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The Plus-Size Models Rocking our World

 March 24, 2017
Elizabeth in In Trend
The fashion and beauty world has come a long way from Heroin Chic, which dominated in the 90s. Aesthetics are shifting, whether due to celebrity culture (think Kim K’s bubble butt) or an awareness that humans come in all shapes and sizes, yet the catwalk continues to be plagued with scarily thin models.

However, things are changing. Slowly, but assuredly. New York Fashion Week’s fall collection for 2017 saw 27 plus-size models strutting their stuff, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Whether you love fashion and beauty or simply want to see bodies in adverts which you can relate to (16 being the average dress size in the United States), this is great news for those of us who champion diversity. To celebrate, we’ve put together a spotlight of the five plus-size models who are rocking our world right now.


#EffYourBeautyStandards


Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham

Image: Ashley Graham

From her ground-breaking cover on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2015, to her Forbes Magazine ‘30 under 30’ accolade, Ashley Graham is an inspiration to both plus-size women and budding entrepreneurs. Discovered in a mall at the tender age of 12, Ashley has been around the fashion industry for her entire adult life, so it’s hardly a surprise to hear that she really knows what she’s doing. Not only has she launched her own size-conscious lingerie line which is available at Nordstrom, but she is a highly-revered role body and body positive activist. Her first TEDx talk ‘Plus Size? More Like My Size’ has been viewed over 1 million times on YouTube, and she is often a guest speaker at high schools where she is invited to talk about body acceptance and female empowerment. Basically, she’s an all-around badass.


Barbie Ferreira

Barbie Ferreira

Image: Wilhelmina

This 20-year-old powerhouse, who models for Aerie, a lingerie brand owned by American Eagle Outfitters, first caught our eye with her vivacious Instagram account. Her unapologetic attitude towards her body is something that has inspired over 400k followers, and her refusal to airbrush out her stretchmarks or cellulite has cemented Barbie as one to watch on the body positive scene. Signed with Wilhelmina in New York, she already has an impressive body of work. Plus, based on her fun and sassy sense of humor, we really just want to be her new best friend…


Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday

Image: Tess Holliday

At just 5 feet 5 inches, and a US dress size 22, Tess Holliday is certainly not what most people would consider to be classic model material, and that’s why we love her so much. In 2015, she was signed to UK agency MILK Management, the first model of her size to be signed by a major agency. Aside from appearing on prestigious print covers such as People Magazine, LA Weekly and VOGUE Italia, Holliday has starred in campaigns for H&M and Addition Elle. Of course, one of the reasons she is so widely known on social media platforms is for her activism for the body positivity movement. In 2013 she begun the #effyourbeautystandards tag on Instagram, which now brings up over 2 million posts when you search for it. The movement is so popular and so important that Holliday even employs a team of bopo activists to spread her message across the globe. What a babe.


Precious Lee

Precious Lee

Image: IMG

Signed by IMG Models, Precious Lee is the first black, curvy model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Her Lane Bryant ‘This Body’ campaign, shown above, is likely to be pinpointed as her seminal piece of work within the industry. The provocative statement ‘This body is made to be uncovered’ is one that resonates with many women who are struggling with body image issues. See more of her work, and candid backstage snaps on her Instagram channel. We for one can’t wait to see what she does next.


Candice Huffine

Candice Huffine

Image: Washington Post

Signed at IMG alongside her pal Precious, Candice Huffine is a former teenage beauty queen who has been gracing the likes of Vogue, i-D and Glamour since the year 2000. She certainly doesn’t shy away from sharing her unedited self, as shown by this Instagram post where she happily shares her tummy rolls, and questions why people say ‘wow you look so skinny’ as a compliment, rather than ‘wow you are so strong’. This aligns with the overall shift we’ve been seeing both in the industry and every day, where women would rather be strong than skinny. Where once having an arse and a six pack was abhorrent, it is now becoming the ideal. Of course, what we love about all of these plus-size models is that they are challenging the fashion industry and society to accept humans in all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds. Keep up the good work gals.


If you're interested in fashion and accessories, take a look at our post about the S/S '17 accessory trends or how you can take inspiration from the catwalk to give your home a hot makeover