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Kate Dillon

Updated on September 22, 2014

A Plus Size Venus

Kate Dillon was born just outside of Washington, DC a little over thirty years ago but she grew up in San Diego, the land of perpetual slim. As a pre-teen she struggled with her weight plunging into the lonely world of anorexia that was exacerbated by entering the world of fashion modelling.

It all started in the early nineties when, at 17, she won a $75,000 Elite modelling contract and was whisked away from her family to dress in the clothes of divas and pose under the hot lights and glare of those who run the industry. Eventually at 19, she came to her senses and took a break for a few years.

After a break from regular modelling, in 1996 she ventured into the world of plus size modelling and eventually signed with the Wilhelmina Agency. She had found her niche. It showed in her eyes, her cheeks and her curves. She quickly developed a large fan base.

Over both of her careers Kate Dillion has modelled for such companies as: Chanel, Christian Dior, Elisabeth, Gucci, Lane Bryant, Liz Claiborne, L'Oreal, Manifesto by Isabella Rossellini, Marina Rinaldi, Missoni, Nine West, Playtex, and Spiegel. She has strutted her stuff down the runways of Paris and she's graced the face of such fashion magazines as Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle' and Mode.

When Kate left modeling the first time she attained a degree in International Studies from the University of Texas. She completed her Masters in International Development from Harvard in 2009.

Unofficial Stats:

Birth: 1975

Size: 10 - 14

Height: 5'9"

Measurements: 38/30/38

It's a Beautiful World - With Kate Dillon

Three reasons to love Kate Dillon

The lovely curves.

The intense eyes.

The social responsibility.

And Baby Makes Three!

Kate and her husband Gabe welcomed Lucas Dillon Levin (8 lbs) into their hearts and home on December 21.

Congratulations to all three!

MODE Magazine

MODE, an American magazine, was my first real experience with plus size fashion. It was launched with a spring issue in 1997.

To date it remains the one magazine that plus size women long for the return of. I think that has to do in part to Kate Dillon. Kate graced well over five Mode covers as well as being featured inside numerous editorials. If it wasn't for Mode I probably wouldn't have fallen in love with Kate or vice versa.

Mode Magazine delivered a positive message to its readers that plus size women could be beautiful, fashionable, intelligent women who have fun all while reading a Vogue-esque magazine of their own.

Unfortunately, advertisers have always had an aversion for the plus size fashion scene and the magazine had to close its doors in the fall of 2001. Many of us still dream of its return or at least compare everything to it that has come since.

Quick, what do you think of Kate Dillon?

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Marina Rinaldi

The Marina Rinaldi ready-to-wear clothing line has been fitting plus size women since 1984. Their ads were one of the first I remember featuring Kate Dillon and they still are today! Visit Marina Rinaldi.

Watch Kate Dillon in Action

One of the Beautiful People

In May 2000, Kate Dillon made the popular

"50 Most Beautiful People in the World"

list compiled by People Magazine.

"I think most women feel they need

to be thin because thinness, in our

culture, somehow represents

strength and self-containment.

To lose weight is to have ones

life in order, while to gain

weight conversely means one's

life must be falling apart.

It's ridiculous! I know that when

I gained weight was when I began

to heal and come alive."

Dying to Be Thin

In December 2000, Kate participated in an online Q & A about anorexia with PBS viewers in conjunction to their "Dying to be Thin" broadcast. Here are links to her answers:

You can watch Dying to Be Thin online at Nova Online including the section featuring Kate Dillon talking about her early years modelling, growing up as "overweight Kate" and finding her comfortable weight.

Further Reading

Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health
Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health

“Challenges the common beliefs that ‘thin is best’ and ‘weight loss improves health."


Sharing Some Skin with Other Plus Size Models

Group of Plus Size Models
Group of Plus Size Models

November 2009 issue of Glamour magazine featured seven successful plus size models: From far left: Crystal Renn, Amy Lemons, Ashley Graham, Kate Dillon, Anansa Sims and Jennie Runk. Bottom Center: Lizzie Miller. This is not the first time Kate Dillon bared her curves for a good cause.

Kate Dillon on Facebook

Marina Rinald Worn by Kate Dillon
Marina Rinald Worn by Kate Dillon

You can keep up to date on Kate's modeling and

philanthropy on her professional Facebook page. She also has a non-professional page for lack of a better term.

The Komera Project


Kate Dillon is the Vice President and Treasurer for the Komera Project, a charitable organization whose main focus is instilling the value of education amongst young women in Rwanda. According to the project increasing a young woman's education by only a few years guarantees a higher standard of living because of her capacity to earn more money for herself and her family.

Komera Scholarships include tuition, uniforms, health insurance, travel expenses, feminine hygiene products, books, pens and pencils, notebooks, mattresses, and sheets. Just $500 will support one girl for an entire year of secondary school.

Learn more about the Komera Project and how to help support a student from their official website.

Thank you for stopping by this lens about the lovely Kate Dillon. I hope you enjoyed your stay. Please take a moment to sign this guest book before you leave.

Warm fuzzies are always welcome.

Kate Dillon Lens Guestbook

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    • TerrenceYoung LM profile image

      TerrenceYoung LM 7 years ago

      It takes a wise eye and an open heart to see the beauty in all things. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      @anonymous: Yep, she's married and just had a baby not too long ago I believe.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      10 to 14, I don't really care. And to Karen, I like everything about Kate's BMI. It's all in the right place. It's beyond me why she is still single, if she is. I'm happily married, but if I weren't, I'd be pretty darn happy to be about 6' tall, 19 years, (plus or minus) younger, and walking down the street with her hand in mine. She is beautiful, truly beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      How can Kate Dillon be plus sized? Five foot nine & 160 lbs represents a BMI of 23.9.