It’s a niche in the fashion industry, but one that many applaud for giving girls a healthier and more realistic body image. Plus size models are models who are fuller-figured, curvier, wear larger sizes and often model for plus size ranges. There are many of them in the industry and the niche is growing, but here are the top 10 plus size models you should know.
10. Toccara Jones
The spirited Toccara Jones is an America’s Next Top Model alum, although she was voted off the show before she could kindle a fully successful career. She still maintained industry contacts and has appeared in magazines like Lifestyle and Vogue Italia. Between television and print she’s a face you’ve either come to know, or will know someday!
9. Chloe Marshall
This very curvy girl is sometimes criticized by those who feel she promotes unhealthy dieting and obesity, but that doesn’t stop her – or her agency – who describe her as “luscious.” Chloe was first runner up in Miss England 2008, the first plus sized woman to ever be a finalist in that competition. She landed modeling contracts soon after and is beloved by many.
8. Kate Dillon
As a regular model Kate Dillon starved herself into a state of acute unhealthiness. When she was at her worst, hospitalized and gaunt, and was told by a high fashion friend that she looked fabulous she knew it had to stop. She regained weight to her normal size 14 and has worked successfully as a plus size model since. And People magazine named her one of their 50 Most Beautiful People!
7. Crystal Renn
When you’re an aspiring model and you’re told at age 14 that you have to lose 1/3 your body weight to achieve your dream, it leaves an impact. This happened to Crystal, who then developed eating disorders that all but crushed her chances of being a model. Thankfully she rebounded to health and a healthy career as a plus size model. She’s the only plus size model to ever be in all four international editions of Vogue.
6. Maggie Brown
Maggie Brown won a contest called “Thick and Sexy Models” on the Tyra Banks Show in 2006. She won a commercial modeling contract that rocketed her to the top of the industry and has been modeling for everyone from Wal-Mart to Macy’s ever since. She’s also had many magazine features and continues to be a strong favorite in the niche.
5. Natalie Laughlin
This size 12-14 beauty was famously the face of Liz Clairborne when the first controversial plus size model billboards went up around Times Square in New York. Natalie was featured on five such major billboards as the “Elizabeth Girl”. She continues to enjoy commercial success.
4. Mia Tyler
You probably know Mia as sister to beauty Liv Tyler, and daughter of spirited rocker Steven Tyler. But Mia’s a growing celebrity in her own right. With her larger-than-life personality and her gorgeous curves, size 10 Mia flaunts it all for high fashion magazines like Vogue and Marie Claire.
3. Barbara Brickner
When you think of the plus size model niche, you may well think of Barbara Bricker. She’s been one of the hardest working plus size models in the business for 10 years, and one of the most commercially popular. She even launched her own line of clothing for mothers-to-be, BB Maternity.
2. Whitney Thompson
Speaking of America’s Next Top Model, Whitney Thompson was ANTM‘s Season 10 winner at size 10, 5’10” tall. While Tyra described her more as a “full figured” model than a “plus size” model, she’s still showing the world that girls with a curvy profile can make it in fashion, and beat a bevy of skinnier girls to take a coveted top model contract.
1. Tyra Banks
Tyra is one of the most recognizable faces in modeling, period. While she spent most of her career as a regular model, or a “straight” model as plus size models put it, she reinvented herself as a plus size model after gaining weight. And despite her personal struggles with weight gain and weight loss, she is a staunch advocate for healthy body image, having routinely encouraged women to embrace their curves on her television show.