Model Tips

How To Become A Plus Size Model In Australia

how to become a plus sized model in australia
I'm Kate!

I'm an Australian-based creative, Model and Branding Coach with big dreams of helping aspiring Models make their way into the industry and thrive. I'm obsessed with: integrity, authenticity, a tidy home, smashed avocado, and being the person I needed when I was younger.

PSA: I don't take myself too seriously, though I do take my work seriously.

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What Is Plus Sized Modelling?

Curve modelling, also known as plus size modelling, refers to the representation of models who wear larger clothing sizes than those typically seen in the fashion industry.

In the past, the fashion industry focused on showcasing only slim models, which created a limited and unrealistic standard of beauty. However, in recent years, there has been an increasing demand for more diverse representation in the fashion industry, including the inclusion of plus size models.

One of the main reasons for the increasing demand for plus size models is that it reflects the reality of the general population.

Did you know? The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey revealed that 67 per cent of Australian adults were overweight or obese (12.5 million people) and according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 70% of American adults are overweight or obese.

This means that the majority of people do not fit into the traditional standard of thinness that has been promoted in the fashion industry for decades.

Additionally, consumers have been demanding more representation and inclusivity in the fashion industry. Many people want to see models of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds so they can feel seen and represented. This has led to an increase in demand for plus size models in advertising, campaigns, and runway shows.

Further Reading: Types of Modelling + Requirements: 10 Model Categories That Anyone Can Work In.

Being educated about plus size modelling is important because it helps break down the stereotypes and stigma associated with body size. It is important to recognize that people of all sizes can be beautiful, confident, and successful, and that the fashion industry should reflect this diversity. By supporting plus size models and designers who cater to plus size fashion, we can create a more inclusive and accepting industry that promotes self-love and body positivity for everyone.

How To Become A Plus Size Model

The physical and mental requirements to be a plus size model can vary depending on the specific agency or client, but there are some general expectations that are typically sought after in the industry. These are:

1. Meet Height & Size Expectations

While the measurements of curve models are not as strict as traditional models, a plus size model remains from 5’8” to 6’0” in height. Size expectations vary between model markets (aka countries, given the varying definition of ‘beauty’ across the globe) and some agencies may have different requirements. Plus Size Models generally wear a size 10/12 or higher. Eg. An Australian or British Curve model needs to be an AU/UK size 10 or above. An American curve model needs to be a US size 8 or above. 

It is important to note that there is a range of sizes within the plus size category, and diversity in size is often valued in the industry.

2. Meet Body Shape & Proportions

Plus size models should have a proportional body shape and a well-proportioned figure, with a balanced distribution of weight throughout their body. The industry often looks for models with a defined waistline and a fuller bust and hips.

3. Meet Health & Fitness Requirements

Health and fitness requirements: Plus size models are expected to maintain a healthy lifestyle, inclusive of regular exercise and a nutritious diet, to be healthy and physically fit, with good posture and overall well being. While they do not need to meet the same physical standards as traditional models, they should be able to maintain their weight and stay active to promote overall health and body confidence. It’s commonly known that the BMI scale is outdated, curve models should have a BMI within a healthy range and be free of any underlying health conditions associated with a higher body weight.

Further Reading: Healthline: Is BMI an accurate predictor of health? 

4. Be Confident

Plus size models require a higher level of confidence and self-esteem than most models to be able to adapt to societal weight discrimination, body shaming and overall projection of unrealistic beauty standards that many people in society uphold without actually being those measurements themselves. Curve models should be able to exude self-assuredness and comfort in their own bodies, have a positive attitude, and be able to display that in front of the camera and on the runway.

5. Maintain Your Mental Health

Mental health is also an important consideration for any model, and plus size models should be able to handle the pressure of the industry and maintain a healthy emotional and mental state. It’s important to remember that models of all sizes face criticism and rejection, and a strong mental resilience is necessary to succeed.

Overall, the curve model category offers a space for models who may not fit into traditional modelling standards and is an important step towards promoting body positivity and inclusivity in the fashion industry.

Further Reading: 6 Skin Care Tips to get Clear + Healthy Skin.

Building A Portfolio

Having a strong portfolio is crucial for any model and it’s especially important for curve models. A well-curated portfolio not only showcases a model’s unique look and personality, but also demonstrates their ability to work with different styles, brands, and photographers. 

Why Is A Strong Portofilio Essential For Plus Sized Models?

1. Demonstrates Versatility

A strong portfolio demonstrates a model’s ability to work with different styles, brands, and photographers. Including a variety of photos in your portfolio will show that you can adapt to different environments and still maintain your style and personality. This versatility will make you more appealing to clients who are looking for models that can represent their brand in various ways.

