The world of modeling has become increasingly more open to including plus size models, which is good news if you want to become one. This is still an extremely competitive part of the modeling field because there is far less need for models in larger sizes, and that can make it difficult to get started or find work. There are some ways to help try for this career, but it’s important to recognize how competitive this it is. Even with great talent and terrific looks, you may never become a plus size model.
It helps to understand the standard definition of plus size in the modeling industry. Typically these models wear at least a size 10 and may wear up to a size 18. They are not what people might always consider plus-sized, but they do have proportions that are larger than most standard models. Standard models may wear sizes no greater than a size six. As with most other models, if you want to become a plus size model, it helps to be tall. Usually height requirements are between five feet nine inches to six feet (21.03-21.95m).
Modeling of most types tends to favor the young, though there are jobs for women who look older, especially in commercial and catalog work. For most jobs, age can be important and typically agencies don’t take on a lot of models that are in their mid twenties to older, unless they already have successful careers. This shouldn’t discourage you, since there is movement to represent more diverse people in advertisement. If you don’t fit ideal model size, age, or height, you still may find work.
However, most agencies will look at industry standards and if you meet most requirements to become a plus size model, you can start by contacting reputable modeling agencies to ask if they represent plus sized models. Some agencies don’t work with plus sizes, but many do, and they may have open calls several times a year. Other agencies accept applications on a regular basis.
It’s important that you choose agencies that are not running scams. You should never pay for representation with an agency or for “modeling school” associated with an agency. Instead, agencies should make their money when they get you work, and the standard fee is 10% of what you are paid.
Most agents will expect you to have photographs of yourself, which you should have professionally done if possible. It can help if you work with a photographer in the fashion industry, and you can expect to invest several hundred to a couple thousand US Dollars (USD) to have a whole portfolio taken. If you’re unable to afford this, consider having a friend or acquaintance with photography skills take some shots of you.
When you meet with agents, it’s important to have a good personality and feel comfortable talking with lots of different people. You should dress simply so that agents can envision you in various ways and your makeup should be minimal. Agents look for a lot of different things and rejection of you doesn’t mean you can’t become a plus size model.
The modeling industry requires a pretty strong opinion of yourself because you will be rejected regularly. Once you’ve signed with an agency, clients who meet with you can say some unflattering things. It’s important to not internalize these things but to understand when criticism could be applied to help you further your career.
It’s also a good idea to study modeling. Look through fashion magazines, watch fashion shows, and learn how different poses and looks are required in different modeling media. Practice these different looks and poses. Even viewing shows like America’s Next Top Model can give you useful tips about the fashion industry, and may help you develop the talents you need to become a plus size model.