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Breaking into Plus Size Modeling: Your Guide to Success with No Experience

breaking into plus size modeling

Modeling is often seen as a glamorous and exciting career choice, attracting many young women around the world. It involves showcasing fashion and products through photoshoots, runway shows, and commercials. However, becoming a successful model is challenging. It requires not only keeping up with your physical appearance but also developing important skills to meet the industry’s demands.

For many aspiring models, maintaining an ideal weight and body shape is crucial. This means following a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking care of your skin. But it’s not just about looks. Models must practice posing, perfect their expressions, and understand the different types of modeling work. According to a study in PLOS ONE Journal, the pressure to meet certain beauty standards can be very high, making this a tough career path.

Despite these challenges, the modeling industry values diversity, offering opportunities for people of all shapes and sizes. If you don’t fit the traditional thin model stereotype, plus-size modeling can be a great alternative. Plus-size models are breaking barriers and redefining what beauty means, making it a thrilling field to explore.

What is Plus-Size Modeling?

Plus-size modeling is a part of the fashion industry that focuses on showing off clothes and products made for larger body types. Unlike regular models, plus-size models have fuller figures, which helps brands reach a wider audience and reflect real-life diversity.

Differences from Regular Models

The main difference between plus-size models and regular models is their size. Plus-size models typically wear a U.S. size 12 or larger, while regular models wear smaller sizes. This helps brands display their clothing on different body types, making fashion more inclusive.

The Need for Plus-Size Models

There is a growing need for plus-size models because more people want to see true-to-life representations in advertising. This means brands are looking for diverse body types to connect with more customers. Plus-size models are now featured in magazines, catalogs, digital ads, social media, and runway shows.

Career Outlook

The future looks bright for plus-size models. The market for plus-size clothing is growing, with an expected annual growth rate of 5.9% from 2022 to 2030. This expansion means there will be more opportunities for plus-size models in the fashion world.

Requirements and Skills for Plus-Size Modeling

To be a plus-size model, you generally need to wear a U.S. size 12 or larger. This can vary depending on the agency or market, but plus-size models usually have fuller figures to represent the plus-size clothing market.

Key Qualifications and Skills

Aside from size, there are several important qualities and skills you should have:

  1. Confidence: Feeling good about yourself and your body is essential. Confidence shows in photos and when you interact with others.
  2. Charisma: Having a charming and engaging personality helps in networking and during photoshoots.
  3. Resilience: The ability to handle rejection and criticism positively is crucial in this competitive industry.
  4. Communication Skills: You need to clearly express your needs and be open to feedback from photographers, agents, and others.
  5. Physical Health: Maintaining good health through balanced nutrition, exercise, grooming, and enough rest supports your overall well-being.
  6. Organization: Managing multiple projects and staying organized with your schedule is essential.
  7. Concentration: Holding poses and working for long hours requires focus and patience.

Do You Need Classes?

Taking classes can be helpful even though formal education is not required:

  1. Modeling Workshops: These teach posing, runway walking, and how to prepare for casting calls.
  2. Related Fields: Classes in acting, public speaking, or makeup artistry can enhance your skills and versatility as a model.

How to Get Started as a Beginner

If you’re new to plus-size modeling, here are some steps to help you start your career:

  1. Build a Portfolio: Take good-quality photographs of yourself. You don’t need a professional photographer, but make sure the pictures are clear and well-lit.
  2. Practice Posing: Look at poses in magazines and practice in front of a mirror to find your best angles.
  3. Research Modeling Agencies: Find agencies that represent plus-size models. Check their requirements and how to apply.
  4. Attend Open Calls: Many agencies have open calls where you can present yourself in person. Be prepared with your portfolio and any other required materials.
  5. Network: Go to events related to fashion and modeling to meet professionals in the industry.
  6. Stay Persistent: Becoming a successful model can be challenging, so stay determined and keep looking for opportunities.

By knowing the size requirements, building your skills, and following these steps, you can start your journey towards becoming a successful plus-size model.

How Much Does a Plus-Size Model Earn?

A plus-size model’s earnings can differ based on their experience, reputation, where they work, and the types of jobs they get. Beginners might start with lower pay, but as they gain more experience and build a strong portfolio, they can earn significantly more.

On average, plus-size models can make between $30,000 to $100,000 a year. Top models can earn much more, especially if they land big campaigns or endorsements. Models working for famous brands or in major fashion cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Paris generally have higher earning potential.

Freelance plus-size models can set their rates per project, which can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per day, depending on the job. The growth of social media also offers new ways to earn money through sponsored posts and brand partnerships.

Let us sum up by saying that a career in plus-size modeling can be both financially rewarding and a means to support body positivity.


  • Diane Silva

    Diane is a travel enthusiast, content creator, and master storyteller, capturing her adventures through captivating blogs and engaging vlogs. With a passion for the great outdoors and a love for literature, she brings a unique perspective to the travel world. Whether she's exploring hidden gems or discussing the latest trends, Diane is your go-to source for all things travel and beyond.