2. Builds Confidence

A strong portfolio can give plus-size models the confidence to approach agencies and clients with their work. Seeing a collection of beautiful, well-shot images of yourself can help you believe in yourself and your abilities as a model.

3. Helps You Get Booked

A strong portfolio can help you get booked for more model jobs. Agencies and clients typically use portfolios to determine which models to hire for their projects. Having a polished and professional portfolio can increase your chances of getting hired.

Model Tip: When it comes to building a strong portfolio, there are a few things to keep in mind. Apply the following tips to your portfolio today!

What Photos Should Plus Sized Models Include In Their Portfolio?

Your portfolio should include a range of photos that showcase your body type, facial features and personality. It’s important to include full-body shots, headshots, and images that show off your unique features, such as tattoos or piercings. You should also include images in different styles and environments, such as editorial, commercial, and lifestyle, and a mix of studio images and outdoor backdrops.

How Do Plus Sized Models Find A Photograper?

Finding a quality professional photographer is key to building a strong portfolio. You can start by asking for referrals from other models or other industry professionals. You can also search for photographers online or on social media. When choosing a photographer, make sure to review their portfolio to ensure that their style aligns with your vision for your own portfolio.

Photographers, like models, have their own niche that they prefer to work in. This could be landscape, portraits, weddings, model portfolios, etc. It’s not an industry practice for photographers to specify ‘plus size or curve model portfolios’. Simply look for a professional photographer who shoots with ‘models’ and choose from there.

How Should Plus Sized Models Show Versatility?

One way to showcase versatility in your portfolio is by including photos in different styles and environments. You can also showcase versatility by changing up your hair and makeup or by wearing different outfits. Including photos that show off your personality and interests can also demonstrate your versatility.

A strong portfolio is crucial for curve models looking to establish themselves in the industry. Including a variety of photos, finding a good photographer, and showcasing versatility are all important elements of a successful portfolio. 

Your portfolio is your calling card so make sure it represents you in the best possible way.

Further Reading: Where Can I Find Work as A Model?

Finding An Agency

Are you an aspiring curve model looking to get signed by an agency? This is for you. Keep reading!

Plus-size model representation is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to promote body positivity and diversity in the fashion industry. By including models of all shapes and sizes, the industry can better represent the many different body types that exist in the world. Plus-size models also provide an opportunity for brands and designers to showcase their clothing on a wider range of bodies, which can help to increase sales and reach new audiences.

Further Reading: Marie Claire: The 14 Most Famous Plus Size Models in the World.

How To Find A Plus Sized Model Agency

1. Research Agencies

Start by doing research on agencies that represent plus-size models. Look for agencies that have a track record of representing successful plus-size models and that have a good reputation in the industry. You can find lists of agencies online or in model directories.

2. Look At Their Roster

AKA model book. Once you have a list of potential agencies, look at their roster of models to see if they represent models that have a similar look or style to yours. It’s also important to see if they represent models in the same market that you’re interested in (eg. fashion and editorial, commercial, etc).

3. Prepare Your Portfolio

Before approaching an agency, make sure you have a strong portfolio that showcases your range and versatility as a model. Your portfolio should include a variety of photos, including full-body shots, headshots, and images that showcase your unique features. First and foremost, your portfolio or submission should reflect what their requirements are (ensure you meet them first).

Further Reading: Four Headshot Tips for Beginner Models.

4. Reach Out To Agencies

Once you have your portfolio ready, you can start reaching out to agencies. You can submit your portfolio online through the agency’s website or via their official email (listed on their website). It’s also a good idea to follow up with a phone call or in-person visit to introduce yourself and express your interest in representation (most prefer this to be pre-booked. Unscheduled ‘walk-ins’ are not an industry norm these days).

5. Stand Out

To stand out in a crowded market, it’s important to have a unique look or style that sets you apart from other curve models. This could include your personality, your fashion sense, or your ability to work with different styles and brands. It’s also important to be professional, punctual, and easy to work with, as these qualities are highly valued in the industry.

Plus-size model representation is important for promoting body positivity and diversity in the fashion industry. To find agencies that represent plus-size models, research agencies, look at their roster, and prepare a strong portfolio. When approaching agencies, be professional and express your unique qualities as a model to stand out in a crowded market.

Further Reading: Top 20 Model Agencies in Australia

I wish you the success you work for and deserve!

Ps: This is a quality guide and I don’t mind you sharing it. I’d appreciate it if you follow standard professional etiquette and please quote + credit my content appropriately when you do: 

Kate Heussler | Instagram: @kateheussler Thank you!
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