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SERIES: Types of Modelling, Part 3: Plus Size Modelling

SERIES: Types of Modelling, Part 3: Plus Size Modelling

In the era where the stereotypical ‘tooth-pick’ thin models are dominating (well the controversial health and psychological repercussions of size zero models have led to the complete ban of size zero models in some regions) plus size modelling is really growing strong! Many plus size models bring their A+ game to the show. Oh well, that’s an interesting and encouraging turn of events.

A certain Ashley Graham must have appeared on the front cover of about a gazillion magazines—okay I might have exaggerated that a little, but really she’s appeared on several covers—and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon!

In the first two parts of this series, I covered the two most popular types of modelling.


Market For Plus Size Modelling

So many ‘big people’ have contacted me saying they’d really love to try their hands on modelling but were just too scared of being body shamed. There’s a big market (pun intended) for plus sized models out there. At least the modelling industry has acknowledged the need to cater for ‘big’ people. Plus size Modelling started as a spinoff’ for commercial modelling. There were times clients’ targeted marketed for some campaigns/products were big people and the skinny models just would not cut it. So they started asking for plus sized models.


[bctt tweet=”There’s a big market for plus sized models out there #fandffashion #plussizemodelling” username=”deji_okufi”]


Plus Size Models

So who is a Plus Size Model really? According to Wikipedia, “plus size model is a term applied to an individual of average to larger stature (sometimes but not exclusively overweight or obese) who is engaged primarily in modelling plus-size clothing.  A plus size model is not necessarily restricted to wearing plus-size clothing only. They can appear in prints (editorials) just like Ashley Graham and they can appear in cosmetics adverts since it’s not only skinny girls that use makeups and other products.

Plus size models may range in sizes from size 12 generally to size 22. They could be tall or short. It is said that plus size models even have their own “high-fashion-models/runway-models”, fit models and print models. Plus size modelling could potentially be huge and a very big deal.

[bctt tweet=”Plus size models may range in sizes from size 12 generally to size 22. They could be tall or short #fandffashion #plussizemodel” username=”deji_okufi”]


Body Confidence

As plus size model, you have to be confident. This is key in determining if you will be successful as a model. You need to be familiar with your body shape. Perhaps most importantly, you need to be comfortable with your body and its size. If you are uncomfortable with your appearance, it will show, and becoming a plus size model will be much more difficult.

You need to love yourself and you need to practise positive self-talk and remove negative self-talks.

Models need to have healthy skin, hair, teeth, and nails. Plus sized models’ bodies also need to be toned and in shape. Because you’re a plus size model doesn’t give you license to eat with reckless abandon; it’s on the contrary. As a plus size model you’d almost always have to maintain your size especially when you have submitted your profile. Most clients will assume you’re still the same size. So you need to take care of your body by drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise, and eating healthy.

  • It is recommended that you drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day, i.e. 2 litres (0.53 US gal) or half a gallon.
  • It is recommended that you get either 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Examples of moderate exercise are brisk walking and swimming. Examples of vigorous exercise are running. Or, aim for a combination of both moderate and vigorous exercise.
  • Prioritise healthy fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains over processed foods, fast food, meats with a high fat count.

[bctt tweet=”Plus sized models’ bodies also need to be toned and in shape #fandffashion #plussizemodels” username=”deji_okufi”]

Just Like Any Other Model

In plus size modelling, you’d almost always have to follow the procedures other models follow to have a successful career.

You’d need to research your market and the industry at large. You’d need to check for the most suitable modelling agencies, especially those that focus on plus size modelling. It doesn’t hurt to study and learn about the top models, photographers, and stylists in the industry. For example, learn about the world’s first plus-size model, Melissa Aronson. By having this knowledge, you will have a clearer picture of what the industry looks like. This also shows the agencies that you are serious about modeling and that it is something you have taken the time to look into.

Just like any market in the modelling industry, the Plus size modelling market is susceptible to scams perhaps even more than the other markets, especially if you have not done your research and you’re not confident. Do not allow anyone body shame you, but be open to constructive criticism.

[bctt tweet=”In plus size modelling, you’d almost always have to follow the procedures other models follow to have a successful career. #model” username=”deji_okufi”]


Make friends with lots of photographers and ask to collaborate with some that are still developing their profiles. This will help you develop your own modelling portfolio as you’d most likely need to submit this to agencies and potential clients to get jobs.

Practice! Practice!! Practice!!! You’d need to acquire basic skills, it could be cat-walk, acting or even smiling skills. Yep, you have to perfect your best smile. Practice in front of a mirror and good lighting, you could even call a family member or friend for constructive criticisms.

Then go for Castings and Open calls and dominate like a boss!

Have you always considered trying plus size modelling? Your size really is not a thing, you may want to give it a shot. Mention some successful plus size models you know the comments section below!

About The Author

Deji Okufi

Whenever Deji Okufi is not spending all his time scouting for new models or researching the modelling and fashion industry, he's researching ways he can deliver better content for his readers. In an attempt to control his obsession for perfectionism he also studies Digital Marketing.

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