5 Things No One Tells You About Being a Plus Size Model
Have you ever wondered about what it’d be like to get signed with a modeling agency and become a professional plus size model- traveling the world and shooting for big companies? I’m gonna dish on some of the weirdest things I’ve ran into in my 4 year plus modeling career. xo Lilli Luxe
1. You’re probably going to have to wear a fat suit
Yes, you read that right. Most plus models own body padding kits to take with them to shoots. Sometimes clothing companies have samples in a range of sizes that they need to shoot, and the model needs to be able to fit all of them. I had one job where I was wearing a size 24 pant suit (I was a size 14). The set I bought was designed for mannequins, for seamstresses to adjust the sizes of it by adding or removing pads. It was pretty funny stuffing the pads into my Spanx for shoots.
2.Most plus size models are a US size 10-12
The average US woman is a size 16. Does something seem off to you? What we’re calling “plus” are women who are 4 sizes smaller then the average woman!! Many models are now fighting against this ridiculous titling with the movement #droptheplus, because anyone with eyes can tell that there’s nothing “plus” about these models.
3. Different US cities prefer certain sizes
Are you a size 10? Then NYC is where you need to go. Size 14? Atlanta will love you. Each client and market has certain preferences for what they’re looking for at any given time. The frustrating part about modeling is that there’s always a “flavor of the moment”. One day it may be size 10 redhead, the next it’ll be a size 14 mixed race latina. When a model is going for castings, it’s very important to keep this in mind and not take anything personally. You can still be gorgeous and but not be the vision the client had in mind.
4. It is very expensive to get started
I booked my first job, $900 for a day of shooting with a big brand! Hurrah! But after the agency took out their promotional fees, website update fees, commission, and I bought my comp cards (like printed model business cards), shot high a quality portfolio with the agency’s photographer, and paid for my own travel expenses, I was left with about $50. Oh. Some jobs I even lost money on. Some models will work for 2-3 years before making a profit. This has a way of weeding out those who are not truly dedicated to pursuing their modeling dream.
5. Many models work as flight attendants, waitresses, or bartenders
The thing about modeling, is that a job could pop up at any time and in any location and you need to be available to go, sometimes within 24 hours. Because of this, many models have flexible jobs that allow them to take a day or 2 off for shoots when the opportunities arise. I was working a corporate job at the time and had a very flexible and supportive boss, but if you are at a job that requires and demands your daily presence, you may have a harder time booking jobs, or limited availability with only weekends.
After reading all of this, would you still want to be a plus size model? Comment below with your thoughts!