It’s no secret that the average woman doesn’t necessarily have the same dimensions as the stick thin models on our magazine covers. However, it might come as a shock to you that there are quite a few celebrities that look a lot more like the average woman, whose average size is a 14. In other words, they are considered to be plus-sized, because according to American size guides, size 8 would be the starting point to the plus-size spectrum. Some of these women are famous singers and actresses, and some of them are rising stars in the modeling world, but all of them are gorgeous and worth celebrating. With that, here are sixteen of the hottest plus-sized celebrities in Hollywood, in no particular order.
Adele’s not just famous for her flawless voice, she’s famous for being part of a minority of plus sized celebrities out there. She’s one of the 50 most influential mothers in People this year, and she’s the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 charts to have three singles on the Top 10 as a lead artist. She plays several instruments, too! MSN Music has also called her “the finest singer of our generation.”
Aside from all of that, she’s quit the inspirational figure for other plus-sized women. She received a lot of support after getting criticized by people like Joan Rivers for her weight, and had this to say on the subject:
“I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion. I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy. I’ve never had a problem with the way I look. I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.”
15. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah has had a long and storied career, both as a singer and a rapper, and as a whole lot of other things. She has a ton of albums out, and is considered one of hip-hop’s feminist pioneers. She’s an Oscar nominee and a Grammy and Emmy winner, not to mention a ton of other awards and nominations, and is generally an outstanding person. She’s also a major influence on the R&B, soul, and hip-hop genres, and major artists in those genres owe a lot to her work. On top of that, she completely bucks the false stereotype that plus-sized women don’t exercise, since she’s also a kickboxer!
14. Amber Riley
You probably know Amber Riley from her legendary run on Glee. Sure, Glee might not have been your cup of tea, but you’d have to concede that Amber Riley was among the very best things about the show. She was also the Good Witch in the live performance of The Wiz, and it was announced recently that she’s going to be Effie White in the West End run of Dreamgirls. Not only is she an incredible singer, she’s an incredible dancer too: she’s the first African American woman to win Dancing With The Stars.
Amber Riley isn’t just a singer though: she owns a plus-sized fashion line called Rileyland Fashions, and she models the clothes herself. She also has no problem at all with schooling anybody that’s rude to her about her weight.
13. Rebel Wilson
Rebel Wilson is an absolute treasure. Not only is she a talented singer and actress, she’s absolutely hilarious. She’s one of the few actresses that I can remember that was told not to lose any weight for a role, like she was with Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect, which is a gem of a movie if there ever was one. She’s also the only actress that I can think of that started her acting career based on a malaria induced hallucination. (That claim was put under a good deal of scrutiny thanks to a reveal about her real age, but it’s still a good story nevertheless).
She’s currently in the process of a major diet, so she might not qualify for this particular list in time, but no matter how much weight she loses, she’ll still be funny, and she’ll still be beautiful.
Mo’Nique (real name Monique Angela Hicks) is a comedian and actress that’s been around for a really long time. Chances are you remember her from the sitcom The Parkers, and if you don’t, you might remember her from her talk show, or that time she hosted the reunion for Love and Hip Hop. If that doesn’t jog your memory, you’d probably remember her from her incredible portrayal of Mary Lee Johnston in Precious. She won an Oscar for that role as well, along with practically every other award that she qualified for in 2009. That becomes even more impressive when you find out that she didn’t campaign for her Oscar like most actors do. The power of her performance was enough to win everything. She’s also an author and a radio host!
Mo’Nique, aside from having a very varied and storied career, has a really interesting personal life, too. She owns the rights to the story of Hattie McDaniel and has a real connection with her, and she’s in an open marriage. Also, if you don’t remember her doing anything else after winning all of those awards for Precious, it’s because she didn’t: she was blackballed from major roles for awhile:
“I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. And he said to me, “Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed.” And I said, “I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?” And he said, “Because you didn’t play the game.” And I said, “Well, what game is that?” And he gave me no response. The next thing he said to me was, “Your husband is outbidding you.” But he never asked me what [salary] we were asking for. You know, my husband [actor and producer Sidney Hicks] and I had to change things so we wouldn’t have to depend on [others]. So we do it independently.”
