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How to Become a Plus Size Model? Requirements, Agencies, Jobs

How to Become a Plus Size Model? Requirements, Agencies, Jobs

When it comes to modeling, it’s not limited to who can do it. Plus size modeling is great for those that enjoy posing for photographs but also to promote body positivity. Just like with any modeling, the plus size modeling industry is very competitive, so it can be hard to get into. However, if you go out there filled with knowledge, skills, and confidence, then you’re likely to have a good chance at landing yourself a job as a plus size model. In this article, we’re going to be sharing all the secrets and tips for plus size modeling, and share exactly what you need, to become one.

How to Become a Plus Size Model?

If plus size modeling is something you’ve thought about before but is not sure where to start, then look no further. In this guide, we’re going to talk through everything you need, to become a plus size model. Although it may seem daunting at first, learning everything you need and understanding the skills and modeling and fashion industry, will help to give you a step in the right direction. So, if plus size modeling is something you’re interested in and want to know, keep reading!

What is Plus Size Modeling?

A plus size model is someone who takes parts, professionally, in photographs, artwork, or fashion shows, to help companies advertise their products and services. It’s the exact same as any other type of modeling, but generally, it will include men and women who are a US size 12 or higher in clothing.

Plus Size Model Requirements

In order to start your career in plus size modeling, you need to know what the basic requirements are to be one. This is a basic guide as to what the requirements are, but some brands and agencies may vary, so make sure to always check this too.

Generally, plus size modeling starts from a size 12 and up and is normally cast on your dress size, rather than body measurements. Most women and men these days are considered to be plus size if you’re 12/14 or higher in size.

Although the dress size may be different, everything else is very much the same as any type of modeling in terms of height and appearance. Generally, fashion models are 5’9” and up and will often be asked to have unblemished skin, healthy skin, hair and nails. It’s important to remember that even though you will be modeling brands’ clothes, for example, they do care about your image and appearance from the moment they see you.

Even though these are the general requirements for modeling, don’t let it stop you from trying. Some models can be as short as 5’5” and have successful careers, every brand is different.

Plus Size Modeling Agencies

A lot of the top modeling agencies now include plus size modeling too, so you have a good variety of agents that you can sign up with.

Just like any modeling, you want to look at signing up with an agent. A modeling agent is there to help you get jobs, and it saves a lot of time on your behalf. The agency will go out and find jobs for you, that they think are best suited for you and your image. This can save you a lot of time and effort trying to find jobs yourself. It’s what they specialize in, so you know they’re good at doing it.

In order to sign up for a plus size modeling agency, you will need a portfolio to show them and you may be required to go for an audition or interview with them. We’ll talk about portfolios later on in this guide, but it’s important to have all of this ready for them and to also know all your measurements too. Signing up for a plus size modeling agency is one of the best things you can do, to help start your modeling career and find jobs.

Below, are a list of some of the top plus size modeling agencies, that you can take a look at:

  • Wilhelmina
  • IMG
  • ICON
  • Next
  • Front Management
  • B&M Models

Inspiration for Plus Size Models

If you’re in need of some inspiration when it comes to plus size modeling and to see what the potential is, within this industry, then have a look at these. There are many successful models in the plus size industry including Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday, who have both landed on the covers of magazines. Other famous models include Tara Lynn, Robyn Lawley and Candice Huffin. All of these have had very successful careers being a plus size model, why not take a look at some of their work, to get some inspiration for yourself?

One thing to note about all of these successful models is that they all promote body positivity. In order to have a good career when it comes to plus size modeling, body positivity is something you need to believe in and encourage throughout your career and be able to empower others to do so and feel good about themselves.

The Types of Plus Size Modeling Jobs

Within the modeling industry, there are so many different types of modeling that you can do and this is something you need to look into. When signing up with an agency or applying for any modeling jobs, you want to know exactly what type of modeling you want to do and make sure you know exactly what this entails. Find one that you are most passionate about and think you will enjoy the most and learn about it. It’s best to know exactly which field of modeling you want to go into before you get started.

The different types of modeling include:

  • Commercial model
  • Editorial model
  • Catalog model
  • Runway model
  • Parts model
  • Fitness model

These are just a few of the different types of modeling available. Each one will include different requirements, but below are some of the potential things, you may appear on:

  • Magazines
  • Websites
  • Catalogs
  • Digitals ads
  • Billboards
  • Social media

Things You Need to Know

Before getting started and approaching agencies, there are a few things you need to know about and do.

