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Inspirational Plus Size Models

Updated on March 21, 2011

Size is no longer an obstacle for girls with curves who want to become fashion models

The market for plus-size models has never been better. Leading fashion designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano are using larger models in their catwalk shows.

Major modelling agencies have divisions that provide work for full figured models including Kate Dillon, Toccara Jones, Whitney Thompson, Mia Tyler, and Ashley Graham.

In general the fashion world is doing a better job at embracing women who aren't a size zero and using real women for their modelling campaigns.

I love to see the amazing confidence of plus size models who accept their natural body shape and embrace their curves showing that size should not be an issue and real beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham is best known as a lingerie model for the plus size clothing store Lane Bryant. She has also appeared in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Latina.

Ashley has been working as a top plus-size model since she was discovered at age 12 and signed to Ford Models at 15.

Ashley notoriously posed nude with six fellow plus-size models (including Crystal Renn and Kate Dillon) in a Glamour magazine photo that sent the fashion world in a tizzy over the scandalous sight of "naked fat ladies".

In 2010 she appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to address the controversy over an edited commercial which was banned as being too hot for American TV as Ashley was apparently 'flashing too much flesh'.

Network execs decided the commercial was too hot for TV saying busty Ashley Graham, reveals too much cleavage.

At a UK size 16 and measureing 36-34-47 Ashley Graham is proof once again that we should all celebrate our curves as big really can be beautiful.


Tara Lynn

Tara Lynn the curvy breathtaking beauty who has captured the attention of the fashion world is one of the most well known plus size models.

In 2008 she started out doing online advertising for Nordstrom. Since then V Magazine used her in their shoot Curves Ahead in 2010 when they were celebrating 'real' women. She appeared alongside other plus sized models Candice Huffine, Kasia P, Michelle Olson and Marquita Pring.

The girls unashamedly flaunted full thighs, stomach rolls and love handles (things that would normally be airbrushed out on a high fashion magazine) whilst wearing everything from figure-hugging Agent Provocateur bodysuits to cut-out Gucci swimsuits.

In April 2010 issue of French Elle featured Tara Lynn on the cover and in a twenty-page-long editorial, for the magazine's first celebration of women who are 'ronde'.

Tara Lynn is the face of Brazilian lingerie company, Plià for their Shape Wear collection for plus sizes. She has also appeared in Glamour magazine.

chenese lewis
chenese lewis

Chenese Lewis

Chenese Lewis made history when she was the first woman to be crowned Miss Plus America in 2003 and as a plus size model she has modelled for many companies including Torrid and Kmart. She is also the celebrity face for Sizeappeal and an official ambassador for Binge Eating Disorder Association.

Chenese recently posed naked alongside former ANTM winner plus-sized model Whitney Thompson to promote Love Your Body Day 2010. The event is hosted by Hollywood Now of which Chenese is the president.

LYBD was first launched in 1998 and hopes to help women accept themselves and feel good about their bodies, regardless of the size.

Chenese attributes her success by not conforming to society’s ideals of beauty but rather showing by example, that you can be beautiful and confident regardless of your size, Chenese Lewis is the epitome of the plus size woman.

Plus size model Kate Dillon
Plus size model Kate Dillon

Kate Dillon

Kate Dillon was hailed as "the next Cindy Crawford" when she began modelling as a slender fashion model at the age of 16, but Kate starved herself to maintain the body she needed as a high-fashion model.

Kate was bullied at school, being called “overweight Kate” but she was secretly battling anorexia, desperate to keep at an underweight size 6.

However, when she started eating, it got her modelling agencies and managers complaining that she was now too fat. Disgusted with their responses Kate Dillon decided to quit modelling.

Kate has successfully re-invented herself and imposed her beauty in fashion well beyond the concept of size.

Today as a recovered anorexic she is more successful than ever in her career as a plus-size model with three MODE covers, a clothing contract with Liz Claiborne, a cosmetic contract with Isabella Rossellini's Manifesto line and speaking engagements at forums such as Harvard University. Kate was also the first plus-size model to appear in a U.S. Vogue photo spread.

Kate is very active in environment-related and eco-fashion initiatives like Ecochic in Geneva. She supports Global Green. She also collaborates with Half the sky, an organization supporting women's rights.

Kate Dillon is an inspiration not only to plus-size women but also to young women who suffer from eating disorders, as she is proof that these illnesses can be overcome, you do not have to be a size zero to have a successful modelling career, nor do you have to be stick thin to look beautiful.

Velvet D'Amour
Velvet D'Amour

Velvet D'Amour

Velvet D'Amour is primarily a fashion photographer but she is most well known for her appearance as a plus-size model in Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano spring collections in 2006 where she walked the runway weighing approximately 21 stone in a size 28.

In response to the skinny model debate, Velvet says;

"The general reason one gets as to why there is not more representation of curvier folks within modern media is that inclusion would be equivalent to acceptance, and acceptance would then equal condoning, which would mean they support alleged ill health.

The odd dichotomy is that whilst people like myself are banned due to the purported notion we will somehow 'promote' being unhealthy, we are besieged with media saturated with imagery of Britney Spears, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Kate Moss and Lindsay Lohan. How these women represent good health is somewhat beyond me."

Velvet also appeared in the title role of Avida, the 2006 French film and was a judge in the Paris edition of Mo'nique's hit reality show Fat Chance, the first beauty pageant for plus sized women.

Velvet is currently appearing in La Ferme Célébrités en Afrique - a French reality TV show similar to I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.


Teer Wayde

Teer Wayde is a Plus Size fashion model, Pin up and Singer from Melbourne, Australia. Known best for her killer curves Teer has been featured in numerous international publications, websites and campaigns including a recent shoot for Plus size clothing range Simply Be lingerie range.

From Editorial to Pinup, Runway to Studio she has the ability to create herself into many different characters and make amazing imagery.

The size 16 beauty is an alternative model with curves, changing the face and shape of beauty.

Keep a look out for Teer Wayde, a new face of plus size modelling

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    • FastFistCity profile image

      FastFistCity 5 years ago

      Fast Fist City. com we support the plus size model let us know if can do anything for you.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I can't say enough about Tara Lynn. She is the perfect women in my book.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      A few perfect examples that beauty comes in multiple sizes. Another favorite of mine right now is Fluvia Lacerda.