She’s clearly a force to be reckoned with.
11. Tess Holliday
Ryann Maegen Hoven (aka Tess Holliday) isn’t just one of the most famous plus-sized models out there, she’s the first size 22 model to be signed to a major agency. Not only is she gorgeous, she’s quick witted and has no problem jumping into the fray when it comes to issues facing plus-sized women. She spearheaded the#effyourbeautystandards movement on Instagram, and once demanded a boycott of social media accounts that made her and other plus-sized celebrities thinner without their permission. She’s pregnant now, and has been talking about the struggles that come with being plus-sized and pregnant.
Not only is she proud of being a plus-sized model, she embraces the term wholeheartedly, and she believes that you can love your body at any size. As we know, one of the hottest qualities a person can have is self confidence, and Tess Holliday has that in spades.
10. Jill Scott
Jill Scott is an incredible singer who’s released five albums since the start of her career. She’s also an actress that’s had a lot of different roles over the years. She’s been in Tyler Perry movies, and she’s also been a superhero. More importantly, she’s taken part in a lot of charity work, including starting her own organization, the Blues Babe Foundation, which works to get minority students into college and help them pay for it. She’s also going to be the principal of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts for the 2016 school year. Now that’s pretty incredible.
9. Mindy Kaling
Vera Mindy Chokalingam (aka Mindy Kaling) is the star of The Mindy Project and was one of the stars of The Office. In many ways, she’s a pioneer, since there aren’t a ton of Indian-American TV stars out there. She’s not on this list because she’s over a size 16, because she isn’t. She’s on this list because she’s a major icon for a more body positive Hollywood.
Unlike some other stars out there who spend a ton of time on their personal appearance, Mindy Kaling doesn’t make that the driving force of her life. Instead, she puts her time into spearheading her own show and making it one of the best things about Hulu’s current original lineup. Even her character doesn’t make dieting a big deal. It’s a part of her life, sure, but it’s not the only focus, and that’s so important for people to see. That’s what makes her a body positivity icon, and what earned her a spot on this list.
8. Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks has been an actress for quite some time now, but she really didn’t come into widespread fame until her tenure on Mad Men. Chances are, you’ve seen her before though, especially if you’re a fan of Firefly. She’s another actress who isn’t quite plus-sized, but she’s made this list for a few reasons, most notably her influence on how Hollywood sees beauty nowadays. She was named both the sexiest woman in the world and the most attractive by Esquire, and it’s been said that she has the ideal figure for a woman and that she’s “the embodiment of beauty”. She’s been considered a role model for a lot of women, to the point that some people have cited her as an influence to their own breast augmentations.
On the flip side, that’s not necessarily the best thing. Hendricks has said the hyper-focus on her looks has made it so people don’t necessarily see her work: “I was working my butt off on the show [Mad Men] and then all anyone was talking about was my body.” It’s a lesson to us all: just because a person is one of the hottest women in the world doesn’t mean that that is all that they are.
7. Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham is a plus-sized model working for Lane Bryant, and she’s the first plus-sized model ever to land on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. She’s spoken at high schools about body positivity and is all about “beauty beyond size.” She’s also the person who started the hashtags #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual, which call attention to Victoria’s Secret’s sizing issues and the fact that plus-sized women should be treated the same as their straight sized counterparts.
6. Ashley Nell Tipton
If you’re a Project Runway fan, you know all about Ashley Nell Tipton. She’s the most recent winner, and she did it with the very first plus sized line to ever win the show. The line itself might not be your cup of tea, but it’s clearly coming from a place of real artistry. On top of that, she showed her designs off at New York’s Full Figured Fashion Week back in 2012. She had this to say about her work:
“My collection is a full figured collection for the woman in her 20’s or 30’s who is a fashionista! My collection is an artful combination of glamour and street fashion. I love color and I’m very inspired by curvy women and helping them feel good in their clothes. I want to offer plus size women the opportunity to wear fun colors and to avoid the pit-falls of only wearing black because many curvy girls think it is the only color that is slimming.”
