For the past few decades, models have been expected to be rail-thin, tall, and devastatingly gorgeous.
Well, you can be devastatingly gorgeous without starving yourself. If your natural body-type is thin, then that’s great for you. But, for many women, being a size zero is physically impossible.
For these women, not being able to slim down to industry standards is what has made them so popular in the fashion world. They are an inspiration to women everywhere to love and embrace your body, no matter how thin or curvy you are.
Check out these beautiful women:
1. Jennie Runk
Jennie Runk is an American plus-size model. She is best known for appearing in H&M’s Summer 2013 beachwear campaign, which was featured on the front page of H&M’s United States website in late April 2013.
2. Crystal Renn
Renn started her modeling career in high fashion at the age of 14 after being spotted by a professional scout. Renn was told she would need to lose almost a third of her total body weight if she wanted to become a model. Later, after years of struggling with anorexia nervosa, Renn reassessed her diet and exercise habits. After gaining 70 pounds and re-emerging as a U.S. size 12, she was re-marketed by her agents as a plus-size model. Renn has authored a book, Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves, about her experiences in the fashion industry in relation to her several body type transformations.
3. Velvet D’Amour
Velvet d’Amour is the stage name of the U.S.-born woman best known via the worldwide media coverage she received after her appearance as a plus-size model in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s 2007 Spring/Summer pret-a-porter collection shown in Paris in October 2006. She also made a catwalk appearance in John Galliano’s pret-a-porter showing entitled “Everybody is Beautiful” in 2006, and in the associated French Vogue article featuring photography by Nick Knight.
4. Robyn Lawley
Stading at 6ft 2″, Lawley has appeared in campaigns for Ralph Lauren and has numerous Vogue covers. She admits she once tried to slim down to satisfy the demands of mainstream modelling, but added that even though she was starving herself, achieving size zero proved impossible.
5. Ashley Graham
Ahley Graham is an American plus-size model. She is best known as a lingerie model for the Lane Brant, a popular plus-size clothing store for women. She has appeared on the cover of Elle Quebec. Graham appeared in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Latina. In addition, she appeared in several Levi’s campaigns.
6. Whitney Thompson
Whitney Thompson is an American fashion model and is the winner of the tenth cycle of America’s Next Top Model. She’s also an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association, and a spokesperson for the Right Fit brand of Fashion Bug.
7. Elly Mayday
It’s one thing to pose in lingerie as a plus-size model. It’s an entirely another to do it while battling Stage III Ovarian Cancer. After a hysterectomy at the age of 25 and months of grueling chemotherapy, this plus-sized pin-up model is changing the way ordinary women view themselves. She called herself “the curvy Canadian” with measurements of 34-29-44, but since battling a rare form of ovarian cancer, Mayday is 40 pounds thinner but still modeling — bald head, scars and all.
8. Denise Bidot
Denise Bidot, the size 14, Puerto Rican and Kuwaiti, international plus-size model, TV personality, the voice and advocate for curvy women and self-love, can be recognized for her groundbreaking movements within the Fashion Industry. Her work for straight- and plus-size brands such as Forever 21, Target, Levi’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Old Navy, Lane Bryant and as the face of the Danish brand, Zizzi Clothing, has positioned herself to be a leading figure for all women of different sizes.
9. Tara Lynn
Since she made her foray into the modeling world, the all-American beauty has starred in numerous controversial editorials, covered ELLE France, which deemed her “The Body,” fronted H&M’s “Big Is Beautiful” campaign, and worked with storied fashion photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier and Steven Meisel.
10. Natalie Laughlin
Battling with an eating disorder and body image issues at a young age, Natalie Laughlin ditched her efforts of becoming a ‘regular’ model to break into the plus size modeling world. The switch was a definite success, as Natalie became the first plus size model to featured on an ad that was placed in the middle of New York’s Time Square.
11. Chloe Marshall
Before signing a contract with Ford Models in 2010, Chloe Marshall was a pageant queen in Surrey and became the first size 16 to reach the Miss England finals. Although her weight has generated some controversy, Marshall has said her decision to enter Miss England finals was because she wanted to ‘break the stereotype that you have to be tall and skinny to be considered beautiful.’
12. Barbara Brickner
Being in the fashion industry for 10 years, Barbara has appeared in numerous editorial ads along with modeling for the Italian company Elena Miro. She has launched a line of plus-size maternity clothes and her career and confidence as a plus size model still resonates with girls today.
13. Justine Legault
The New York based plus size model appeared on the Canadian Elle Quebec cover back in 2013. She believes plus size modeling is only going to earn more recognition and become more of the norm in coming years.