Becoming a Plus-Size Male Model
7 Comments • Uncategorized • By Melissa
The male modelling industry is decidedly smaller than the women’s, which means it runs slightly behind the fast-moving female modelling division. While plus-size modelling has been huge in women’s modelling for several years, male modelling has been slow to catch up.
However, with inclusivity and representation a hugely important aspect of commercial modelling right now, it makes sense that plus-size male models are finally getting represented by the fashion industry.
So what does it take to become a plus-size male model?
Plus-size men have been overlooked for years, especially compared to plus-size women. However, we have finally started to see a change with labels and brands beginning to introduce plus-size marketing and sizes into their collections.
We’re also seeing a change in modelling agencies too, who have finally started broadening their signed models; some have even introduced plus-size divisions (sometimes known as ‘brawn’ or ‘big and tall’ divisions).
Brands like ASOS and Savage X Fenty have also helped pave the way by celebrating body diversity in their marketing and runway shows. Plus-size men have finally been given the possibility of landing high-profile jobs, and the positive feedback from customers has meant further opportunities are now available.
However, there is still a long way to go before plus-size men have the same sort of coverage as plus-size women. Can you name a famous plus-size man off the top of your head? Probably not; but we bet you recognise names like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence, two very well-known plus-size female models.
The Brawn Division
As we mentioned above, plus-size male models are known as the ‘brawn division’. Modelling agencies are starting to make divisions that cater specifically to larger men as demand continues to grow.
It’s important to note that ‘plus-size’ does not simply refer to general size; plus-size can refer to men who are taller or who have broader shoulders than the standard required for modelling. High fashion in particular is notoriously strict about its model’s requirements and many would find it physically impossible to meet these standards even on the strictest diet and exercise regime. Having plus-size divisions give opportunities to models who might not otherwise find access into this competitive industry without potentially harming their health.
Famous Plus-Size Male Models
– Steven Martin
– Brett Morse
– Kelvin Davis
– Nemar Parchment
– Bruce Sturgell
What Are the Requirements for Plus-Size Male Models?
The requirements for plus-size male models isn’t exactly clear – but you can use this to your advantage. As long as you’re attractive with a great personality and have a great work ethic, it means you could be considered by a modelling agency that signs plus-size male models.
Always make sure to do your research first and find agencies that are willing to accept and work with plus-size models. There’s no point applying to agencies who don’t – you’ll just be wasting both your and their time.
You can apply to as many agencies as you want, as many times as you want, though a good rule of thumb is to only reapply after a good 6 months or so. It’s a good idea to keep track on an excel sheet so you don’t unintentionally harass them!
Find out as much as you can about the agency first; what is it they look for? Do they hire models that look like you? Is there a model already on their roster who looks similar to you (this could be both good and bad as an agency won’t want to sign two identical-looking models)?
Getting Into Fashion Modelling
Fashion modelling is a notoriously tricky industry to get into, especially for those who don’t reflect the mainstream or those who don’t meet the high standards requested by the industry. But times are changing, and we are slowly starting to see more diversity.
Like all models, plus-size male models need to have a strong modelling portfolio in order to be considered. They’ll also benefit from having good experience and a strong network or social media presence.
If you are completely new to modelling, you should consider hiring a professional photographer for a proper photo shoot. Not only will this give you valuable experience in front of the camera, but it will also allow you to purchase high-quality photos that can be included in your modelling portfolio.
Modelling Advice for Beginners to Plus Size Fashion
– Most modelling work takes place in major cities like London, Manchester and Liverpool, or places like New York in America, so you need to be located in these areas or be willing to travel to them regularly for work and for auditions.
– It’s a very good idea to have a strong social media presence if you want to get noticed and fast-track your potential success as a model. Social media, in particular Instagram, is a great place to build up a fanbase which can then be utilised to gain you work or collaborations with brands and retailers. Make sure to follow other curvy models for inspiration, and be sure to follow British fashion brands to keep abreast of trends and campaigns. Lots of models in the public eye started out as an influencer and worked their way into the industry via networking. Once you have a strong following, you can feel confident enough to approach brands for potential work. This may start out as being given freebies to advertise, but if you can prove that you have the power to influence fans to buy or follow, you’ll soon be able to charge for your work.
– Try to get signed to a modelling agency as soon as you can; this will give you the support you need while entering the business. It can be tricky to get signed, but keep applying and don’t give up; ensure you apply with strong high-quality photos that really show off your potential.
– Success can rely heavily on networking with like-minded people in the industry, so be sure to work hard at building relationships with others in the business of fashion. This could be fellow models as well as make-up artists, hair stylists, photographers, agency workers… you never know who could provide you with your next opportunity, so be polite to everyone and be ready to hand out some z-cards.
– Just like all other models, you will need to look after yourself physically and mentally. That means eating well and exercising regularly so you can keep up with the often gruelling demands modelling can sometimes require (long hours, travelling and the like).
– Take regular body measurements as you will need these for your applications and you’ll want to be as accurate as possible.