This is no small accomplishment. Ashley Nell Tipton isn’t just a pretty plus-sized woman, she’s a woman who’s trying to change the status quo for plus-sized women, by making clothes that they want to wear.
5. Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy has lost a lot of weight over the course of her career, but she’s still very much a major plus-sized icon. She’s been everywhere over the years, from Gilmore Girls (and its eventual Netflix reboot), to her own sitcom Mike & Molly, to a ton of movies. On top of that, she’s going to be one of the new female Ghostbusters!
Not only is she hilarious and a very talented actress, she’s also a plus-sized fashion designer. She’s said that: “People don’t stop at size 12. I feel like there’s a big thing missing where you can’t dress to your mood above a certain number.” That’s a major truth for a lot of plus-sized women, and it’s awesome that she’s trying to do something to help the issue.
4. Carina Behrens
Carina Behrens is another plus-sized model. She’s modeled a lot of swimsuits and lingerie over the course of her career, which proves the stereotype that plus-sized women can’t wear swimsuits and look good in them wrong.
Models like her do a lot to change the perception of what is considered normal for a woman to look like, and the more their work moves into the mainstream modeling world, the more diversity we all get. What makes this even better is that the average woman is more likely to look like Carina Behrens than a straight-sized supermodel, so that’s basically saying that not only is she one of the hottest women out there right now, lots of other women are, too.
3. Kelsey Olson
Kelsey Olson is yet another plus-sized model. She has a really All-American girl kind of look about her, which makes her that much more appealing. Her modeling work is also really varied. If you go through some of her photos, you’ll find everything from costumes to evening wear to underwear, and everything in between.
2. Tara Lynn
You might recognize this plus-sized model from her features in V and the French and Spaniard Elle magazine. She sat down and talked with Elle Spain when she did her cover shoot, and she had a lot to say. When she was asked about how she felt about her body growing up and considering modeling as a career, she had this to say:
“I was never skinny, so I always thought that if I was going to model, I’d have to lose a lot of weight. I knew at some point in my late teens that plus-size modeling existed. Based on societal pressures, you think when you’re in your teens that by next summer you’re going to be able to wear a size 4 or 6, or fit into that bikini you thought would look pretty if you lost 50 pounds. It just didn’t occur to me as something that was realistic. You don’t want to invest in your size-14 body when you feel bad about it as a teen.”
She also talked a lot about how becoming comfortable with your body is a process, something a lot of plus-sized women can really relate to. Not only is she gorgeous, she’s candid enough to talk about her own experiences with honesty, and honesty is also a very hot quality in a person.
1. Ruby Roxx
Ruby Roxx is a model who has her own blog, where she talks about everything from her shoots to her work taking down internet trolls. When a page called Project Harpoon photoshopped her photos by making her appear smaller than she is, she had this to say to them:
“The reason I fight you is for the thousands of women out there who aren’t where I am yet. Who don’t love their bodies. Some of the girls you photo shopped weren’t models or celebrities, but just everyday girls. They might not have confidence, but they posted that photo on a day they felt good about themselves, and you BUTCHERED it with your atrocious photo shopping, and made them feel bad. What if she isn’t happy with her body, and had been trying to be healthy and more confident. What if that photo WAS her after she hit her goal weight (no, not everyone’s goal weight is a size 2), and you dragged her through the mud. How DARE you bring someone down, simply because she is not YOUR immature, close minded ideal! It’s OK to have preferences, but it is NOT OK to make people feel bad because they aren’t yours. Guess what, bullies and jerks are NEVER anyone’s preference.”
Ruby Roxx is a woman who isn’t afraid to stand up to people who go out of their way to make someone feel bad. On top of being super hot, she’s fearless and intelligent, which only add to her appeal.