at home and lounge around. That is absolutely not the case. I work out with my trainer and I train daily. People for so long have equated a larger size to be unhealthy. The truth of the matter is that I’m more healthy now than I’ve ever been in my life. It’s a stigma that needs to change.”