The fashion industry and the media we consume on a daily basis has become so much more body positive and inclusive in recent years thanks in large part to social media, which has given consumers more power when sharing their demands and needs for the fashion industry. The body positivity and fat acceptance movements can also be credited with the transformation that the fashion industry has undergone. While the fat acceptance movement began in the 1960s, the body positivity movement has recently become mainstream, and they have both allowed people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds to take their place—rightfully so—in fashion.
There are so many different plus size modeling opportunities out there. Take a look at the types of modeling jobs below and find out where you fit in:
- Fashion/Editorial–Model in print advertisements or for a brand’s website.
- Runway–You’ll find runway models on the catwalk during New York Fashion Week and other local fashion shows.
- Commercial–Model in videos and on televised commercials.
- Fit–Help brands ensure that their sizing reflects their average customer. As a fit model, you will be the first to try on new clothing for brands.
- Parts–Parts models often model their hands, feet, hair and other parts of the body.
- Promotional–Model IRL for brands and companies during events they may be throwing or hosting.
If you want to become a plus size model and inspire women with every step you take down the runway, now is the best time to enter the space! Here are some ways you can get your start in fashion and make your mark in the modeling world.
Create a Portfolio on Instagram
Don’t let the term “portfolio” scare you. We aren’t talking about a shiny black book filled with your previous work as a model. However, if you do have previously published work that you would like to use as a portfolio, gather it up for this critical factor that will get your foot in the door. Instagram has been a launchpad for modeling. Not only has your everyday girl created a modeling career on social media, but many brands and modeling agencies are looking for potential models to have an impact and a following on social media—similarly to the way influencers do. A large following count doesn’t guarantee you a modeling career just like it doesn’t keep you from becoming a successful model. What makes or breaks your potential in the industry is how your Instagram feed looks. You know the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” Well, the same is true for creating an Instagram feed that will get you booked as a model. But how will you have an Instagram feed that resembles that of a model if you aren’t one? Let’s move on to the next step.
Take Photos: Study other plus size models you admire and take note of the photos they are posting on Instagram. Ask a friend to take similar pictures of you or use the self-timer function on any camera or phone while wearing trendy plus size clothing to show brands and agencies that you can rock any look. When editing photos to post, make sure not to alter the photo too much. Agencies and brands look for authentic and natural-looking photos.
Research Hashtags: As you establish yourself as a model on social media, you will want to create an audience development strategy that allows you to attract the people you want to reach as well as potential clients, brands and agencies. Research hashtags that you can use on every post (you can use up to 28 hashtags) that will amplify the reach of every post you create. These hashtags should relate to who you are, your location, your motto and your physical appearance. Effective hashtags can boost engagement on your social media pages and lead to an increased following.
Archive and Delete: As you prepare your Instagram profile to become the ultimate portfolio, you should archive and delete old photos that no longer represent you or photos that don’t belong in a modeling profile. If you want to start a new page for your modeling portfolio, you can do that as well.
Attend an Open Casting Call
The most direct and effective way into the modeling world is by attending an open casting call at a local modeling agency or for a brand like Chic Soul (we are currently hosting a plus size model call in the Auburn, AL area). These casting calls may be intimidating, but it's the best experience you could gain as an aspiring plus size model.
Learn from Experience–While modeling agency casting calls may have strict guidelines when it comes to sizing, height, weight and look, you should attend a call even if you don’t fit the requirements. Being in an agency and going through the casting call can be a good networking experience and because the models are so much more diverse than they used to be, you could grab someone’s attention even if you don’t fall within the requirements. When you attend a casting call, be sure to dress to impress. Modeling agencies want to see potential models in clean, classic and well-fitted clothing that allows them to see the model’s body and how they move.
Submit Your Entry for Chic Soul’s Model Call–Chic Soul is currently looking for models in the Auburn, AL area. This is a great chance for aspiring models to get their name out there and model clothing for one of the most popular plus size clothing brands. On top of being able to build a portfolio as a model, Chic Soul will also offer perks like a tanning membership, manicures, pedicures, gym membership, makeup and clothing. Having a consistent modeling job with a brand you love is a great way to launch your modeling career.