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How to Become a Plus-Sized Model


Fat woman leaning head on mirror
B2M Productions/Photographer's Choice RF/getty Images

Becoming a plus-size model may require a little extra height and an ideal size range, but you'll also need drive and a tough skin to make it in the industry. If you've got what it takes and you're interested in plus-size modeling, review the basics to get started and get your portfolio out there.

Create Your Portfolio

When you're first breaking into the industry, you won’t need a full portfolio to begin making inquiries. Instead, concentrate on photographs that show your natural beauty and that aren’t particularly staged or posed. Aim for at least one high-quality face shot and a full-body shot in simple, flattering attire.

  • Note: If you have poor-quality photographs, it's advised to arrive at the agency without photographs. If you are a beginning model and show potential, many agencies will understand.

Contact Agencies

You'll need to get in touch with modeling agencies to jumpstart your professional career, but educate yourself about the "right" agencies. Check out potential agencies' reputations with other professionals in the industry, and never pay fees to apply or sign onto an agency.

Call the top three agencies in your area and schedule appointments to meet. On the day of your appointment, wear comfortable, semi-casual clothing that fit well. Consider wearing a pair of kitten heels to add a little extra height without being overly obvious.

Attend an Open Call

Open calls can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if you find yourself in a large group of hopefuls.

  • Some agencies may have you fill out an extensive form before speaking with you. You will need to identify your contact information, interests, measurements, and experience. You may also be measured by the modeling agency representative.
  • Smile, and don't let any criticism get to you. As you attend more casting calls, you could hear comments on your headshots or figure. Simply say thank you and move on.
  • Know that if you do get signed, you'll be expected to create a portfolio, as well as comp/zed cards. While this is a substantial cards, do not pay an agency to be on their website, to be represented, or to attend their school.

Plus Size Modeling Requirements

While you may need to fit into a certain size to become a plus model, that's not all. Plus models are generally 5'8" to 6' in height, and wear a size 10 and up.

Other guidelines include:

  • A proportional figure
  • Shapely legs

Note: Fit models may be required in larger sizes or shorter heights than standard plus-size modeling, and it’s worth inquiring when you call agencies.

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