Modeling is not an easy job. It’s not an industry you can be successful in just after one show. If you want to survive in this cutthroat field, you have to work hard.
To help you, here are modeling tips from famous plus-size models who, despite being different in size from most of today’s models, have made a name in the industry. Here’s what they have to say about body confidence and using it to become successful.
“I think it’s so important just to have confidence in your body. Everyone knows that confidence is sexy, and it’s knowing your assets, your strengths, and just playing those up.”
“There was certainly a natural progression that happened over time. As you become an adult, you realize that you don’t have to fit in with your peers. You don’t have to look and think like everyone else. Though there certainly was a point at which I realized I was really unhappy in my body and that I had to take control. It was maybe a couple of years after going through that, during college, when I took some weight off and felt strong, beautiful, and in control. I had enough courage to walk into an agency and realize that this body that’s a size 12/14 is a good body, it’s my own, and I feel good about it.”
“Even at my lightest, I just couldn’t get there. I genuinely really tried. I was counting calories, I was taking diet pills, I was dabbling in starvation. I thought you had to be skinny to be beautiful. And I thought I would never be beautiful at this size. People think plus-size models don’t exercise – we do! But it’s about health, not forcing my body to be something it’s not meant to be.”
“When I first started meeting other new models, I was a size 8, going on 10, and they were sizes 0 and 2. At first, it was embarrassing. I wasn’t even 14 years old, already feeling big for my age, and then being so drastically different from all the other models around me wasn’t easy. But losing weight to look like them never crossed my mind. I’m just not built that way. Some people are naturally really thin and tall. I’m not one of those people. I feel healthy and happy in my body anywhere between a size 10 and 14. I’ve been each of those sizes and everywhere in between a few times within the past ten years, and I don’t feel any less attractive at one size than I do at another. I’m still me, no matter what the tag on my jeans says.”
“I like to tell people to take what society has deemed a flaw and turn it into a positive. I used to hate my thighs so much and I would spend so much time staring in the mirror and trying to make them go away. Then one day, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘My mum has these thighs, and my grandmother, and instead of putting myself down about something I can’t change, I’m going to celebrate them because they keep me from looking like the girl next to me’. They make me unique, and that, in the end, is what makes me more beautiful, being different.”
“Women have come so far in the past 100 years. But what holds them back is lack of confidence and self-hatred. Those two things can affect every part of your life. I was at the lowest level you can be. It was only when I accepted myself that I managed to achieve [my goals] in life and work. Through this book, I want women to know that people in the [fashion] industry can relate to them too. Women struggle everywhere with their weight and their bodies, and no one talks about it. I wanted to speak for the unspoken!”
“I am really into the organic movement so I use as much organic stuff as I can. I eat raw foods from Whole Foods. If I can’t pronounce the ingredient I won’t eat it. I read labels when I go grocery shopping. I like simple foods and I cook everything. I eat out but I try to eat healthy. I don’t just go and gorge myself. I don’t eat McDonalds or fast food at all, unless it’s an emergency and I have no choice. I eat a lot of vegetarian food and very little meat. I eat a lot of chicken and fish. I work out. I do those Zumba workouts at home, 4-5 days a week. I walk. Manhattan is great for that. I don’t drink alcohol and I’m conscious of calories. It’s nice because you don’t have to be hyperaware of it, but like everyone else if don’t care of yourself it will show. My biggest thing is if I don’t eat healthy my skin will get bad. I drink a lot of water to maintain my skin.”
“I’m not a huge advocate for dressing specifically to flatter your size – if you want to do so then by all means do, but I don’t believe that we should be constrained in our fashion choices by the way our body is shaped. If you’re a pear shape then you don’t need to hide your wide thighs and curvy bum, just as if you’re an apple you don’t need to disguise your tummy. If you want to wear a pair of skinny fit jeans or a fitted wiggle pencil skirt, don’t let your body shape hide or stop you from doing so. Just because something isn’t deemed “flattering” by the masses aren’t incentive to be discouraged from stepping outside the box and trying it out. Being a member of a burlesque dance troupe, we meet and rehearse twice weekly and this incorporates dance moves, warm ups, stretches and gentle exercise. I also live in a rural village in the country at the moment and love going for long walks.”
“Like everyone, I’m human so I most certainly have my moments. It’s usually a combination of the opposite sex, online “trolls,” and old insecurities that sneak up on me. However, when I encounter those feelings, I just remind myself that I’m fabulous, and if other’s can’t see it, that’s their problem, not mine. The key to confidence is to surround yourself with positive people who build you up rather than tear you down. And when all else fails, put on some lipstick and go out and have fun!”
“Just because I’m a big girl doesn’t mean I want to cover up. Victoria’s Secret bottoms are extra large and that’s me all the way. But their tops don’t go to a string 38 DD. So I get those at Old Navy, and mix and match. It’s not like I have a burger or pizza every night. But I’m also not munching on greens all day. I eat steak. And I’m going to have a potato with it too.”
What these plus-size models have achieved should be enough proof that you too can make it. You just need to be confident with your own body, it will take you a long way. Get rid of negativity, and learn to love yourself the way you want people to love you.