Zach Miko does not have the built that we picture in our head when we hear the word “model.” He does not have surfboard-worthy abs, nor does he have a perfectly toned body. So it definitely came as a surprise to everyone when Miko, who stands 6’6″, was chosen as the face of Target’s newest clothing campaign. Since then, the 28-year-old skyrocketed to fame, doing gigs here and there—until IMG Models caught wind of his little achievements and offered him a modeling contract.
Next thing Miko knew, he became the first-ever plus-size model to join IMG’s Brawn division and the first hunk to sign with the prestigious modeling agency.
Weighing 275 pounds and a 40-inch waistline, quite far from what people would consider an ideal body, plus-size model Zach Miko knew very well that the journey to being at the top of the game was going to be tough. At first, he was greeted with belittling eyes and furrowed brows. For an industry that believes being sexy means being thin and tall, Miko’s coming drew attention and opened discussion about body inclusivity in the industry.
While he understands the initial reaction he got, Miko personally finds it ridiculous that people’s ideal model is someone who is slender and tall when majority of the US population is, in fact, overweight. So as soon as he started, he’s made it his mission to break barriers in modeling and promote body positivity in the world that claims to celebrate beauty yet refuses to shed light on what it really means to be beautiful.
‘Embrace the Size, Feel Better,’ Says Plus-Size Model Zach Miko
Just like any other guy his size, Miko thought about losing weight. He thought it was his only way to stop people from throwing negative comments. But after a few modeling gigs as a plus-size man, Miko realized he can do what he wants without trying to be someone he’s not.
Zach Miko admits that he was not very stylish before he got into modeling. He didn’t know the right clothes to wear since finding a good fit has always been a challenge due to the limited size available in men’s clothing section. But now Miko believes it isn’t that hard anymore and that things are only going to get better. With more brands expanding their size range to cater to the needs of larger men, searching for the perfect fit is now way easier.
If there’s anything modeling has taught Miko, it’s that the most important thing guys must do is to “know your true size.”
“I spent a lot of time wearing clothes that didn’t look good on me and didn’t fit me because they were a smaller size. And once I embraced the fact that I am bigger and I needed a larger size, everything looks better. I felt better,” Miko said.
Years into donning pieces made by famous designers and being the face of numerous campaigns, plus-size model Zach Miko has grown into a confident man who doesn’t let negativity hinder him from doing what he wants and spreading the message he wants heard.
When asked about what he has to say to aspiring models, plus-size model Zach Miko shared, ” . . . who you are right now in this moment is valid, beautiful, and wonderful. So many people spend their whole lives waiting to be happy, waiting until they lose a certain amount of weight until they work out or do whatever. It doesn’t mean you’re not in a journey, and it doesn’t mean if you want to lose weight, you can’t lose weight at all. It just means your body is doing a lot of amazing things for you. It takes you everywhere in this world and it’s worth celebrating, in any size and any shape.”