Les femmes pulpeuses

It’s almost fall, and for me fall equals fashion. If you’re looking at the September issue of a fashion magazine, you may notice that the model on the cover looks a little, well, rounder than in the past. According to an article in Le Monde this week, editors are re-touching photos to make the models look bigger than they actually are, a move away from the trend of showing almost skeletal women and then retouching them to make them even thinner.

Bather Arranging Her Hair, by P.A. Renoir, 1893

Bather Arranging Her Hair, by P.A. Renoir, 1893 (Photo credit: Alaskan Dude)

Les femmes pulpeuses (lay fem poolpeuz), like Beyoncé and J-Lo, are in and this affects what women expect to see on their magazine covers. Pulpeuses is a great word (the masculine form is pulpeux (poolpuh) for both singular and plural, the feminine singular is pulpeuse, add another “s” for the plural); it means “fleshy” when referring to fruit, and “luscious” when referring to flesh. What a nice concept! To be a little more rounded fore and aft, like Renoir’s Bathers, above and to the left, makes one luscious!

The process of making thin models look curvy is known as retouche inversée, or “reversed retouching.” While this procedure may seem like a step in a healthier direction in terms of body-image, former model Nicole Clark queried, “Pourquoi ne tout simplement pas faire appel directement à des femmes en bonne santé ? Ça éviterait [aux magazines] beaucoup de tracas.” or “Why not simply call directly on women in good health? That would eliminate a lot of bother (for the magazines)?” Why not, indeed? I’d agree to become the new super-model of pulpeuse proportions. I’d get a super-model salary and get to live in Paris for all the photo shoots. Pass the éclairs!

The September Issue (a documentary featuring Vogue editor Anna Wintour about all that goes into the biggest issue of the year)

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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4 Responses to Les femmes pulpeuses

  1. Sign me up! Vivent les pulpeuses.

  2. Pingback: Quand le chat n’est pas là les souris dansent | One quality, the finest.

  3. Pingback: Le culte du corps | One quality, the finest.

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