17 Models to Know Now — and Let's Stop Calling Them Plus Size, Please (2024)

The cultural definition of beauty has slowly started to evolve, and better late than never. The fact that Ashley Graham is now universally recognized as a household name speaks to such progress. And if you don't know who that is by now, well, you should fix that as soon as humanly possible. We're living in a time when people are (finally) holding brands and publications accountable and challenging what have long been considered the "classic" American standards of beauty, and I for one absolutely love to see it.

There is, of course, infinite amounts of more work to be done. However, it's reason enough for us to celebrate what we are seeing: more diversity and inclusion in the modeling industry than ever before. In order to keep pushing the needle forward, we must all collectively move away from qualifying these newer faces as "plus size" and simply refer to them as models. The first step to truly having a more inclusive landscape in beauty and fashion is by not having to make this qualification. It is almost as if by qualifying the term model with "plus," we are implying that the word itself means thin. The two are not mutually exclusive.

We must all collectively move away from qualifying these newer faces as "plus size" and simply refer to them as models.

Growing up, I relished researching Fashion Week shows to both see the incredible looks and learn anything and everything about the models that walked in them. I would regularly fantasize about going to the famous tents and sitting in the front row at a show. When America's Next Top Model premiered, my family had just moved to the suburbs of Connecticut. I naturally became obsessed with the show because I felt like I was getting fashion, excitement, and a little slice of what it really took to be a model all at once. I had enough self-awareness to know that (a) if I had to do any of the stuff that the girls on America's Next Top Model had to do for a gig, I absolutely would not last one day, and (b) I was never going to be skinny or tall enough to be a model, even if I desperately wanted to be.

Then season three introduced me and the rest of the world to Toccara Jones. It was a moment at the time because she was the first so-called "plus-size" contestant since the show's inception. When I think back to that day, I'm reminded that I had not seen anyone call themself a model that looked like her — or me — before that. What I saw on my 16-inch box TV was a confident model with a capital M. She made me feel like my soft body and big boobs didn't need to be hidden in the tragic oversize peasant top I was likely wearing to obscure my curves. For once, I felt seen — in a good way.

Years later, in July 2008, I remember picking up the now-iconic Black issue of Vogue Italia at my local newsstand. Within its pages was a spread of Toccara Jones shot by legendary fashion photographer Steven Meisel, and again, it marked the first time that I had seen a body like hers — a body that felt close to my own — in a fashion spread. At the time, images of curvy models were slowly popping up, but they were typically very standard and, it should be noted, very clothed. Not this. This spread was sexy, uninhibited, and, above all, absolutely gorgeous. For these reasons and more, it will forever occupy rent-free space in my mind.

And now, this new generation of models has elicited that very same feeling for me. Thanks to the advent of social media, we're able to see beyond their obvious physical beauty and gain insight into their personalities, a dimension that was previously only reserved for the world's top (and often thin) supermodels. I've taken the liberty of rounding up this exciting group of models — some who are making their indelible mark on the industry, some who are just getting their start, and some who are simply just being beautiful in the skin they're in.

17 Models to Know Now — and Let's Stop Calling Them Plus Size, Please (2024)


What is the weight limit for plus-size models? ›

Female measurements: Plus-size women working in modeling are usually a size 12 and above. Their weight should typically be between 161 and 205 pounds, with a chest size of 41” to 45”.

What is a plus-size woman's weight? ›

There is no specific weight range as it varies by height and body composition, but it generally starts around 180-200 pounds for women of average height. Plus size in men's clothing often starts at XL or waist sizes 38 and above.

What size model is considered plus-size? ›

Plus-size modeling is generally a size 12 and up. Plus-size models are typically evaluated and cast based on dress size rather than body measurements. As a general rule, plus-size models are defined by the fashion industry as anyone larger than a size 6.

What percentage of models are plus sized? ›

These findings mark a slight improvement on AW23, where 95.6 per cent of looks were straight-size, 3.8 per cent were mid-size, and 0.6 per cent were plus-size.

How much do Victoria's Secret models weigh? ›

The weight of Victoria's Secret models varies depending on their height and body type. On average, models range from 120-130 lbs (54-59 kg) for smaller body types and 130-150 lbs (59-68kg) for larger body types. Thanks for reading. How do Victoria's Secret models get their body?

How much do plus-size models get paid? ›

Plus Size Models Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$70,000$5,833
75th Percentile$70,000$5,833
25th Percentile$50,000$4,166

What size does a 200 pound woman wear? ›

A young woman, physically active, who hasn't had babies, may be fairly proportional, and wear US size 11–13 at 180 #, and a 13–15 at 200#. Older women, who bore a child or children, may carry lower abdominal weight or heaviness because post pregnancy, her body didn't return to pre-pregnancy shape.

What size does a 400 pound woman wear? ›

D5'6" - 6'0"175 - 250 lbs
E4'11" - 6'0"220 - 295 lbs
EE5'0" - 6'0"285 - 400 lbs
EEE5'2" - 5'9"400 - 450 lbs
3 more rows

What size is the average American woman? ›

American women have long been told that the average size is 14. But it's actually a size 16, according to a recent study.

What size is considered curvy? ›

Curvy refers to a waist-hip differential of . 75. If a woman has a waist size of 27 inches or less and a hip size of 36 inches, she is considered curvy. A hip size of 46 inches and a waist size of 34.5 inches or less is also considered curvy.

Is a US size 6 fat? ›

A size 6 is slim. Average (depending on which source you reference) is between 12-16.

What jeans size is considered plus-size? ›

Plus-size clothing is generally considered a women's size 18 and beyond. “Missy” or “straight” sizes range from 00–16/18, XXS–XXL whereas plus sizes range from 12W–28W, 0X–4X and greater.

How much do most plus-size models weigh? ›

Plus-size models are usually a U.S. size 12 and up. Fashionuer reports that a plus-size model's weight should be between 161 and 205 pounds, with a chest size of 41 to 45 inches.

What size are most female models? ›

Height is typically between 5'9″-6″, bust is between 32″-36″, waist is between 22″-26″, and hips should be between 33″-35″. Of course most woman don't meet these standards and that is why fashion models generally get paid the most and work the most.

What size is Ashley Graham? ›

In 2016, she became the first size 16 model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

How much do you need to weigh to be a model? ›

Average: average doesn't mean much but you should weigh about 5 to 7 pounds for every inch over five foot plus 100 lbs. A 5'6″ average model should weigh 128 to 135 lbs. Plus size fit models should weigh about 7 to 9 lbs for every inch over five foot plus 100 lbs. A 5'8″ plus size fit model should weigh 155 to 170 lbs.

Can you be a model if you're chubby? ›

In recent decades, the plus size modeling industry has grown exponentially. This is great news for full-figured women who have always dreamed of becoming a model.To become a plus size model, you first need to identify what type of modeling you would like to do.

What is the average BMI for models? ›

This beauty ideal became de rigueur in the industry; the average runway model has a body mass index (BMI) of 16, which the World Health Organization classifies as severely thin.

Can a 5'3" girl be a runway model? ›

The modeling industry uses models of all heights for a range of jobs and campaigns. Kate Moss is only 5'6” and Lily-Rose Depp is 5'3” - these two super-successful models have never let height stop them.

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