Saturday, August 8, 2009

All you need to know about plus modeling

I get asked a lot "How do I get into plus modeling?" so I decided to do a post on it.

First off what is a plus model? Most people think that if you're a plus size woman you can automatically be a plus size model, not true. There are lots of requirements to be a plus model. In the same way not many people qualify to be a fashion model, there aren't many plus women who are within the requirements to be a plus model. Plus models are basically larger versions of their straight sized model counterparts. They still have to have toned bodies, be proportioned, photogenic, have good teeth and yes they still have to be...Wait for it here it comes...They still have to be tall. I've had lots of girls ask me if they could make it as a plus model and they stand at 5'5' with platforms on, sorry honey but this is one requirement that most agencies will not budge on.

Some links with great information on getting started in plus modeling.

This is a thread in the Model Mayhem forums but it's filled with industry professionals who know their stuff. If they give you advice please take it 'cause they know what they're talking about.

General requirements

plus models range in size the most common are 10, 12, 14, and 16 (sizes 8, 18 and 20 are also used but not as often) with size 10 and 12 being used more on the east coast and size 12-16 on the west coast

Height requirements for plus models are 5'8-6'0 (although many agencies requirements are 5'9-6'0)

Beautiful face and good bone structure with a nice smile (that includes good teeth)

Toned well proportioned (bust, waist and hip measurements should be about 10 inches apart 42,32,42 etc) bodies with minimal cellulite, stretch marks and flab

In demand look (translation you must have a current look but not too trendy and not overtly sexy the plus modeling industry is conservative) think Talbots and Lane Bryant.)

clear skin

minimal tattoos if any

must be photogenic
Age ranges from 16 to usually 35
As far as age plus modeling depends more on how old you look not how old you are since one of the benefits to being plus size is we don't age as fast plus models have a much longer shelf life than their straight sized counterparts. At 26 I wouldn't even be ancient by straight modeling standards I'd be extinct.

So those are the requirements for being a plus model. It's probably a lot harder than a lot of people think it is to be a plus model. Please note the requirements above are industry standard requirements.

Here are some examples of agency signed plus models








If you don't fit the industry standard for being a plus model stay tuned. My next post "So I don't fit the industry standard. Now what?" will be all about finding work when you're not industry standard and without an agency. I'll offer tips and information on how to get yourself out there.


  1. It's so nice to see that "plus size" models are becoming so mainstream. These woman are so gorgeous and are more indicative of the way healthy women really look. I remember being approached as a teen to be a plus size model and I was too shy and insecure. Hind sight is 20/20. haha

  2. I know it's nice to see someone who is closer to what the average American woman looks like. I'd love to see more mainstream print magazines utilize plus models more instead of the token one or two they currently have if any.

    Dang me too. If I'd of known about plus modeling when I was 18 I would have gotten an agency no problem. I was a size 12 then now I'm an 18 (le sigh).

  3. I'm only 5'7. Damn!

  4. Dive Jade you should definitely read my next blog then. I'll be talking about how to get work even if you aren't industry standard.

  5. Great post! It is a really exciting time now that plus size is in fashion. Hopefully body image perception will continue to shift to one where being healthy is the most crucial component, regardless of size.
    Keep up the wonderful writing.

  6. Thank you dear. I'm so excited with the way things in the plus size world have been going lately. We've definitely been taking steps in the right direction.