The Rise of Plus Size Modelling

Gone are the days where modelling is limited to unobtainable size six models with legs that go on for days. The industry is becoming much more aware of creating a healthier body image for the younger generation.

We’re seeing more plus size models gain traction in the media, both nationally and internationally. Models such as Laura Wells and Ashley Graham are creating ripples in the industry with Ashley Graham being the first plus size model to feature in the pages of coveted magazine, Sports Illustrated.

Healthy Body Image

The healthy body image campaign is being spread globally. Paris is one of the most innovative fashion hubs in the world. They recently passed legislation to state that a model must present a doctor’s certificate to certify that their health is “compatible with the practice of the profession”. This ensures that models in Paris can’t be booked for a job without proving they are healthy and have a BMI of 18 or over.

What does ‘Plus Size’ really mean?

Although you wouldn’t be considered “Plus Size” in the real world this is an industry word used to describe models that are 3-6 sizes larger than the industry standard. Most Plus Sized models still need to meet the height requirement of 5ft8 and taller and are generally size 12-16, so they’re actually Australia’s average clothing size. A Plus Sized Model is a fit and healthy representation of the everyday woman. A proportionate body is a must! Along with a killer smile, alluring eyes, great skin and healthy hair. Most of the work for plus size models comes in the form of catalogue, e commerce and print campaigns for specialty brands and sometimes showroom, fit, and magazine editorials.

Plus Size Online

We all know online shopping has been around for like, ever! Yet all of a sudden we are noticing a major shift in the number of plus size ranges fashion retailers like ASOS and The Iconic are providing. They are recognising the need to nurture the ‘normal’ sized woman and realising that in providing a range targeted and marketed directly for these women, they are gaining more traction than ever.

ASOS recently launched a plus size modelling contest on Instagram as a means of finding a spokesperson for their new ASOS Curve range. ASOS was super excited to give a plus-sized girl a Cinderella story and make her a professional model, winning a contract for London based agency Models1.

Curve Agencies

Of course the rise in plus size models is calling for a demand on agencies to manage them. MILK Model Management and IMG Models amongst many others now have a separate ‘Curve’ division solely for the management of larger models. With more and more backlash on advertising campaigns using excessively slimmer models, curve models are finding work fast.

Gorgeous curve model, Ashley Graham recently landed the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine. Known for their figure loving swimsuits and tastefully, sexy shoots; their decision to put a plus size model on the cover really cemented the fact that the industry is changing.

Could it be for you?

Many brands are using plus size models to promote the idea of ‘fit not thin’ which allows us to celebrate a woman’s curves and healthy body type without being on either side of the adverse spectrum. So if modelling is something you’ve been interested in, but don’t fit into the size six mould of a straight sized model. Then fear not, because there’s a growing need for Plus Sized models in this world and you can be one of them!

Vogue Magazine


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