Create a Portfolio

One of the most important parts of your modeling career will be to have a portfolio. This is a document or file, to showcase yourself. You want to include all different types of photos and poses within this, to be able to show off what you can do and your potential.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend money on expensive photo shoots, to start with, you can get your friends or family to take photos of you and use these, to create your portfolio. Remember to include headshots, full body shots, different angles and backgrounds, and different styles. This is a great chance for you to be able to show agencies exactly what you can do and what you are capable of, so don’t waste the opportunity.

Moving forward with your modeling career, you can continue to build on your portfolio and add more to it. Some brands and companies you work with may also require to see this, so make sure it looks professional and shows you off.


Starting out in any type of job is hard to do, but practice can make it much easier. Modeling is something you can easily practice at home and learn the techniques to it. You can research modeling online and learn from videos and guides, exactly how to do it. Even just practicing different poses, will help to grow your confidence and skills, getting you ready for the modeling industry.

Opportunities and Experience

One thing that can be very hard to get, is the experience, but everyone starts somewhere. Although experience is something a lot of companies will look for, there will be some that are also just starting out and need your help too. If you get any opportunity for modeling work, whether that’s photography or in a fashion show, don’t turn it down. Take any chance you get and use this to build up your experience and add to your portfolio. Every little opportunity, no matter how big or small will help in the long run. It’s also a great way to help build your knowledge and skills and put them to the test.

Social Media

Social media nowadays is such a big part of many people’s lives and it’s free, so use this to your advantage. If you start to build up a platform on social media channels and post photos on here too, then it helps to build a name for yourself and get yourself seen. There is also the chance that some brands may notice you and reach out to you, to work with you. 

Auditions and Open Calls

With most modeling jobs and to even joining modeling agencies, you may be required to go to an open call or audition/ interview. This is something that agencies can help you out with and you can also research these to learn more about them. One thing to make sure though is that you have your portfolio ready, know your measurements and to be confident too. These are your best chances to show exactly what you can do.


Just like with anything, you need skills to be able to do the job. Below, are some of the skills you may need in order to do plus size modeling.

  • Confidence You should be confident within yourself and your body, your confidence can be seen on the stage or in photos, so make sure you show this confidence.
  • Charisma Models often project grace and charm, whether that’s through their modeling or networking. Always make sure you are courteous and charm others when interacting.
  • Resiliency Be prepared to receive rejection and negative feedback and make sure you’re able to cope with this, without taking it to heart.
  • Communication Make sure you are comfortable and confident in being able to state your needs when working with people. Also be open to feedback and discussion from people in the field.
  • Physical health Just like any model, paying attention to your health is important. It’s good practice to have healthy and sustainable fitness, nutrition and grooming.
  • Concentration You may be required to hold poses for a long amount of time, as well as working long days so make sure you have good concentration and focus, so you’re consistent throughout the whole shoot.

How to Start Plus Size Modeling

Below, are the basic steps that have already been discussed within this guide, that you should follow in order to become a plus size model.

  • Decide what type of model you want to be
  • Have a realistic mindset
  • Enroll in a well-reviewed modeling class
  • Create your portfolio
  • Practice and take photos
  • Build your platform through social media and get noticed
  • Sign up for a plus size modeling agency
  • Do your research and study the industry and plus size models

Following these steps will help you to get in the right direction in terms of a modeling career. If you feel like you need some extra help and education in the industry, then you can always go to modeling schools. Modeling schools are there to give you an education on modeling, teach you everything you need to know, and get you ready for the modeling industry. Although these can be great for beginners that don’t know much about plus size modeling, it’s not needed.

There are no qualifications needed for modeling and anyone can do it, as long as they fit within the requirements. It’s also something you can research and learn all by yourself, there are so many resources available online, that you can probably learn everything you need to know.

Hopefully, this guide to plus size modeling has helped you in learning what exactly it is, and what the requirements are along with some useful tips to get you started with your modeling career. If you have drive, passion, and confidence, then you have everything you need to succeed.


Blogger and fashion enthusiast for 20 years. Experienced runway and commercial model located in Los Angeles. I love creating helpful content and sharing with the world. Reach me out for any questions or feedback.

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