How to Become a Plus-Sized Model



  • Becoming a plus-size model may require a little extra height and an ideal size range, but you’ll also need drive and a tough skin to make it in the industry. If you’ve got what it takes and you’re interested in plus-size modeling, review the basics to get started and get your portfolio out there.

    Create Your Portfolio

    When you’re first breaking into the industry, you won’t need a full portfolio to begin making inquiries. Instead, concentrate on photographs that show your natural beauty and that aren’t particularly staged or posed. Aim for at least one high-quality face shot and a full-body shot in simple, flattering attire.

    Note: If you have poor-quality photographs, it’s advised to arrive at the agency without photographs. If you are a beginning model and show potential, many agencies will understand.
    Contact Agencies

    You’ll need to get in touch with modeling agencies to jumpstart your professional career, but educate yourself about the “right” agencies. Check out potential agencies’ reputations with other professionals in the industry, and never pay fees to apply or sign onto an agency.

    Call the top three agencies in your area and schedule appointments to meet. On the day of your appointment, wear comfortable, semi-casual clothing that fit well. Consider wearing a pair of kitten heels to add a little extra height without being overly obvious.

    Attend an Open Call

    Open calls can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if you find yourself in a large group of hopefuls.

    Some agencies may have you fill out an extensive form before speaking with you. You will need to identify your contact information, interests, measurements, and experience. You may also be measured by the modeling agency representative.
    Smile, and don’t let any criticism get to you. As you attend more casting calls, you could hear comments on your headshots or figure. Simply say thank you and move on.
    Know that if you do get signed, you’ll be expected to create a portfolio, as well as comp/zed cards. While this is a substantial cards, do not pay an agency to be on their website, to be represented, or to attend their school.
    Plus Size Modeling Requirements

    While you may need to fit into a certain size to become a plus model, that’s not all. Plus models are generally 5’8″ to 6′ in height, and wear a size 10 and up.

    Other guidelines include:

    A proportional figure
    Shapely legs

what does Bubblegum casting do ?


I heard about Bubblegum casting agency from my friend who had the opportunity to meet their polite staff. A year ago she had photo shoot for this company and she told me that they are looking for girls between 18 and 22 years old. Being 19, I was wondering if I could have a similar experience. She told me so many nice things and since the company is in such a great location I decided to go there and apply personally.
I had never been a model before. When I reached their offices their professional staff was waiting for me, just as my friend told me. I liked the space very much. They set me down as I needed to hear all the explanations about what I am going to do in next hour or two. They told me all the details of the shoots done by using their high quality equiptment. They also explained to me  that I needed to react natural and self-confident all the time while shooting. Then one very friendly photographer came into the room. He set the camera on the position for photo shoots. He arranged the background for me too.
All of these people made me feel comfortable. In just a few moments I felt like having very relaxed working environment. I enjoyed working with all of them. Although I haven’t spent so much time in the Bubblegum casting I was sure that what I have done was the right thing for me. My casting lasts only one hour. And beside that I need to mention that I was paid before work started and this is why I had additional motivation for smiling. I would like to recommend all the girls to go there and take their chance. The feeling is really great. I left the company happily and if I could make a choice one more time, I would do the same definitely. reviews

What it takes to be a Plus Sized Model


“A plus sized model, in the past, was a size 10-12 – up to a size 18 for fashion. Now, they are calling a size 8 – plus sized,” shares Anthony Higgins – Director at MSA Models.

Anthony Higgins has over 15 years of experience representing curvy women and really enjoys his role in shaping careers.

“If there was an Anthony magazine or clothing line, I would hire all types because I see beauty in everybody,” says Anthony Higgins. “I would love to see things be more fluid and have Mario Testino or Steven Klien take pictures of all different types and have Vogue be seamless… here’s a size 6, here’s an 18, here’s a 2, here’s a 4.”

Yet, in reality, “we are looking at the general standard of what America thinks is attractive,” says Anthony. “The people who run the magazines, and pick the clothes that go in the magazines, dictate what is plus sized. And, Hollywood dictates a lot of it too. Brook Shields has taken to being called a plus sized model. Some people are even calling Drew Barrymore a plus size, because she is a 6.”

For catalog work, specifically, “they will use a size 8 because they think size 14 and 16 will relate to that person and size 4 and size 6 will relate to that person. They do not use size 18 as much as they should for print – though… size 18 makes the most money,” says Anthony, “because the typical sample sizes are 18. There is less print work, but there is more print and showroom work for them.”

The demand for plus sized models may be dwindling in size requirements, but “there will always be a demand for plus sized models because there are plus sized people,” says Anthony. “More than 50% of American women are size 14 and up.”

To make it as a plus sized model, the requirements go far beyond the number on a clothing tag.

“There are still the same standards when someone wants to be a model.”

“For print and for runway, you have to be a minimum of 5’7 – 5’8 up to 6 foot. Though, there are exceptions to every rule,” shares Anthony. “I have Mia Amber who has done films, acting and print who is 6′ tall and a size 20 – and she’s a star, she works all the time. And, I have Tricia who is 5’6 who works all the time.”

In general, “modeling is about being proportioned,” says Anthony. “Even though you can be a size 18, you have to be tight, in terms of your skin tone, have clear skin, beautiful hair and teeth.”

“You have to know your shape before you show it. There are women who are inverted triangles, pears and all sizes. But the ones who work the most are proportioned hourglass.”

And, “toned is good,” shares Anthony. “I represented a woman for years who was a size 18-20 and a yoga instructor. People don’t think that a size 18-20 can be healthy, but this woman was extremely healthy. Some women are just big.”

