Plus Size Modeling

Plus Size Modeling: 10 Things You Need To Know Before Applying

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Plus size models are in more demand than ever before. As our culture evolves, it becomes increasingly clear that a huge segment of the population is underrepresented when it comes to fashion. If you are just getting into the industry or if you are a seasoned professional, you can benefit from these 10 things you need to know before applying to be a plus size model.

Is there a demand for plus size models?

Yes, there is a high demand for plus size modeling. In recent years, brands have increasingly leaned toward including plus size models in marketing campaigns. It has become clear that the lanky, tall and thin models of the last century don’t heavily represent the general population, which has created a backlash in society in which brands have started answering.

Today, you can walk into a Target, Walmart or even a grocery store and see larger than average sized men and women represented in print all over the store. Brands have recognized that there is a want and a need for more realistic body types to be represented, which has increasingly been measured by company’s bottom line. Including this segment of the population can increase sales and create an image of inclusiveness, which is what society has begun demanding.

What are the requirements of a plus size model?

The requirements for plus size modeling generally require that a model be at least a size 12. Many of the famous and successful models that you may be familiar with are on the lower range of the plus size scale. Yet, there is also a demand for larger men and women as well.

General measurements of a plus sized female are a 45 inch bust line, a 34 inch waist line and 48 inch hips. For women, height should be around 5’6 for print and 5’9 for fashion modeling. For males, requirements are looser and a general rule of thumb is that a model should have a waist line above 34 inches and be at least 5’11 in height. This is not to say that if you deviate from this that you won’t be successful.

Should I take modeling classes?

Modeling classes aren’t a requirement, however if you are just starting out, they definitely won’t hurt. Exuding the confidence that is required when modeling is something that may not come easily to some in the plus size industry. Taking a modeling class can teach you the basics of modeling so that you can lead with your exuberant personality. If you know how to walk, pose and dress, your unique beauty is sure to shine through.

Be aware that some modeling classes will encourage you to pay them for a portfolio that can sometimes be expensive and unnecessary. If a modeling school requires you to purchase a portfolio from them in order to take a class, this should be a red flag. Go out on your own to develop a portfolio and you will most likely get a better outcome both financially and in satisfaction with the results.

Do I need a portfolio?

A portfolio is helpful and it is needed at some point, however, if you are just starting out, a few digitals are all that is needed. When you are more established and have built some relationships, then you will be ready for a professional portfolio with a photographer that knows his/her craft. The help from a professional photographer can spur creativity and charisma that will shine through onto the page.

Ensure that you have 5-7 digitals of your best photos that are natural without too much make up. A head shot should also be included, featuring a natural hair style and minimal makeup. Include shots that show your figure and body type so that casting directors can see how clothing will fit you. Ensure that you also include your measurements and hobbies and interests in your credentials section so that your individuality can set you apart from the rest.

Plus Size Modeling

Do I need to exercise as a plus size model?

Yes, plus size models need to exercise just like any other model. Keeping your beautiful and curvaceous body in tip top shape should be paramount. This doesn’t mean personal trainers and strict diets. However, you should aim to be toned and healthy. A body with poor eating habits and couch potato tendencies will show in your skin, hair and nails. You will also find that you have less energy which can come through in your photos. A healthy diet and a consistent regimen of reasonable exercise should not only be a goal of a plus size model, but of any person in general.

What agencies I should apply to as a plus size model?

As a plus size model, it is important to apply to conventional modeling agencies as well as plus size agencies. There are plus size agencies that you should set your sights on and apply to so that you might get the maximum exposure to brands that you champion.

IPM Model Management

IPM Model Management has been exclusively working with plus size models since its inception in 2000. IPM is one of the leading agencies in this sector and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Wilhelmina Curve

You’ve heard of Wilhelmina. Wilhelmina Curve is the successful branch of this world renowned firm and dominates the plus size modeling landscape. Representing more than 200 plus size models, Wilhelmina Curve is well respected by companies and brands alike and has become the “go-to” for many casting directors.


Considered an edgy and unconventional agency, Jag attracts clients of all shapes, sizes, identities and ethnicities. Since 2013, Jag has been inviting plus size models to partner with them in order to satisfy the demand for a different kind of model. Personality and confidence jump off the page with these models and Jag is there to represent.

Is there a weight limit for plus size models?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to weight. Generally, plus size models are between 160-205 pounds. However, if you are healthy and beautiful, these parameters can and are stretched to fit that of a model whose positive attitude and confidence attracts the viewer.

How much money can I make as a plus size model?

Plus size models can be just as financially successful as fashion models. However, a plus size model makes significantly less on average than a fashion mode, who tend to be the top earners in the industry. On average a plus size model makes around $35,000 per year, while a fashion model makes around $85,000 per year. Things are definitely changing in the industry and this salary range is trending to increase every year.

What brands should I target as a plus size model?


Eloquii is an exclusive brand only for plus size women. Eloquii makes workwear, evening wear, swimsuits, and casual clothing for the plus size woman, sizes 14-28. Eloquii has been helping women put their best foot forward since 2014. This is a great company to strive for whether you are just starting out or you are a seasoned model.

Old Navy

Old Navy is in the forefront of a mainstream brand embracing the plus size market. You can now buy clothing up to size 30. You will also see plus size mannequins represented in stores and plenty on the racks and online to satisfy the customer.

Savage X Fenty

If you are interested in lingerie modeling, Savage X Fenty is a great company to strive for. Rhianna really knew what she was doing with the inception of such an empowering women’s lingerie and sleepwear company. Ensure you inform your agent of your desire to model for this company if you are comfortable as it is a great brand to represent.

Do I need an online presence?

Just like conventional modeling, your online presence is very important. You should have social media accounts that you have dedicated exclusively to modeling. Include digitals that are of high quality. This may be the agency representative’s or a casting director’s first impression of you, so make it count. Agents and personnel will scour the internet to try to piece together your look and what kind of person you are. Make sure you take down anything on the internet or your social media accounts that can be construed as negative.

Becoming a successful plus size model can be a rewarding and exciting career. By taking the above ten steps, you will be well on your way to having the life of your dreams.