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INSpire: The Rise Of Plus-Sized Models; Does Size Matter?


“At the end of the day, we are all trying to feel comfortable in any type of size — plus size or not.”

Plus sized model; this word is applied on those individual of larger build which cannot be referred as being overweight or obese interlinked with the modelling of plus-sized clothing.

A page from 1954 catalog of Lane Bryant
A page from 1954 catalog of Lane Bryant

These models are not only for the advertisement of clothing, they also work for different types of cosmetics, pharmaceutical products and footwear and sunglasses. Previously, this term was known as big size models or oversized models.

Nowadays, fashion designers are looking for more plus-sized models for their branding of clothing and have used them for their campaigns and catwalks. In early 1990’s, Lane Bryant began dealing as a maker of Expectant Mothers and Newborn and after that in 1920’s, he started selling clothing in the category for the brave women.

Representation of Plus-Sized Models by Model Agencies

Plus-sized models were first introduced in 1970 by model agencies and earlier, models also freelanced directly with designers and magazines. The first model agency was founded by Mary Duffy named Big beauties little women which was devoted for plus-sized and slight models in 1977. By the late 1980’s, Plus-sized modeling was on a hype representing 65 models.

There are several modeling agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada and many other countries which are truly supporting and advertising through them.

The central kind of plus size modeling is plus size fashion modeling which is stated as non-straight size models; straight size models are regular fashion models sized 0-2-4, for fashion agencies, if you are of size 6 then you are considered as a plus-size model.

Mostly the models working in plus-sized modeling are women. The business of plus-sized models wants that you should be tall, have a toned body, long legs, great skin, beautiful smile and nice hairs. The only difference between these two types of models is only the size.

1The confusion arises here; Plus-sized; does the size matter? Actually No, because the plus-sized models are mostly women and they can work even if they are in their 40’s. The age is also the major difference for which one can say that size does not matter. There have been many cases in fashion industry where straight sized models had to make themselves the plus-sized models because of their age.

So don’t worry, if you think you are plus-sized girls with a super short hairs or have a bob hairstyles for medium hair, you just need to find an agency which will stylish your looks.

In this type of modeling, it is not required that a model is tall or beautiful. They are represented mostly by the local agencies and can also work for others within this period of time. Freelance work can be found online and you can work easily with any client including plus-sized models boutiques, local fashion weeks or bridal shops etc. without any restrictions of your agency.

If you want to work as a freelance plus-sized model, you will have to get the portfolio done and to start communicating online. You have to be proactive and profession, send your pictures to the local shops and ask them that you are interested to work with them. You will get many no’s but do not give up.

As the name suggests, these superstar plus-sized models do not necessarily fit in any niche of commercial work, they can be very short with no better looks, they can work in any category say a beauty, pinup, glamour or anything, they are not stick to one category.

Though they do not meet all the requirements of plus-sized models but are famous in this niche. They just need to know how to represent themselves and they get a lot of working openings and become famous around the globe and can inspire many.

These models also brand in the spokesmodel that gives the message such as accept your body, love the way you are no matter what people say about you.

Criteria for Plus-Sized Models

The modeling agencies for plus-sized models have particular criteria for the model such as they should be tall and should attire size of 14/16.

Plus-size models works mostly for print campaigns or magazine editorials. To be a plus-sized model, you must be in good health, have good skin, teeth and nails. Your hair should be healthy and natural in color such as black or brown.

There are lots of women who just loves to take their pictures, they do not care about their over weighted body because they just enjoy taking their pictures. It is known as the hobby models; they do take their pictures just as a hobby.

When it comes to plus-sized models, the agencies are divided into two categories from which one supports the plus-size modeling while other do criticize it.

The one who supports feels proud that they are representing fashion models in variability of sizes and makes other realize that beauty is not found in slim girls, it can also be found in non-straight models.

On second thought, people who criticize it includes both regular models and plus-sized; as they think the agencies are representing the unhealthy lifestyle and for them, plus-sized women should lose 20 pounds, but they are actually not correct because the main concern of plus-sized models is to sell clothes or products and to deliver a beautiful message of loving yourself.


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