It is no secret that women have been pressured to look a certain way since the dawn of time. From the use of makeup in civilizations as old as Egypt to the prevalent use of corsets and waist trainers, girls and women have been taught that they should look a certain way.
With the increase in the use of social media, young girls, especially teenagers, who are far more vulnerable to self-doubt are being continuously fed an unhealthy image of what their bodies should look like.
There are many reported cases of anorexia and unhealthy dietary habits in young girls as they look up to Instagram models and influencers. With internet trolls and unwarranted comments, body shaming has unfortunately become more reckless and harmful. This is why it is important to recognize the importance and impact of famous plus-size models.
The world of fashion has always been dominated by petite women, who dorn the cover of magazines and walk the ramp. But with the empowerment of women, their voices are being heard and all body types are starting to get representation in media.
1. Ashley Graham
You cannot discuss famous plus-size models without bringing up Ashley Graham. One of the very first women to be recognized as a plus-size model, Graham was a teenager when she was discovered by a talent agent in a mall.
Since then, she has become the first plus-size model to dorn the cover of the Swimsuit edition of the sports illustrated, bagged work with some of the top fashion labels such as Prabal Gurung and Micheal Kors.
She is a fierce advocate of body positivity which is proven by the images that she posts. She does not use editing or retouching and preaches the message of self-love. She has started her own swimsuit brand and wishes to make other plus size women confident in their bodies by providing them ample outfit choices.
2. Iskra Lawrence
One of the most beautiful and famous plus-size models, Iskra is originally from Britain. She is known to use all her social media platforms to remind young girls that what they see on Instagram or other social media sites is not real and shouldn’t bog them down.
She also runs a YouTube channel called everyBodywithIskra wherein she posts videos talking to her followers and encouraging them to be more accepting of their bodies and to love the skin they are in.
3. Denise Bidot
One of the most famous plus size models, Denise Bardot has been pivotal in breaking stereotypes and beauty norms. In 2014, Denise achieved a new milestone in her career by becoming the first plus-size model to walk the ramp in the New York Fashion Week.
She has also started a lifestyle movement called “there’s no wrong way to be a woman”. As the name suggests, the movement aims at helping women realize that they are not required to meet a certain standard to be considered beautiful and they should love the skin they are in.
4. Tess Holliday
Tess Holliday is one of the most famous plus-size models who has continued to take the industry by storm. She is the proud mother of two beautiful children and has maintained an impeccable work ethic despite her social obligations.
She has always justified her size by saying she has the doctor has written her off as fit, but later in her career, she realized she was not answerable to anyone! This killer confidence teamed with undeniable beauty is what has landed Tess on projects from famous companies like Nordstrom.
5. Paloma Elsesser
One of the youngest plus size models to make her mark in the industry. She is only 26 and has made waves in the fashion industry.
The young model has already walked the runway for Rihanna’s line Fenty and has appeared on Glossier Billboards and appeared on the cover of US Vogue. She is a force to be reckoned with and it seems like it is one of the plus-size models to look out for in the near future.
6. Robyn Lawley
Robyn Lawley is one of the most famous plus-size models in Australia. She has been hitting major landmarks one after the other, ever since she came in the industry. She has walked for famous brands like Ralph Lauren and has also adorned the covers of many famous fashion magazines. She is one of the most beautiful plus size models from the land down under.
7. Barbie Ferreira
The term Barbie often paints a picture of a slim and petite female with almost unbelievable body proportions. Barbie Farrier has changed this definition and how! Originally name, Barbara Ferreira entered the industry when she sent some of her shots to American Apparel, who later launched Barbara in one of their campaigns.
She has become on the fiercest advocates for body positivity in recent years, so much that Selena Gomez’s best friend revers her as a muse.
These women have broken many stereotypes and challenged the social norms that defined unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards.
8. Georgia Pratt
She is one of the bravest famous plus size models from New Zealand and has been seen modeling for a kiwi lingerie brand called lonely. As lovely beliefs in supporting showcasing natural beauty, you may find many raw, unedited photos of Georgia Pratt wherein no retouching is used to hide skin disparities.
9. Kate Wasley
Kate Wasley is an Australian model who rose to fame on Instagram where she and friend Georgia Gibbs shared photos of themselves to promote body positivity at any size. Now being recognised internationally, Kate has taken this initiative to a larger platform by modelling for various brands such as Frank Body and ASO. She was also the first ever plus-size model to team up with Australian straight-size activewear brand Lorna Jane, who have expanded their ranges to plus-size clothing.
10. Precious Lee
Precious Lee is a plus size model, actor, writer and activist signed to IMG, one of the top modeling agencies, Being a a big name in fashion and beauty modeling, she uses her identity to make an impact for race and size diversity across fashion, TV and film.
Precious was the first Black curve model to appear inside American Vogue, to walk for Moschino for its Fall/Winter 21/22 collection during Milan Fashion Week and also walked in Versace’s spring 2021 show.
To top it, Precious Lee has by far collaborated with Fenty Beauty, DSquared2 as well as covers for British Vogue in April 2021, V magazine, ID, Vogue Italia, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Arabia.
These women have taken the world of fashion by storm and they did it on their own terms. They are truly inspiring and can change the way you look at fashion, new trends and even yourself.
Go ahead and look for these models on social media to see what the fuss is all about. You won’t be disappointed!
Frequently Asked Questions
As per the regular norms in the fashion world, plus-size models are considered to weigh between 161 and 205 lbs. and have a chest size range between 41 and 45. However, it is not necessary for all all plus size women to qualify as plus-size models since the waist and hip ratio may differ as per the difference in body types.
Generally, the hip measurements of 36 inches or less are considered as skinny body types as per the fashion industry norms. the curvy size is considered to be usually 37 or more (inches) but it still depends on the different body size and measurements too.
Nowadays, the fashion industry has opened its arms to inclusivity for all types of body sizes. Ashley Graham, Iskra Lawrence, Georgia Pratt, Robyn Lawley are some of the most famous plus size models around the world.