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Fat Models on the Fashion Runway

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From one size 14+ woman to aspiring plus-size models, "go for a modelling career" We need our own size clothing showcased on the runway too!

More plus-size models like the one in this picture may be considered 'overweight', but many like her, including larger and fat curvy women can aspire for a career in plus-size modelling.

More plus-size models like the one in this picture may be considered 'overweight', but many like her, including larger and fat curvy women can aspire for a career in plus-size modelling.

Now that more overweight girls can aspire for a career in plus-size modelling, these are certainly good times for fat female models.

Unlike the impressions we had in the past, being curvy and plus-size is now more of the norm when we talk about the average female silhouette. And because fashion designers and merchandisers now realise there is a larger market out there for plus-size women, they have identified with the need to showcase more fashion apparel styles for the average-sized woman.

Fashion is no more exclusively for the svelte skinny girls, contrary to popular belief, and the rise in demand for plus-size girls by modelling agencies has shown the ‘handwriting on the wall’ to the modelling industry.

But a career in plus-size modelling is not for the unadventurous and lily-livered. Despite being full-bodied or voluptuous, you be proud of your body (or parts of it like the face, legs, hips), and truly aspire to be a model. If you feel this way, plus-size modelling may be right for you.

If you are fat in a curvy way and will love to be a part of the industry, you will need a special drive and resilience to work hard. Have these qualities with added boldness and confidence, and of course, the right silhouette for an overweight girl, depending on the modelling niche you wish to work in, a good number of the top modelling agencies will sign you up.

In the plus size modelling world, you must learn to ignore criticism, avoid being pessimistic, avoid negative people, and ensure no pessimist gets to you.

Physical Requirements for Aspiring Fat Female Models

There are some basic requirements for plus-size modelling and it is not enough to just be fat or overweight. Plus-size models are generally expected to be:

  • Between 5'8" (1.72m) and 6' (1.82m) tall.
  • 5′9″ (1.75m) which is the minimum height requirement for larger markets. However, some plus-size modelling agencies will represent big girls who range between 5′7” and 5′8″ (1.7m and 1.72m).
  • Fit, shapely, appropriately sized, and in shape, especially for girls aspiring to model swimwear, lingerie, or fitness wear.
  • Wear any apparel size ranging from the minimum which is size 12 US (14 UK) to a size 18US (20UK). Occasionally, you will find agencies that need size 20US (22UK), fat female models.
  • Proportionate body-wise meaning having the right curves in the right places.
  • Devoid of flabby or loose skin.
  • Endowed with shapely legs. No stumpy legs if you want to have a career in modelling of any size.
  • Big-bodied but well-toned.

Additionally, a plus-size model must have flawless skin. a perfect bone structure, and a good gait. Having a great attitude and pleasant disposition will not hurt too.

These requirements are not much different from those required of other fashion models, but the only difference is that while fat models may have bigger busts, wider waists, bigger thighs, and wider hips, thinner models barely have much flesh in the areas mentioned.

Big and voluptuous girls also love to wear great fashion apparel that look good on them. The plus-size modelling industry knows this and are responding accordingly.

Big and voluptuous girls also love to wear great fashion apparel that look good on them. The plus-size modelling industry knows this and are responding accordingly.

How to Build a Portfolio

Before you start to contact or talk to modelling agencies in pursuit of your career as a plus-size model, here are a few tips to prepare you for when you are called in for your presentation.

  • Have a portfolio of photographs – full body, half-body, face shots, and face and shoulder shots. You need to show your natural endowments and beauty through a series of photos.
  • Your radiance must be obvious in all your photo collection.
  • There must be no photo touch-ups, staged photo shots, air-brushed pictures, or anything of such ‘staging’.
  • You must ensure you have high-quality shots of yourself in very flattering attires. If your portfolio of pictures is of top quality, you will stand a better chance with the agency’s panel.
  • If you feel your portfolio has poor-quality photographs it is better to arrive at the agency without photographs than to present substandard ones.

Do not attempt to take photos by yourself and of course, no selfies are allowed. Rather, find a professional photographer that is adept at photographing plus-size models, if you can.

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How to Find a Plus-Size Modelling Agency

Start by inquiring about plus size modelling agencies both in your locality, by word of mouth, or online. You can also attend plus-size modelling shows, check with other fat female models or fashion designers in the fashion industry for leads. The best way to get into the plus-size modelling industry is to find agencies that strictly represent full figured women.

If you have questions like wanting to know job opportunities open to fat models, or how to market your plus-size shape, you will find answers to such frequently asked questions online.

When you find a few modelling agencies you may like, call them up and book appointments to see them. Larger women or shorter ones may be required as plus-size models as well, so it is worth inquiring about this too when you call agencies.

A point to note is to never pay fees to apply or sign up with any modelling agency.

