How to Be a Plus-Size Model
5 Comments • Uncategorized • By Melissa
Want to know how to enter the world of plus-size modelling? You’re in the right place!
While it isn’t too complicated, it can be tricky. Plus-size modelling has seen more visibility over the last few decades as more designers and stylists embrace inclusivity. This means demand for plus-size models has shot up, so while it isn’t easy, getting involved in the world of plus-size modelling is definitely easier now than it has been in the past.
We’ve listed our top advice from industry professionals to help plus-size models crack the fashion industry.
What is Plus-Size Modelling?
Plus-size modelling refers to a model who is larger than the typical average model. As runway models are notoriously slender (usually around a UK size 8), this means that a plus-size model can be anywhere from a size 10 upwards.
A plus-size model’s size can range depending on the division of modelling you find them in. For runway models, plus-size models are around a size 10 (high-fashion modelling does not tend to hire those above this size yet, unfortunately). In commercial modelling, plus-size models are around a size 12/14 and above.
What Are the Requirements for Plus-Size Modelling?
Again, requirements range depending on the division of modelling. For example, plus-size models in high-fashion usually have slender faces, as well as a smaller waist and hourglass figure. Proportion is key; plus-size models in runway modelling usually look like a slightly bigger version of their typical slender size 8 models, but with a slightly bigger bust and hip size.
For commercial models, the requirements are slightly more relaxed. Models can range from size 10 upwards, and commercial modelling will accept models that are larger. While the hourglass figure is still most desirable, those with more of an apple shape (their bust, hips and waist are all a similar size) will not be discounted.
Generally speaking, agencies are looking for models who are eye-catching and attractive in their own way. This may mean a nice smile, strong facial features, or even a strong personality or online presence.
What Modelling Agencies Have Plus-Size Divisions?
Not all modelling agencies will accept plus-size models. Plus-size is its own category of modelling, and as such you need to look and apply to agencies who accept plus-size models onto their roster.
The following agencies have plus-size divisions:
You will be able to find the application form on their websites. Remember – you can apply to as many agencies as you like, as many times as you like, but a good rule of thumb is to wait at least 6 months before re-applying.
How to Get Signed to a Plus-Size Agency
Getting signed to a modeling agency is one of the biggest challenges models face, regardless of size and modelling category. Plus-size models do face more discrimination within the industry because, unfortunately, the modelling world has been a predominantly skinny person’s world for the last few decades. But recent leaps forward in diversity within the industry has meant plus-size models have suddenly become in demand for work with some of the most famous and popular brands.
To get signed to an agency, a plus size model must do what every other model must do – be in the right place at the right time to get scouted, or get applying. As the former relies heavily on pure luck, you’re best to settle yourself down in front of your computer and get applying the old-fashioned way – via application form.
Fortunately, nearly all agencies have websites now, so you won’t have to look far to find the application process. This will differ slightly from agency to agency, but they will all be after the same thing. They will ask for your modelling statistics (i.e. your measurements including waist size and height, dress size and shoe size, hair and eye colour etc.), and they will ask for your contact details.
They will also ask for a selection of photos of you. These photos are the most important aspect of the application process. Include a beauty shot to show off your facial beauty, as well as a full-length body shot so they can see your figure. The aim of these photos is to show off your potential as a model, and your skill. It’s vital they’re as good as possible, and show you off in the absolute best possible light. An agency will spend only a few seconds looking at your photos before deciding whether you are a good fit for their agency, so it’s worth investing time and money into these photos (remember, these can also be added to your modelling portfolio for use at future interviews and casting calls).
Things to Consider
As a plus-size aspiring model, you’ll have a couple of things to consider. For example, would you be happy with lingerie, swimwear and/or topless/nude modelling? Being uncomfortable may limit your potential work, but it’s important you decide this early on so you can set your limitations with agencies and brands from the offset.
You should also make sure to research what an agency is looking for before applying. If you don’t meet their physical requirements, you’ll only waste your time applying.
You should also think about the best way to utilise social media, in particular Instagram, to help you achieve your goals. Having a decent social media presence will only help boost your exposure to suitable brands, and you may find yourself with work purely off the back of your social media account.
Finally, if you don’t have any experience modelling, it’s a good idea to think about hiring a professional photographer for a photo shoot. You’ll need high-quality photos of yourself for your agency applications as well as for use in your modelling portfolio and on your z-cards. Investing in a photo shoot will provide you with images that will show your professionalism as well as show you off in the best possible light. To save money, try and get as many varied shots as possible, including some close-up beauty shots and some full-body shots. Try and get some photos in natural light and practice your posing beforehand.