Penthouse Features Kelly Shibari as First-Ever Plus Size Model

Dec 7, 2015 8:17 AM PST

NEW YORK — Kelly Shibari is featured as the first-ever plus size model in Penthouse Magazine.

In June 2014, Shibari became the first plus size model to appear in a mainstream gentlemen’s magazine, when she was featured on the cover of Penthouse offshoot Penthouse Forum. Now, she's appearing in a multi-page pictorial for the flagship publication's Pop Shots project, with circus-themed images shot by photographer Tommy O and art directed by Jim Rose.

"For Penthouse, 2015 has been a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the magazine, and of its mission to honor the grace and allure of the female form,” Managing Director Kelly Holland said.

"’Pop Shots,’ which features artists and cultural icons depicting their personal vision of beauty, has been a large part of that Golden Jubilee, and over the past year and a half it has resulted in a series of visually inventive, stunning, and stimulating layouts," she added.

“We couldn’t be happier with where our guest art directors have taken us, and the groundbreaking pictorial by sideshow impresario Jim Rose in the January 2016 issue is no exception," continued Holland. "Jim brought out the strength, sensuality and sexual appeal of all his models — BBW star Kelly Shibari, Giraffe Woman Sydney V. Smith, and adult actress Sarah Jessie — allowing Penthouse to once again showcase the multifaceted magnificence of women in the modern world.”

“Kelly has a traditional strength, and she's really intelligent," Rose said. "I just think of a mother seeing a child getting hit by a car, and being able to lift that car off that child, by summoning that kind of adrenaline and energy. I’ve always gotten the sense she can do that — that she has the mental strength to be able to channel her energy in herculean ways."

“Kelly’s confidence, poise and professionalism can be an example to models of any size,” Tommy O expressed. “No sideshow for her; in our 'Three Ring Circus' shoot, Kelly definitely takes Center Ring!”

“I’m over the moon!” Shibari said. “I was so thrilled with how my Penthouse Forum issue was received by the public — there’s always some trepidation when you break into new territory, to an audience who is not used to seeing a plus size woman on their magazine’s pages.

"For Penthouse to then have me in their flagship publication is amazing," she continued. "I am beyond grateful, and doubly so, for having Jim [Rose] conceptualize this shoot. He is someone whom I cherish dearly, and for whom I am so happy to have been able to model.”

The January 2016 issue hits stands nationwide December 22. To view past Pop Shots collaborations, order back issues, read online articles and more, visit

A promotional tour starts today, with a full day of interviews in Los Angeles, followed by a weeklong media tour in New York, ending with an issue release party. 

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