“I tell the girls that just because you are bigger boned, or have some meat on your bones, it is not an excuse to be fat or sloppy.”

“To be a working model, you want to utilize everything” – including personality!

“Personality is paramount,” shares Anthony. “The model is helping their client sell their clothing, their toothpaste – whatever it is. The good models understand that.”

“I am not the model’s boss or therapist, I am there to help guide and direct their careers so all of us can make money,” say Anthony. “I market them and help them market themselves. The more I can market people, in more facets, the better career they will have.”

To make the most out of a modeling career, especially when it comes to plus sized modeling, the talent needs to be able to do print as well as fit and showroom.

“Print modeling is tough unless you reach the higher end of it,” says Anthony. Yet, “fit and showroom models, in the garment industry here, can make $200-$300, 000.”

“I have several models that make that much because they are multifaceted. They are beautiful, so they can do those print jobs that come up once in a while, but the daily grind is going showroom to showroom and designer to designer.”

“In the plus sized world there is a lot of competition, but there is a lot less competition than super fashion models,” shares Anthony as another upside to working in plus sized.

“There are 4 major agencies, who are prominent, that work with plus sized models and two of those do not even have girls who are size 16 or 18 – we get a lot of the lion’s share of that. I have a model that is a size 26 and she works because there are a lot of people that size.”

To make sure that Anthony sees as many potential models as possible, he holds open calls in NYC.

“I have this philosophy that was given to me by my mom – that everyone’s worth meeting at least once because you will learn something from them, even if it is the simple fact that you will learn whether you like them or not.”

“I bring some people in and just know I can work with them, I see something in them. That is why I have open calls and attend modeling shows on the weekend.”

For the open calls, “pictures don’t really matter,” says Anthony. “I just need digital snapshots of you that your husband, boyfriend, sister or Mom can take. Bring in about 5 or 6 pictures – a head on face shot, some profile shots and then a body shot, preferably something in a bathing suit. For plus sized women it can be one piece, but we need to see what your body looks like.”

And, “come in with no product in the hair, no product on the face. We call it clean, clean. We want to see what you look like raw.”

One of the reasons why you should not go into an open call with a portfolio is because “not everyone knows how to shoot curvy women,” says Anthony. “You don’t put a size 18 woman in a white jumper and then have her sit Indian style because you want to get the curve.”

“If the girl twists a little and keeps the shoulders back, it makes a better line and gives a curve. There are certain things, especially when you get into the bigger sizes, that the girl needs to know about how to make her body look best.”

To look your best, “don’t put it in the front window if it’s not going to look good,” says Anthony. “You can be curvy, you can be any size, but dress so you accentuate the positive things.”

Positively… there are so many beautiful aspects of plus sized women. And, as an interesting experiment, MSA Models worked with Marie Claire in doing a man on the street segment where they took one of the MSA models and a camera crew to ask men, “What aspects do you like about her?”

“The men said hair, eyes, booty, smile,” says Anthony. And, “the next question was ‘What size is she?’ but not one man, out of a hundred, knew. They don’t see things that way. When they asked women the same question, the women were more critical about what parts needed help, while the men just said what they thought was attractive.”

- See more at:’s-a-plus!#sthash.62QBDaek.dpuf

A Please to Cosmo Magazine, Please Call Robyn Lawley a “Model”


You are one of the most influential magazines when it comes to fashion and beauty. You reach 18 million women a month with your publication. You truly have a lot of power when it comes to how our society looks at women.

So it was a huge disappointment that in your November issue, you referred to model Robyn Lawley as “plus size”.

Do not get me wrong; you were very complementary of her. You called her beautiful and even said she was “looking good”. You made a point to say her pictures were untouched which is empowering.

The modeling industry calls her a “plus size” model. Everyone refers to her as “plus size”. Robyn Lawley, who is a size 10, calls herself a “plus size” model. So you did not insult her in any way. You basically said she was a “plus size” model because everyone else does as well. Yet, every time she is featured in a magazine or news article, the majority of the comments are always from people shocked she is called a “plus size” model. They find it insulting, as well they should. Calling her “plus size” takes away from her modeling and then goes into another conversation. A conversation more about women’s sizes and less about her modeling talent.

And then other models get insulted. I am sure you have heard the insults… the “supermodel” who starves herself or the Victoria’s Secret model who needs a sandwich. They fight back saying how most women are just not healthy and then the women who are called unhealthy fight back. Women downplaying all sizes of women.

It is a vicious cycle.

Cosmo, you have some power. Actually, you have a lot of power. You have been criticized numerous times for your photo shopped photos and your depiction of beauty. You seem to want to move past that. Body image is one of the biggest topics today. You know that healthy is looking in the mirror and loving yourself, not looking in the mirror and realizing you will never be as beautiful as the women in a magazine.

You are trying. You are putting beautiful women from all walks of life in your magazine. You are putting articles out there for teenage women to help them with their self-esteem. Could you try harder? Of course you could. But at least you are trying unlike other magazines.

I have a daughter. She is going to look into your magazine one day along with others. She is going to have to deal with peer pressure. As much as I would like to think I could prevent it, I know I cannot. But I can try today.

Do you think from this day forward you could refer to any model in your magazine as “model”? Not with a descriptive word on size but just “model”? No matter what number is on her bathing suit or if she falls into America’s “average” size? Just model. Because the modeling industry can determine whatever size they feel is the proper size for a model…

But for all the 18 million other women that read your magazine per month, I think they know better. A model should not be determined by her size…

She should be determined by her beauty.

And everyone is beautiful… and a model is a model without a plus.


Tony Posnanski