Size may matter to some people, but not to everyone — least of all these successful women. Despite the unjustified shaming and prejudice, these women have pursued careers in modeling, despite what society, or even what the world of modeling itself, considers “model material.” They’ve broken down barriers. They’ve showcased their true selves. And they see no reason to give in to unrealistic expectations just to satisfy a market saturated with unreasonable biases. Step aside, stereotypes. These plus-sized models have taken center stage, and they see no reason to stand down.
These beautiful and successful women are breaking stereotypes by embracing their beautiful bodies and redefining standards. They are teaching us to celebrate our bodies just the way they are.
These are 5 women who are taking the lead and are at the top of the Plus-Size modeling game.
- Ashley Graham
A supermodel who managed to be the first plus-size model on Sports Illustrated cover and did it with so much grace that she bagged another three covers right after. In addition, she appeared in several fashion campaigns and TV shows.
She is associated with Vogue, British Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and many other big names. The American model continues to redefine the way a woman’s body is looked at and is a body image activist leading positive body movements, indeed making a difference.
Ashley has spoken at high schools about body image and body acceptance, and she has also been part of the “Health at Every Size” movement.
- Precious Victoria Lee
Precious Victoria Lee’s story is as precious as her name. From having an off-beat name to rocking a body type and ethnicity that is not considered mainstream, Precious Lee is all about bending curves and breaking barriers.
She was first discovered in her hometown at 18 years old after attending an open call in support of a close friend. There she didn’t go unnoticed, and Precious’s calling of becoming a model came to act.
She followed Ashley Graham to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated when they started embracing plus-size models. She cut her hair short a few years ago even though all her agents advised her against it. She managed to create ripples, but for all the right reasons.
To date, Precious has starred in Lane Bryant’s viral #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual campaigns appeared as the first black plus-model in the pages of American Vogue and walked the runway at New York Fashion Week.
- Chloe Marshall
An English supermodel, she won the Miss Surrey title in 2008 and was also the first plus-size model to make it to Miss England finals. This gave her and the idea of plus-size a lot of mileage. It opened up opportunities for her modeling career and also made her conviction to spread the message that you do not always have to be thin and tall to be considered beautiful.
She came in second place, and the same year she was signed by the Models Plus agency.
Chloe later moved to New York and took up modeling assignments and did a lot of campaigns for Project Runway, Macy’s, and Torrid – a brand that specializes in plus-sized clothing.
She has appeared on the cover of Plus Model magazine, she signed a contract with Ford Models and has modeled for notable clothing clients.
- Anita Marshall
Anita Marshall’s story, like any other plus-size model, has been anything but easy. It was not roses and snowflakes before she was taken seriously or considered a model, but she persisted and stuck around to prove herself.
She sends some Facebook pictures to the Dorothy Combs modeling agency, and soon Combs herself called to say she was sending over a contract.
She gained traction from her Instagram post and found her way up in the fashion industry. From being a makeup artist from Boston to making it big in the industry, Anita Marshall is unstoppable.
Marshall has been in everything from catalogs to Marie Claire and has been loving every minute of it. But she should, as she's worked hard to prove the people who originally called her "too big" wrong.