On the day of your audition, you must be composed and appear in comfortable but flattering semi-casual wear that looks good on you and the colour of whatever you wear should complement your skin tone.

  • Do not wear tight-fitting clothes to a plus-size modelling audition
  • Do not wear skimpy attire
  • Try not to look unkempt or sloppy
  • You must be and look smart and sharp
  • Do not wear spike heels or stilettos
  • Consider wearing a pair of low heels to give yourself a little extra height without looking or being overtly obvious
  • Be cheerful and wear a beguiling smile
  • Walk smartly into the room with a straight posture

Further Reading:

My Life as a Plus Size Model - Jennie Runk

Fuller-figured English lingerie model represents 'beautiful, healthy, curvy girls'

Curvy Girls' Guide to Best Lingerie Picks (Infographics)

Career Plus-Size Modelling Job Opportunities

As a full-bodied plus-size model, you don’t have to work only in the fashion apparel industry. There are other modelling works that are unrelated to big-sized clothing, so, any fat model can work in any of the following industries:

  • Stock photography
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Swimwear, lingerie, and other intimate clothing
  • Household product manufacturers
  • Advertising
  • Costume
  • Beauty and cosmetics
  • Sunglass and eye-glass
  • Footwear
  • Wristwatch
  • Costume jewellery
  • Fashion accessories

Other job opportunities include working in ad campaigns, editorials for magazines, fashion runway, garment industry, including TV presentations and commercials. Full-bodied models are also sought by the media to stimulate debates on the development of self-esteem, and for those struggling with excessive eating disorders.

Now that you know that there are agencies out there looking for beautiful plus-size women to work as models, you should know that companies that focus on the market will also be constantly looking for new and fresh faces. Also, remember that many manufacturers in the fashion industry are also seeking plus-size models to showcase their fashion creations.

Though many of the top modelling agencies are in major cities and metropolitan areas and it is much easier to find work in a large city than in a rural or back-wood area, if being a plus-size model is really your dream career, be prepared to travel out of your home base if need be.

Fat female models can also work in the beauty and cosmetics industries to showcase jewelry,  hair, facial and body products

Fat female models can also work in the beauty and cosmetics industries to showcase jewelry, hair, facial and body products

Some of the exciting jobs plus-sized models can do.

Some of the exciting jobs plus-sized models can do.

© 2009 viryabo

Comments Are Welcome

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on July 05, 2020:

Absolutely Peachy.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 05, 2020:

I noticed that plus size models are as pretty as the slim ones.

alejandra maria orellana hernandez on May 08, 2019:

Hi im a curvy Latina, my only problem is that im 5'6

nancy a on September 08, 2018:

I like now how I get pay too be a curvy model k nancy a

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on September 11, 2015:

Hello Alexus

If you desire to be a plus size model, then go for it. You can get in touch with Model Scouts and take it from there.

Your height seems okay, but i'm not quite sure what you mean by . . . "mix" though. Are you referring to being of mixed race?

alexus on September 09, 2015:

Hi my height is 5'8 I always wanted to be a model I'm a big girl an I'm mix can I be a model

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on August 07, 2015:

Hi Tina

When you say small, do you mean petite small and curvy, or short and full bodied?

The plus size modelling industry consider only taller women to model clothing and if you are less than 1.5 metres tall, I doubt if you'll be considered for a clothes modelling job.

tina on August 02, 2015:

I'm small and got curves can I be a model

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on June 01, 2014:

About time too Sandyspider. Thanks for visiting.

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on May 31, 2014:

I think it is great that there are plus size models that represent what most women look like.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 04, 2014:

You can go a step further . . . contact them and see what they say. Update me if you can. Best of luck Georgina

Georgina on April 03, 2014:

I am trying to become a model but my problem is no contacts and no idea where to go any advice and yes im a big girl ive looked at modelscouts but i haven't seen one big girl on there

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 22, 2014:

Very true poetrymn6969 Curvy women are fabulously fat!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 22, 2014:

Well Gift, the gold teeth can be replaced easily with natural caps by your dentist and the thighs can be toned with toning cream. It's your determination that counts. Best wishes.

gift on January 21, 2014:

hi I'm gift size 18-20 the problem is I have a gold teeth in front and my thighs are black,do I stand a chance?

poetryman6969 on December 23, 2013:

Fat and fabulous!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on November 05, 2012:

It depends kitty, if you are curvy with a well proportioned body and a pretty face, then you have a good chance.

kittie rose on November 05, 2012:

i am 15 and size 16-18 and i wont to be a model can i be.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on September 22, 2012:

Im doing fine Denise. Thanks. Its tough out here over the internet (LOL) though, but keeping my head above water.


Denise Handlon from North Carolina on September 21, 2012:

:) I'm doing about yourself?

