With every passing year, new runway casting, and new fashion week, there are more and more calls for inclusivity and diversity within the fashion industry, and these calls are only getting louder. Brands are waking up to the fact that not all real women are size 4 models; they come in many different sizes and shapes, and all of them would like to feel confident and beautiful just how they are. One way that this can happen is by demonstrating to them that ‘normal’ women in these many sizes and shapes can grace the covers of their favourite magazines, be as successful across the fashion industry, and display clothes including size 18 plus size shapewear right in their favourite stores, just as well as ‘standard size’ skinny models. This is why we’ve decided to highlight a handful of women who are already out there and doing just that, as they make a great difference across the fashion world.
She is likely the most famous plus-size model at the time of writing, and she’s pretty much the de-facto face for the whole body positivity movement. That’s for a good reason. She got a lot of attention for a series of unretouched photos that appeared in Vogue, and she was also the first-ever plus-size woman to grace the pages of Sports Illustrated. What impresses us even more is how she is now doing her thing on the same catwalks as Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner. She has made such an impression by being a plus-size model that she graced the cover of Vogue once more, illustrating a title that stated how no norm is now the norm. This is a tremendous advance for the body-positivity movement, and she’s a big reason why plus-sized modelling is being promoted so much in current mainstream culture.
It’s just not possible to discuss plus-size models if we don’t mention Tess Holliday. She’s often considered the spark plug driving the movement of ‘big is beautiful’, and she’s certainly been advocating for all plus-size women throughout her career. Back in 2015, Holliday made headlines for being the globe’s first plus-size model to sign with any major agency, as she flaunted her size 22 curves in TV ads and magazines. She has a bold, brash, and loud attitude that led her to start up the hashtag of #EffYourBeautyStandards, which encourages women of every shape and size to love the bodies they have and feel gorgeous in them. We believe her to be a beacon of happiness, hope, and acceptance in this plus-size world, and we honestly wish we had more models like her in the industry.
She’s an intriguing one. For much of her career, she was thought of as a ‘straight size’ model, since she used to fit into the standard model sizes of the industry. She starred on a cover of Italian Vogue when she landed her first-ever big job at the age of 14. She spent the following years also hitting the covers of Marie Claire, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, and Vogue, while also starring in various high-end brand campaigns like Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein. However, once she graduated from college, she began speaking out in terms of the ‘zero standard’ of the industry. She’s been promoting healthy self-esteem to young women ever since. Since then, she has made the transition into being a plus-size model herself, and she proudly flaunts her curves.
Philomena Kwao is a tremendous model, woman, and person. This is the kind of woman you’d love to have as your best friend. She’s a very gorgeous plus-size model, and she’s also a big supporter of women’s rights, maternal health, and diversity. She’s also a fierce role model for both self-love and body image. When she isn’t in front of a camera or strolling a runway, she operates a charity known as The Lily Project; it speaks out on the topic of healthcare reform while tackling the challenges of diversity throughout the modelling world in terms of both size and race. We’re eager to see more of her, both in the media and on the runway!
So that’s all we have for now, our current favourites among plus-size models. These are just a handful of the many inspiring ladies who are out there. The body positivity movement is starting to really influence society into embracing all kinds of shapes and sizes in women, so we hope to see even more plus-size models making names for themselves.