How to Become a Plus Size Model: (5 Simple Steps to Success)

With dedication, self-awareness, and a bit of guidance, I truly believe anyone can achieve their dream of becoming a thriving plus-size model.

Becoming a thriving plus-size model requires understanding industry requirements such as size 12 or higher and embracing body positivity. Building a professional portfolio, finding reputable agencies, attending open calls, expanding education and skills, and effective self-promotion are vital steps in this journey.

In this article, I’ll share some tips to help you kickstart your plus-size modeling career.

Together, we’ll explore essential steps, from building a stunning portfolio to finding the perfect agency to represent your unique and gorgeous self.

Overview of Steps to Becoming a Plus-Size Model

Steps to Becoming a Plus-Size ModelDetails
Understanding the RequirementsSize 12 or higher, typically around 5’8″ or taller, embrace body positivity and appearance maintenance
Building Your Modeling PortfolioIncludes professional headshots, body shots, and quality photographs taken by a professional photographer
Finding the Right Modeling AgenciesResearch reputable agencies, such as Wilhelmina Models, IMG Models, Next Management, Front Management, B&M Models, Models1, ICON, etc.
Applying and Attending Open CallsPrepare a strong portfolio, maintain a positive attitude, network with industry professionals, follow up after casting calls
Expanding Education and SkillsConsider attending modeling schools, classes, and coaching sessions to enhance your skills and knowledge
Promoting Yourself and NetworkingUse social media and personal websites to showcase work and connect with potential clients, agencies, and other models

Requirements for Becoming a Plus-Size Model

a plus size model wearing a brown yoga outfit laying on his side with left hand supporting her head

SizeSize 12 or higher– Embrace your curves and body.

– A size 12 or higher offers work opportunities in various modeling aspects, including print, runway, and fit modeling.
HeightTypically around 5’8″ or taller– Smaller models can sometimes find opportunities.

– Every model’s journey is different and unique, so keep pushing forward confidently.
Body PositivityEssential– Embrace your body, regardless of size or shape. This is empowering and sets the stage for a successful modeling career.

– A happy and healthy mindset will translate in front of the camera and beyond.
AppearancePolished and fresh-faced– The best plus-size models care excellently for their skin, hair, and overall well-being.

– Staying polished and fresh-faced, plus exuding confidence, will make you stand out in this competitive industry.

Step 1. Building Your Modeling Portfolio


a headshot of a pretty woman wearing a denim jacket

One essential part of having a solid portfolio is professional headshots. It’s important to capture your face from different angles and expressions, showcasing your versatility.

Ensure photos are taken in natural lighting to highlight your best features.

It’s crucial to have a variety of headshots that showcase your natural beauty. Ensure you’re well-groomed, wearing minimal makeup, and using natural lighting.

This will capture your authentic look, which agencies are searching for. Quality photographs are essential, so don’t hesitate to hire a professional photographer.

Body Shots

a woman posing as a model wearing a maroon brown dress with sunflower on her ear

Another key element in a plus-size modeling portfolio is the body shot. This showcases your figure and helps agencies clearly understand your body type.

Choose well-fitting outfits that accentuate your curves and make you feel confident about getting the perfect body shot.

Don’t be afraid to show off your unique features because that sets you apart in this industry.

Professional Photos

a woman posing as a model laying on an olive green sofa

Lastly, investing in quality photographs taken by a professional photographer is essential.

They know how to capture you at your best, and having high-quality images in your portfolio will make a lasting impression on potential clients and agencies.

Remember, your portfolio is your visual resume, so it’s worth the investment to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward in this competitive industry.

Step 2. Finding the Right Modeling Agencies

As an aspiring plus-size model, one of the most important steps is finding the right modeling agencies that understand and appreciate your unique beauty.

While there are many out there, partnering with an agency with a strong reputation, diverse client base, and ample opportunities is essential. Let me share some of the top choices you can consider:

Wilhelmina ModelsSpecialized Curve division for plus-size models.
IMG ModelsHouses a wide range of talented models, including plus-size.
Next ManagementThe curve category offers the opportunity for curvy models to break into both commercial and high fashion projects.
Front ManagementBoutique agency emphasizing diversity and body positivity.
B&M ModelsRepresents models of various sizes and ethnicities with offices in Toronto and New York.
Models1UK-based agency with a specific Curve division for plus-size talent.
ICONIt boasts an impressive portfolio of plus-size models who’ve worked with top brands, photographers, and publications.