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on September 21, 2012:

Hello Denise, how are you? Thanks so much. I have never checked on my polls, assuming most may not vote. So surprised myself and its good to know.


Denise Handlon from North Carolina on September 19, 2012:

Wow! There is hope for me yet, LOL I LOVE this hub and I took the poll. What is your secret? I am happy if 3 people take my poll...373 have taken your poll.

Very interesting info here and beautiful ladies!

Rebecca on March 19, 2012:

Hiii :)

First off, i loved what i was reading and the encouragement you were giving. i like also many "curvy, voluptuous" women on here, want to be a plus sizedmodel.

Im soon to be 20 in june and i wasted 4 years because i let those around me bring me down with their negative inputs. So today i decided that is what i want to do, it is what i love, fashion.

I live in Arizona, size 18-20, bout 5'2 at the most. I have no experience AT ALLL. but i am very photo friendly.

If you have any input into giving me some direction on where to even begin, i would really appreciate it because i am so lost.

here is my gmail :)


thankk you :)

El sido on February 06, 2012:

I love fat models.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 30, 2012:

Hi Kit girl, i love it when young girls know what they want to pursue as a career. It shows that you are well focused and that's a good quality of achievers.

Try out Model Scouts. They won't charge you at the initial stages until you are placed.

I wish you all the best Kit.

Kitgirl101 on January 29, 2012:

Hi I am a young teen who would love to model but I am defiantly not suitable to be a plus size so if u have any modeling agency that don't require money I would love to hear about them andthese are some sexy women!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 12, 2012:

Thanks for visiting Alyssa. Your question is already answered above in the article.

I wish you the best of luck in your plus size modelling plans. Just go for it. You will certainly succeed.


alyssa on January 06, 2012:

wow i really want to start a modeling career...but the only thing that had stop me was when i had got really please where can i sign up for plus size modeling...and im 18 years of age...

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 01, 2012:

Hi Lila, i totally agree with you.

And i say go for it. We need models, whether skinny or big and curvy; to showcase what designers create for us to wear. Nothing better than to use real women than those bone thin, touched up, "airbrushed" women.

Thanks for visiting Lila.


Elaine Lowe from PRESTON UK on December 14, 2011:

Hello im glad i cam across this.I seem to have quite a following on certain love my pics.they are a little saucy, but hey if you've got it flaunt it,as long as it's tasteful,i say.i was looking for plus size model agencies,well fort he older woman too.being 47 im way past it,but arent we all needed in some way?we represent real women.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on October 27, 2011:

Thank you so much for this piece Gemma. I'm glad you visited and took the time to write your success story.

You sound like you are beautiful both inside and out. This is an inspiration to other voluptuous ladies out there that you can still be big or even fat, BUT, when you take a special attention in how you dress, you will be amazed at the complimentary remarks that will follow.


GodBless Gemma.

gemma muncaster on October 23, 2011:

Hi I am Gemma and I am 25 years old, i'm also a wife and a mother of two lovely girls, i am 5ft 5 and a half and i have blue eyes and brown hair, im a size 18 -20 on the bottom half and i am a 22-24 on the top half as my bra size is a natural 40f. I use to be a size 8-10 before i had my girls and i loved fashion, but as i got bigger i did not know what to wear, so i took on the fat chav look, but in the past month my great friend has shown me that i can still look good and wear all the fashionable clothes, so i ditched all the tracky bottoms, hoddies, trainners and i have completely changed my look, so much so that my own brother did not reconise me in the street, i have had a great response to my new look and it has mad me start feeling better about myself and i would love to be able to inspire other women out there that even if your not a size 8/10 and you are a 18/20 you can still look as fab as everyone else i would love to become a plus size model to get some more self confidance and to show everyone, you can be big but your still beautiful and keep up with fashion. my email is Thanks x

vijay on October 03, 2011:

i have no words to express my feelings..........

you r owwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeessssssoooooomeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

mari on September 10, 2011:

i'm an ex model of 13 yrs but for the last 5 yrs i've put on weight and can't get any gigs in my old world so i would like to try the plus size world. please respond 2 my email at if you r looking 4 a voluptous, beautiful, sexy african american women/model

Normandie on August 17, 2011:

Hello Gorgeous @viryabo. You look awsome and the women on this page are phenomenal. I am so pleased to see and hear that we plus sized women are in high demand finally wooooo.

further more I am trying to get into the model career myself. I've read you have to be up there in height with-out a pump I stand about 5'6. I would like to know if there is anything i can do in reference to being a plus-size model. I've been dangled around with many of the online agencies waisted lots of money with no results. Please need advice (any one please feel free to answer). you can respon via email :

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on August 12, 2011:

No Danni, you are not too big to be a plus size model. As long as you are curvy, you are good to try.

Best of luck.

danni91 on August 12, 2011:

hi im 19 just under 6ft and a size 18 am i too big to be a plus model ?

