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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Plus-Size Model?

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Modeling is an industry that is focused on the face, the body, and aesthetics. Countless numbers of people dream of becoming world-famous models, but in reality, a very small percentage of the population are able to become famous. 

Fame is a difficult thing to achieve. It’s not just about looking good. There is always that X factor. That thing that you either have or don’t have. It’s a special quality that so few posses. You might be wanting to break into the industry, but have you stopped and thought about whether you have what it takes to be a plus-size model?

Have a Tough Skin

Society and the whole world in general like to celebrate thin bodies. There is a sort of thin privilege. Some people think that being thin makes the clothes look better. But what is life like for a model with a bigger body? The industry is so focused on skin, body size, and looking a certain way, that it’s hard to imagine that being a plus-size model would be so similar to being a straight-size model. 

The truth is, plus-size models experience the same pressure and body size issues and the same self-confidence issues that any model would feel. Casting directors can be so brutal when they critique your body that it truly requires having a tough skin.

Models are supposed to be the epitome of grace, beauty, poise, and perfection. So when casting directors look for their models, they want you to be pretty. They are also looking for something special. Maybe you are not classically beautiful, but you have an interesting face. The industry is all about balancing art and beauty.

Plus-Size Model

Physical Requirements

Clothing Size

There are certain criteria that one must fill to be even considered for plus-size modeling. Physically you have to meet these requirements because that is just the basic. For print modeling, the models range in size from size 12 to a size 18. Now normally, size 14 and above is considered plus size, but for print ads, there are certain padding and other enhancements that can be used. Ashley Graham has spoken of using pads to enhance her figure for photo shoots where she is not quite big enough to fit the role.

In the modeling world, there are those who are called in-betweenies. Those are the models who are not quite plus size and not quite straight size. Straight-size models are size 0 to size 2, while plus-size models are typically those that wear size 14 and above. The sizing requirements for each client vary, so that is why sometimes size 10 and size 12 are included in the roster of curvy models.

For runway modeling, the clients will require that the models are between a size 10 and size 22. Tess Holliday, one of the most famous models in the industry, is a size 22. The size range that each client requires varies greatly depending on the type of clothing they are modeling on the runway.

Fit models have a bigger size requirement. They are usually size 18. A fit model’s job is to be a live mannequin. Designers need them so that they know how the clothing will look on an actual human body. They are needed so that the fit, drape, and overall visual appearance of the garment is suitable to a person.

Height

Models are known to be tall, Amazonian types. The curve division is no different. For regular modeling, an individual should be a minimum 5 feet 9 inches tall. High fashion requires height of no less than 5’10” for women. For the petite division, a height of 5’4″ and below is acceptable.

Body Shape

Don’t be fooled by the term plus size. You will still be required to exercise and be healthy. A toned and fit and generally healthy body is a must when it comes to the modeling world. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you maintain the curves you need to be able to book jobs in the circuit.

Alternative Modeling Options

If you do not fit the above criteria, fashion modeling may not be for you. But you can be considered a candidate for commercial modeling. Commercial modeling, which is also known as lifestyle modeling, involves promoting goods, products, and services. The only requirement is that you look the part. 

A lot of money can be made in this genre of modeling. You can work for print ads for magazines, catalogs, or Web sites. Television commercials or infomercials are another media outlet that you can be featured on. Depending on the gigs you book, commercial modeling can be a very lucrative source of income for you.

The Basics

This part is about the general requirements that all models must have whether they are curvy or thin. 

Personality

You have to appeal to casting directors and an audience. Being friendly, likable, approachable, and easy to work with are all great elements of a personality that can get you booked for a job.

The Look

To put it bluntly, models have to look good. Your teeth need to be nice. A big, pearly white smile is one thing that can get you noticed. Your body has to be good as well. You can’t come into an audition flabby and unfit. You have to look good, which means head to toe, you look like a model. You have to look like you belong in the magazines.

Don’t Be Late

Being on time for photo shoots and other early time calls is of utmost importance in any industry, but it is especially important when you are a model. Time costs money. Delays cost money. Don’t waste the client’s money and resources by causing delays because you can’t make it in time for the schedule of the photo shoot. They can find another model willing to do the job and show up on time.

Patience

It will take time to book your first job. Being an overnight sensation happens to one in a million. Chances are, it will not happen to you. But that is no reason to be disheartened. Keep working on your craft, maintain your figure, and go to as many go-sees as you can. The more you go to, the more casting directors will see you. That increases your chances of booking a job.

Study these simple tips to see if you have what it takes to be curvy model in the plus-size industry. Take special notice of the physical requirements because most of the time, that is what it will come down to for the casting directors and agents.

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