Remember that not all agencies are created equal; sometimes, the perfect fit lies in finding a smaller or more specialized agency.

Ultimately, it’s about finding a partner who shares your vision, celebrates your body, and is committed to fostering your success.

Step 3. Applying and Attending Open Calls

two woman discussing something on a an apple laptop

Once you find the right agency for you, it’s time to send in your application. Again, your portfolio should showcase your unique style and personality while highlighting your natural beauty.

When you’re ready to attend open calls or respond to casting calls, keep a few things in mind. First, be patient; opportunities might not come knocking right away.

I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to be persistent in this industry. Remember to always dress appropriately for open calls and casting events.

Stick to simple outfits highlighting your beautiful curves, and avoid anything too bold or distracting. Also, be prepared to meet various other models since modeling is highly competitive.

It’s essential to network with scouts and make connections with industry professionals. These relationships can go a long way in helping you find your big break.

woman on her laptop laughing with others on a conference room

Be personable, confident, and authentic – these qualities will leave a lasting impression.

Finally, remember that your unique, beautiful, curvy self sets you apart in plus-size modeling. Embrace and celebrate your body because this journey is all about.

In summary, applying and attending open calls requires:

  • A strong, up-to-date portfolio
  • A positive, friendly attitude
  • Networking with other models and industry professionals
  • Following up after the casting call

Step 4. Expanding Your Education and Skills

a plus size woman doing yoga on her living room with laptop on the floor

Modeling Schools and Classes

First, modeling schools and classes can be a great way to learn the basics and sharpen your skills.

Many classes also offer opportunities to network with peers and industry professionals. Though not a strict requirement, attending a reputable modeling school can give you an edge and boost your confidence.

Coaching Sessions

two office girls discussing something on the office window area

Coaching sessions are incredibly beneficial for your growth as a model. Having an experienced model coach who will guide you through various aspects of the industry was invaluable.

Some coaches are former or current models, while others could be agents, scouts, or industry assistants.

One-on-one coaching allows for personalized feedback and tailored advice to help hone your craft and navigate the complexities of the modeling world.

In addition to modeling techniques, a model coach can offer guidance on acting – an essential skill for many commercial and editorial gigs.

So, if you aspire to become a successful plus-size model, don’t underestimate the power of expanding your education and skills through modeling schools, classes, and coaching sessions.

Step 5. Promoting Yourself and Networking

Social Media

woman holding a phone opening an Instagram app on it

Social media is a game-changer in the modeling industry. It’s an essential tool to showcase your work and connect with clients, agencies, and other models.

One platform that can be particularly helpful is Instagram, as it’s a visually-driven platform perfect for sharing your portfolio.

I can showcase my unique style and personality by posting high-quality photos and engaging captions.

Don’t forget to network by contacting other models, photographers, and agencies, as this can lead to collaboration opportunities and help build your plus-size modeling career.


two woman discussing some code the laptop

Creating a personal website will also help promote yourself as a plus-size model.

A place to showcase your portfolio, provide contact information, and demonstrate your expertise is essential to establishing a professional online presence.

Consider including the following on your website:

  • Portfolio: A collection of your best work showcasing your diverse skills and styles.
  • Biography: Tell your story and what makes you unique, letting viewers know you’re passionate about body positivity and modeling.
  • Contact information: Make it easy for potential clients and agencies to get in touch by providing your email address, phone number, and social media links.

Remember to consistently update your site with new work, experiences, and accomplishments. A great website that reflects your personality and style will help differentiate you from the competition.

Promoting yourself and networking are essential activities for any aspiring plus-size model.

Engaging with people online and offline, sharing your vision and work, and staying committed to your goals will help create opportunities and build your career.

Reach out, be bold, and have fun – you never know who might be watching!



  • Your Guide to Plus Size Modeling by Yvette Ray Pinfield
  • The Ultimate Plus-Size Modeling Guide by Schuller, Catherine


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Maggie Walker
Maggie Walker

Certifications: Fashion Design (BA)
Education: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Lives In: Chicago
Maggie has invaluable experience working in the fashion industry. Regarding fitting and clothing, only a select few can match up with her experience.
She oversees every aspect and has put her heart and soul into MadisonPlus.

Articles: 126

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