There is a big trend in being body positive lately. Perhaps you’ve seen hashtags on social media like #droptheplus. They no longer want to be known as plus-size. There are woman who are curvy and they are out in the spotlight. Lena Dunham, Kim Kardashian, and Adele are all proud of their curvy figures. There are plenty of plus-size models who are becoming more popular.
Sabina Karlsson has been in the modeling industry for a long time. She was a straight-size model for many years, and then she shifted to the plus-size division in 2010. She has spoken of her struggle to compete in the straight-size industry. Once, a casting agent even poked her thighs and said they were too thick. That’s a lot of pressure that the now 27-year-old had to face and overcome.
Toby Cole is a 14-year-old that is new to the modeling scene. As the child of one of the plus-size industry’s icons, Emme, she has been around the industry since she was born. Toby says that her curvy body really started to develop in the fifth grade, and she knew that she was different from her friends who could eat lot and still be stick thin. She’s bigger because it’s in her genes.
Sabina and Toby are very happy to see the change that is coming up in the modeling world. Brands like Calvin Klein and Aerie are using models of all sizes for their ad campaigns. It’s a great change because it really gives a more accurate description of what the consumers really look like. The big brands should represent their consumers and they have finally gotten the message that the curvier women don’t need to be singled out as plus-size.
According to Sabina, “I’d rather just use the term model. Labels confuse people. If I tell someone I’m a model, they say I’m not skinny enough; if I tell them I’m a pluz-size model, I hear that I’m not curvy enough.” That just means that there will be critics no matter what. Having a more general label gives a more accurate nonbiased description.
Toby also agrees. She says, “I can’t lie—there’s a lot of rejection in this field of work. So you have to be positive and love every inch of yourself—and then some!”
As models, Toby and Sabina understand that the criticism is just part of the job, and it is more important to love yourself. Learning to ignore the negative comments takes a lot of practice. The modeling world is not a place for sensitive people, you will need a thick skin to face the public criticism and still feel good about yourself. If you are in the plus-size or curvy division, you will need that much more confidence because it really is a fight for survival.