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 04, 2011:

Absolutely Sinea

There is much beauty in some flesh that moves, and i agree, those women are stunning.

Whatever they wear always looks so good on them.

Thanks for the visit, and the follow.


Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on March 04, 2011:

I have always thought that Queen Latifa was absolutely beautiful. Elizabeth Taylor, as well, is a striking beauty at any weight.

julie on November 17, 2010:

hi there is one agency for fat model in washington DC? i live here and my dream is to be one super size model but i don't know how to do can you help me please??

darral mc seveney on November 06, 2010:

not bad

Chugz on October 08, 2010:

Just wanted to say:

ALL women should be 'meaty' ! :)

i (as i expect the majority of men would) love curves! completely love them!

Shakira is a great example.......She was a truly 'dream' woman with her curves...but watching her new video i was actually really turned off because she has lost so much weight and looks ill.

Keep up the amazing sexiness ladies!!! i love u all

yentle on October 02, 2010:

hello i would love to be a plussize model im size 14 to 16 please contact me on 0791142773

marlene on September 30, 2010:

i would love to became a model. im a size 16 / 18. please contact me thank you

Crystal on September 03, 2010:

I would love to become a model. i promise you'll love me. I have the look, I have the personality, and I have the body and the walks and all. please contact me at thank you.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on May 02, 2010:

Beautifull 'rolls' if i may say so.

huno on May 01, 2010:

man these models are fast i mean look at those jelly rolls

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 14, 2010:

Hello wantlivelyfinlove, thank you. Its nice realising voluptuous is in, and in demand too.

Thanks for taking the time to leave a nice comment.


wantlivelyfinlove on April 13, 2010:

Hi Viryabo, i liked your post and appreciate these full figured woman model. very sexy! lovely chicks! Now i don't have to worry about my voluptuous body. haha!! kidding :) nice one

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 10, 2010:

Hi cheeky girl, Thanks for your comments. I agree that curves makes the woman. Wish i had more of them. LOL!

Thanks for visiting.


bad440 on April 10, 2010:

ok hub but your pics of models are NOT FAT (plus size) looking for a size 28 and show girls that are much smaller

Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on April 09, 2010:

There is nothing wrong with how these ladies look. They are lovely. There's nothing wrong with being un-matchstick-like! Curves are very nice on a woman. Just an opinion here! Cheers for a great hub!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 09, 2010:

LOL! I know what you mean expats. Nice and voluptuous.

Thanks for visiting and for finding time to leave a comment.

expats from UK on April 09, 2010:

Nice to see `real` women, not some figments of the imagination.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 08, 2010:

Hi BristolBoy. LOL! That probably explains why i get so much traffic on this hub. It amazes me.

Thanks for stopping by and for taking time to leave a comment.


BristolBoy from Bristol on April 08, 2010:

I bet you get a lot of traffic from people looking for more explicit pictures than those shown here!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 23, 2010:

You're welcome Emmanuella. Thanks for visiting.

Emmanuella on March 23, 2010:

Good job! Thanks, Viryabo.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 15, 2010:

Hello Lisa, thanks for stopping by. You definitely can be a plus size model and it seems you've decided on it. That is great.

To answer your question, it depends on where you live. In the US and which state? or Europe. If you let me know i will be happy to give you information you need.


LISA SMITH on March 13, 2010:


viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 31, 2010:

You are so right G-Forza. LOL!!

Thanks for the visit.

G-Forza on January 31, 2010:

Real women have curves.

Any "real" man preferes a few pounds too much rather than thoes skin and bone barbies. And let's admit, which guy doesn't enjoy being squeezed by a couple of fleshy thighs.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 18, 2010:

Hi Karsten, thank you for your visit and thanks for the info. Will definitely check it out.


Hello russiangypsygirl, thanks for your comments and visit. The curves plus the flowing body movements is what i like about plus sizes. You are right. Its much easier to relate to these gorgeously shaped women...REAL!

russiangypsygirl on January 18, 2010:

Great hub! I think these women are so much more relate-able, and therefore its more exhilarating to see them on the runway. I also think they are SO much more gorgeous because of their curves! Thanks for all the good info!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on October 25, 2009:

Hello Gpage, thanks for your visit and views. I agree with the word 'normal'. Most women fall under the normal shape, and i would think we'd have more fashion models on the catwalk with some flesh. LOL


Hey keira, Thanks for your visit. And have a wonderful trip.

See you soon.


GPAGE from California on October 25, 2009:

Always nice to see very "normal" and beautiful models! One of my bestfriends from the old days created Abby Z for plus size women. I applaud women of all shapes and sizes! Best, GPAGE

keira7 on October 24, 2009:

Hi my friend Viryabo, I love fashion and I love your hub. Take care my dear friend. God Bless you.

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