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10 Models React to Being Called “Not Plus-Size Enough”

“It’s frustrating that society is so set on categorizing everyone.”
With Myla Dalbesio as a face of Calvin Klein, Candice Huffine appearing in the 2015 Pirelli Calendar, and Ashley Graham designing lingerie, the fashion industry seems to have realized that models who are bigger than a size 6 are a positive, powerful force.

Even as they become a more significant part of the fashion world, these so-called “plus-size” models are still subjected to certain body requirements. Though curvy models carry the message of body acceptance and self-love, even they are asked to alter their appearance for the odd job. As Inga Eiriksdottir of IMG Models and ALDA puts it, “A few times, clients have preferred me bigger, but we have always worked it out either with padding or in post” — meaning, with photo editing.

Clearly, plus-size models are still often told they’re “not plus-size enough.” Here’s what 10 models have to say about it.

“Absolutely every time I’ve ever met anyone and I’ve told them I’m a plus-size model,

[I get told I’m not plus-size enough] without fail! Even when I’ve booked jobs and I’m on set, stylists and hair and makeup artists have commented that I don’t look big enough to be a plus model.

“I try to reeducate them about what a plus-size model means. Many of us lead healthy lifestyles, train in the gym regularly, and are in great shape. We represent a huge range of not only sizes, but also shapes, which I find really beautiful. I’m very proud to say I’m a plus model. I’ve learned to love my body and be proud of all my curves, and I’m so, so grateful every day to be able to work in the industry I love at my natural size.

“It’s frustrating that society is so set on categorizing everyone. But in the fashion industry it is difficult — most samples of straight-size are a 0 to 4 and plus is 14 to 16. It costs more to produce a range of different sample sizes. It would just be nice if everyone could accept a range of different size models without having to label them all — we are models, not numbers.”