The modeling industry has been blamed for a lot of body image issues that young girls in our generation have. There is no denying the pressure women feel from society to fit into a certain box (or pant size). The fashion industry is tough and cut-throat and has been considered one of the main reasons for women’s body issues. However, in recent years, the standards of beauty have begun to change. "Healthy" is the new "skinny" and members of the fashion industry are all beginning to climb onto this trend. The world of modeling has started to become more open to all shapes and sizes of beauty and the world is thrilled about it.
Magazines should continue to promote women of all different body types because it truly gives off a powerful message to our youth. Most little girls buy magazines and idolize the women in them, however, most of the time these standards of beauty are not realistic, leaving these girls to turn into women with body issues. The following ten models are beautiful, talented and plus-sized, and together, along with many other women, they are changing the face of high fashion and breaking boundaries in the industry.
10 Iskra Lawrence
When Iskra Lawrence was only 13, she was a finalist in Elle girls search for the next supermodel, which is where her career began. Lawrence, who is an advocate against retouching photos, encourages women of all shapes and sizes to try and break into the modeling world. Lawrence endorses a healthy and positive body image and is a great role model for young women around the world. Her goal is to empower and build women up while at the same time educating the world on self-esteem, health and fitness. The modeling world needs more women like Iskra Lawrence in the industry.
9 Ashley Graham
The 28-year-old Nebraska native was discovered at the age of 12 at a shopping mall. Graham is one of the most recognizable faces in plus-size modeling and is a dedicated and active role model for teenage girls dealing with self-acceptance and body image. Graham has found incredible amounts of success and has been featured in magazines like Glamour, O and Vogue. Her extensive and impressive client list includes Target, Hanes, Evans, Nordstrom, Simply Be, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Old Navy. Ashley Graham is a perfect example of a curvy woman who is taking the industry by storm.
8 Victoria Lee
Miss Victoria Lee is a rising star in the world of plus-size modeling. The Atlanta native had just started college when Elite models discovered her. Lee is currently living in New York City and is exploring acting and other projects outside of modeling. Lee made headlines for her appearance in Lane Bryant’s “#ImNoAngel” campaign which had everyone talking. Lee is passionate about the modeling agency and is continuously improving her portfolio. Victoria Lee is a great role model for girls to look up to, she promotes a healthy and active lifestyle and is also educated and beautiful!
7 Iman McDonnaugh
Iman is a stunning 23-year-old who was raised in Long Island, New York. Her unique look is due to her being a mix of Italian, Jamaican, Trinidadian and Irish. Iman is a full-time working plus-size model. She was discovered in college while studying journalism after having posted photos of herself online. She has always had a love for fashion and always found herself struggling to lose weight in order to pursue her dream, however she realized that she didn’t need to change herself to do that. Iman is talented, confident and beautiful and is an outstanding role model for teenage girls and women around the globe.
6 Candice Huffine
Huffine is a veteran in the plus-size modeling world and still finds herself breaking boundaries. The thirty-year-old diva went to New York at the young age of fifteen to pursue different modeling agencies. However, devastation hit when she found out she was “too big.” On her second day in the Big Apple, Wilhemina modeling agency introduced her to “plus size” and she moved to New York. Since then, she has shot for incredible magazines like V, W and Vogue Italia. Candice’s goal is to prove that women don’t need to be a certain size in order to be classified as beautiful.
5 Georgina Burke
Georgina Burke is one of those models that was discovered by complete chance. The 23-year-old Australian attended a fashion show that her friends were walking in. An agent approached the then business student at the show and she ended up moving to London to give modeling a try. Burke is currently living in New York City and loves showing off her killer size 14 curvy body. She has appeared in ads for Macy's, Saks and many more. In an interview with Vogue Italia, Burke stated that she was bullied as a child for being big and tall and has always felt a little self-conscious, that is until she began finding immense success in the modeling industry.
4 Christina Andrews
The former bio student that turned into a plus-size goddess has been finding a lot of success in recent times. A couple years ago, the Miami native became a Brooklyn girl a few years ago and claims her expectations to being signed by an agency were low. So it was a big deal when she signed with more than one agency in no time. The beautiful Andrews claims she used to not be in love with her body, however, people around her gave her the confidence and she began to love her body, especially her butt! This gorgeous model is on her way to doing great things, keep your eyes open for her!
3 Barbara Ferreira
Ferreira is a stunning Brazilian model, born and raised in the Big Apple. This young diva is only 18 years old and has already managed to make a name for herself. She is part of the “new generation” of creative women who are trying to break the mold of what beautiful is defined as. Barbara is signed with Wilhelmina agency, one of the best in the business, and has appeared in numerous magazines such as Seventeen, Nylon, Wonderland, Lula, Bullet as well as interviews with i-D magazine and teen vogue. She is confident and proud of who she is and she is a great model for girls around the world who struggle with self acceptance.
2 Tara Lynn
Tara Lynn is one of the most outstanding plus-size models out there. Her stunning face and beautiful curves have captured the attention of numerous photographers and magazines. Lynn is currently living in Seattle and is helping redefine the industry’s standards of body image and beauty. She helps encourage women of all shapes and sizes to embrace their beauty. Tara Lynn was featured in Glamour Magazine, French Elle and had a plus-size spread in V magazine. Lynn has stated that she has not always been comfortable in her own skin, however now that she is posing for top clothing brands, she is beginning to see the beauty in her body and at the same time helping others find beauty in theirs.
1 Denise Bidot
This 28-year-old Kuwaiti, Puerto Rican goddess has been making some strides in the modeling world. At the age of 18, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of making it in the entertainment industry, however, audition after audition she was told to loose weight. Bidot went on to makeup school and began working as a makeup artist behind the scenes. As she was working on a photo-shoot, a photographer discovered her. Shortly after, she was moving to New York City, signing with major agencies and booking countless photo-shoots. In 2014, Bidot broke barriers when she became the first plus-size model to walk in not one but two shows for “straight-size” brands, making a huge impact on the modeling world.