As much as I’d personally love to be a Plus size model, as a 5″3 flat footed pear shaped gal I’ve accepted there’s not much hope for me in the big girls’ model world. This doesn’t mean I don’t think I’m damn sexy (I totally am) but I’m not going to be hoofing it down a runway in a pair of stilettos and designer duds anytime soon. However, if you’ve got what it takes to make it in front of the camera then here’s a few things you need to know before you get started:
PLUS SIZE MODEL REQUIREMENTS
There are exceptions to every rule but all models need to be in proportion (your bust should be in proportion to your hips and waist). You should have a toned body, immaculate hair, beautiful clear skin and straight white teeth. Here’s the part that sucks for those of us who are on the shorter side, there’s a height requirement. I’ve definitely heard of plus size models at 5″6 and I reckon if you feel like you’ve got the ‘it factor’ then why not try at an open casting call and see if you get through but generally the requirement is as follows:
Size: 12-18 for print and up to 22 for runway
FINDING A PLUS SIZE MODEL AGENCY
There are the big name agencies such as Ford and Wilhelmina so look at them as your benchmark for what a professional agency is. The agency websites have a lot of information so do your research before you pick up the phone and be prepared. Check that the agency you are looking into has a plus size model division.
– What is the specific requirement of the agency?
– Who are the plus size models are on their books and what are their stats?
– Dos the agency have open casting?
WHAT TO ASK WHEN YOU CALL
– Do you represent plus size models?
– Do you host open calls for aspiring models OR would you like my submission by post or e-mail?
-What are you specific requirements (i.e height etc)?
-What should I bring/wear to your open call? (some are specific on makeup or bare face)
-What would you like to see in my hard copy photos (post/e-mail submission?)
*Most open calls don’t require a full portfolio just a basic photo submission
OPEN CALL FOR PLUS SIZE MODELS
This is an opportunity for anyone to show up in person and apply to be a model. You get the meet the agents in person and will be able to get instant feedback. If you’re worried about the height requirement but still think you have ‘it’ this could be your best shot if you turn out to be the elusive ‘exception to the rule.’ Treat an open calls like you would a job interview and show up looking your absolute best with attention to all details.
WHAT IS A PHOTO SUBMISSION?
These are basic snapshots that anyone can take i.e not a professional portfolio shoot. You still need to make sure they’re clear and well framed.
– Head shot & full body (head to toe)
– On the back of each photo include your details- name, measurements (height, weight, bust, chest, hips, waist), age, hair color, eye color, a contact phone number, email, and address.
– Make sure you have copies as these won’t be returned
DO I NEED A PLUS SIZE MODELLING PORTFOLIO?
This comes after figuring out if you fulfill the requirements. I’d do a few open calls first and get a feel if you’re what agencies are looking for before you fork out money on a professional portfolio. If you’re accepted into an agency they’ll guide you on the next steps as you’ll need to book a reputable makeup artist, stylist and photographer.
AVOID SCAMS & DO YOUR RESEARCH
Ford, and Wilhelmina are top agencies and don’t require any payment for an open call. They also don’t offer courses on ‘how to become a model.’ If someone wants upfront payment just to see you then that is an Instant red flag. If an agency requires you to pay for a portfolio shoot just to be considered as a client then its a scam.