Ashley Graham is everywhere now. From magazines to high-fashion campaigns and even television shows, the plus-size stunner has become one of the most sought-after models and it’s easy to see why. But do you know how Graham started as a model?
How models were discovered always makes for an inspiring story that rookies can learn from, so it always pays to talk about these beauties’ beginnings. This time, let us take a trip down memory lane and recall how the industry’s pillars now started out.
Inspiring Success Stories of Famous Plus-Size Models
From Ashley Graham to Robyn Lawley, here are five popular plus-size models today and their inspiring success stories.
Hailing from Australia, Robyn Lawley’s journey to stardom was everything but smooth. She had a hard time booking jobs, getting rejected every time, as she was not the size people deemed sexy and fit. Because of this, Lawley tried dieting, reading every diet book there is just to effectively shed the pounds. But still, things were not working.
It was not until she met Bella Model Management agent Chelsea Bonner that Lawley started believing in herself again. Bonner helped Lawley realize that she is beautiful and can be a supermodel too even as a curvy woman.
Even though rejections were still there, Lawley did not give up on her dreams and finally landed print modeling jobs. She’s been featured in Italian Vogue and French Elle.
Probably the model with one of the most heartwarming success stories, Sophie Dahl did not quite expect that this is how her life would turn out. Dahl was not discovered at a modeling event, not even at an audition. She was spotted on the street by a Vogue stylist sobbing after a fight with her mother. The stylist, Isabella Blow, then introduced her to Sarah Doukas, the founder of Storm Model Agency.
Dahl immediately signed with the agency and has since done modelling campaigns including ones for Versace, DKNY, and Alexander McQueen.
Dahl is also an author, having written a book titled The Man with the Dancing Eyes and regularly writes for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and American Vogue.
Known for being the largest model to ever sign with Milk Model Management, Tess Holliday is now often named one of the top plus-size models in the world. When she first sought jobs as a model at 15, though, she was rejected. It has happened a lot of times but always for the same reason: she was “too short and too big.” Holliday was a US size 16 at the time.
Holliday decided to just give up and relocated to Seattle and worked as a makeup artist instead. She was at fashion shows but always as a creative director and never the model. Holliday moved to Mississippi again and had a son.
In 2011, she decided to give modeling another shot and joined Torrid’s House of Dreams Model Search and got in. That same year, A&E discovered Holliday and chose her to be the face of their TV show Heavy, and her career just took off from there.
Although conscious of her 14/16 size, Tara Lynn braved it all and visited an agency in Seattle, who immediately signed her on. This opened the door of opportunities for Lynn, and she started appearing on the pages of prestigious magazines including V. The magazine’s “Curves Ahead” section featured Lynn as one of the newest faces in the world of plus-size modeling, and this helped the then rookie get her name out there. The next thing she knew, she was on the cover of French Elle and had a 22-page spread dedicated to her.
Ashley Graham is now one of the most famous plus-size models to ever walk the earth and perhaps she can thank the agent that discovered her for that.
It was at a talent and modeling convention that Graham was first discovered. It was 2001, and that same year, she signed a deal with Wilhelmina Models before transferring to Ford in 2003. She was featured in magazines and even appeared in TV commercials after that.
In 2016, Graham became the center of attention after gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, marking the very first time a plus-size model was chosen as a cover star. Now Graham is considered a big name, having been the face of fashion ads and even appearing on television shows. In 2016, she was officially named one of the judges on the reality show America’s Next Top Model.
Modeling is a cutthroat industry. Everyone wants to be a model, but only a few got their dreams fulfilled. With the right amount of effort, hard work, determination, and skills, you can be as successful as these models too. Continue chasing that dream and who knows, you will see your name on our next list of success stories.