Natural beauty: What’s sexy in 2013

Lena Dunham once told Playboy that if she woke up with the body of a Victoria's Secret model, she wouldn't be happy. (PHOTO CREDIT: HBO)
Lena Dunham once told Playboy that if she woke up with the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, she wouldn’t be happy.
Credit: HBO

The biggest sex story of the past year didn’t happen between Christian and Anastasia, in some porn your mom read — it happened in Brooklyn when Adam banged Hannah, and probably gave her an STD. The HBO series “Girls,” with its frank depiction of bad dirty talk, venereal diseases, abortions, miscarriages and condom spill, is all about sex; but unlike “Sex and the City” before it, this show is a global hit partly because star/creator Lena Dunham is, well, average-looking. She’s a chubby, tattooed, thin-haired 26-year-old. She’s normal.

The hype comes at the perfect time for the “real beauty” movement — and for this Metro Sex Issue, themed “Feel Good Naked.” Within the past month, plus-size model Jennie Runk made headlines when H&M debuted her modeling swimwear (despite being a dress size 14-16, not 0). Dove soap, on the tails of an ad campaign featuring plus-size women, launched an “anti-Photoshop” app that restores images to their original form. And “amateur” porn is the most popular category on YouPorn, ranking higher than “blondes.” The house that Jenna Jameson built is crumbling. The question is, how quickly.

So yes, how quickly?

In one year, or in five? “I don’t think five years is enough,” says Gabi Gregg, 26, a plus-size blogger (gabifresh.com). Her work went viral last year after she posted photos of herself looking sensual in a “fatkini” and, this week, she launches her own line of swimwear. “But people like Lena Dunham and Louis C.K. are opening doors. Just the fact that her body makes people so angry — if you read the comments, people are telling her to put on clothes. She has said that only makes her want to do it more. It’s my favorite show.”

Arielle Loren doesn’t watch “Girls,” but also traffics in blunt depictions of sex. Her magazine Corset (corsetmagazine.com) features graphic nudity and first-person erotica, and resembles someone’s beautifully photographed diary. It became profitable after a year, and Loren sees it as part of a movement. “The way we learn about sex, the pornography industry drives a lot of that consciousness,” says Loren, a 27-year-old American. “It starts to inform the way we think about ‘sexy’ from an early age. But there are multifaceted aspects of sex and what it can really be, which we explore in the magazine. That goes from everything you can do in the bedroom — physically — but also how we understand our bodies.”

A recent Corset photoshoot, Breasts in Erotic Daylight, features a brown bosom with stretch marks. “We definitely don’t airbrush,” says Loren. “There’s something very sexy about that. Being able to see the hair follicles on a breast or the stretch marks on a woman’s stomach.” She now has subscribers here, in Canada, Peru, Brazil, Sweden and beyond.

And yet, post a photo of a plus size-model online and you’ll see that not everyone’s as accepting. Exhibit A: Jennie Runk.

Junk in Runk’s trunk

The excitement (and debate) over Runk’s H&M campaign made it all the way to Italy, where she was working in May. It led to at least one sleepless night. “I was thinking about all the media I’ve been getting and my mom reads a lot of the comments and she said, ‘I can’t believe somebody called you fat,’” remembers the 24-year-old. “And some people on the other side were like, ‘The curvier bodies are better!’ And it’s so ridiculous that people are having these arguments. What if some girl looks at these pictures and looks exactly like me: How is she going to feel?”

She turned to Facebook with a post. “I’ve noticed that people like to debate what kind of body is better than another,” she wrote. “This is all wrong! To me, true beauty is defined by a healthy lifestyle and a genuine personality. Bodies are just meaty things that carry our personhoods around for us.” A week later, Runk is still riled up. She notes that “bigger” models are getting more work, but “we should focus on embracing all sizes,” she says bluntly.

“This argument,” adds Runk, “is going to be a thing of the past when — honestly, I don’t know.” On Facebook, she was more hopeful, saying it’s “our differences that make us remarkable.” She laughs when she hears that again. “I’ve been told before I’m a little too naive.”

How to feel good naked: Tips from the editor of Corset

“Start by walking around your house naked. If you have a roommate, shut your door and walk around your room naked. The more you get comfortable with your naked self — not covering yourself up with a towel every time you take a shower, not taking the time to be in your body and open like that — your confidence will slowly and steadily increase.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.