Skip to main content

What You Need to Be a Plus-Size Swimsuit, Lingerie, and Lounge Wear Model

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

For someone who used to be plus-size, if there were such opportunities in my days, I probably would've become a part-time plus-size model.

Do you have what it takes to become a plus-sized model?

Do you have what it takes to become a plus-sized model?

Plus-Sized Modeling

Modeling plus-size swimsuits and lingerie is a popular niche in the fashion industry, and it is no news that the plus-size modeling industry is expanding rapidly. Undoubtedly, it has fast become one of the most lucrative branches to pursue.

If you are full-bodied and aspire to become a model, this is one of the top categories you may wish to consider.

Several agencies are scouting for curvaceous women to model plus-size intimate wear, swimsuits, and lingerie, but some standards need to be met in order to be successful for a sign-up.

Your passion must be evident; you must have the right attitude, meaning no hang-ups and no self-conscious feelings about your body, shape, and size.

Ashley Graham is an amazing model!

Ashley Graham is an amazing model!

5 Things You Need to Become a Plus-Size Model

Not many women can become plus-size models. Being interested alone is not enough to get you into this category of the fashion industry.

Certain conditions must be met to become successful in this niche industry, but these five aspects can get you far:

  1. Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Exercise
  2. Prioritize Your Outward Appearance
  3. Have a Great Attitude and Being Confident
  4. Be the Standard Modeling Height
  5. Be at Least a Size 14US or 16UK
Working out is essential to having a successful modeling career.

Working out is essential to having a successful modeling career.

1. Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Exercise

Contrary to popular belief, many larger-sized women are fit and well-toned.

Yes, some may find it hard to equate being plus-sized with a firm and toned body, but just because you might be plus-sized doesn't mean you don't have a healthy relationship with exercising. Agencies will expect that you prioritize health and wellness, no matter what size you might be.

With modeling, you will need to expose your body (swimwear and lingerie are revealing), so having a good muscle tone is essential. You must also be well-rounded, curvy, and firm, and most importantly, you must look hale and hearty.

The right hair stylist can change your life!

The right hair stylist can change your life!

2. Prioritize Your Outward Appearance

Many agencies will seek women who present themselves as well taken care of!

The modeling industry, in ways, does expect flawless skin. So make sure to implement skincare into your daily routine. Not to mention, for photographs, your skin must glow! This is achieved by being well moisturized all the time.

Along with your skin, your hair must look well maintained and healthy. The key to this is finding a good stylist that understands your hair type and, more importantly, your vision!

This model exudes confidence!

This model exudes confidence!

3. Have a Great Attitude and Confidence

Having a great attitude and exuding confidence is essential to all modeling, not just plus-size.

Agents and agencies can spot the difference between someone who is confident and someone who isn't. They need to know that you won't crumble under pressure and really have what it takes to make it in a difficult industry.

Additionally, being assertive will go a long way in your modeling career because brands love to work with people who carry positive energy and confidence!

Are you the correct height?

Are you the correct height?

4. Be the Standard Modeling Height

Being tall is an advantage!

The majority of agencies have minimum height requirements for all models, even plus-size models. The average height of models is around 5’9”, and the taller you are, the better the chances of you getting great modeling jobs.

So, if you are statuesque, there is a likelihood of you being more successful than those who are of average height.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to be proactive with this step if you are on the shorter side. In this case, you are either born with it, or you're not.

Being the correct size is essential to plus-size modeling.

Being the correct size is essential to plus-size modeling.

5. Be at Least a Size 14US or 16UK

According to most plus-size agencies, you must be no less than a size 14US or 16UK.

Being plus-size means you must be a minimum size of 14US to 16US (16UK and 18UK) before you can even qualify to model large-size swimsuits and lingerie. Being curvy must be a prerequisite, and your curves must be evident and, frankly, must be in the right parts of your body.

So, if you are full-bodied and aspire to become a swimwear model, for instance, but your curves are virtually non-existent, you can work on your figure not necessarily to lose weight but to tone your curves and bring out your shape. The passion you have for this job will give you enough drive to lose excess fat around the important areas with the right exercise.

Inspiration From Top Plus-Size Models

You can get some inspiration from some of the top models in the plus-size category. Their journey to the top will certainly inspire any woman who plans to build a career as a plus-size model.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 viryabo

Comments Are Welcome

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on April 25, 2020:

Interesting hub :) That is what I have noticed with plus sized models :) They are like other models just sizes larger. It is tough to be firm/tone yet be a size 14. It sounds like a delicate balance :) Anyhow, I am proud of any woman who has confidence :)

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 01, 2012:

Thanks thesingernurse. I'm glad you find it useful. And i wish you all the best if you decide to become a plus size model.

Go for it.


Tina Siuagan from Rizal, Philippines on December 31, 2011:

It's nice to know that the modelling industry is welcoming plus-sized models like me. It has always been difficult for me to fit in because most designers would look for skinny and anorexic-looking models... This is such a great avenue to explore upon.

Very interesting and useful. :D

ChristinCordle12 on August 01, 2011:

Very helpful hub! Thanks for the tips.

Miss Lil' Atlanta from Atlanta, GA on May 13, 2011:

Some of these women pictured as plus size aren't plus sizes. lol or at least they shouldn't be; they weigh like only 20 pounds more than regular models (in some cases at least).

Not that you can help what is determined as what size and what not. Either way, still a really great hub you wrote. I'm not plus sized; I’m small, but not like 90 pounds small lol, but my expectations of women aren't of people who weigh 100 pounds at 5'9 either, so I like seeing pictures of what real women look like from all walks of life and with all shapes and sizes. Honestly, I think that it’s great that people like you are showing that being plus size is just as much the “right size” as anything else.

I won't lie, I like high fashion and seriously as many bad examples of anorexia that is involved with in the industry (although has been a bit exaggerated at times), there are still many good influences from high fashion that people tend to overlook. Like for example, boob jobs, plastic surgery, skin bleaching, fake tans, are simply just not allowed. I mean, of course they do crazy artsy stuff with modeling where they change people's looks drastically on individual occasions just as an art form, but simplicity is perhaps just as or even more important in the high fashion industry as well…

yes I know I’m going way of topic here lol… but I just felt like saying that.

Plus I like how high fashion shows that there are all kinds of beauties out there in the most exotic manners, like women of very dark black African skin which honestly such a beautiful feature to have. But I wish that the industry doesn’t have to make it seem like women should honestly be as thin as rails.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 20, 2011:

I'm so happy you found this Peches. Its good to know that being plus size is now trendy, and with the right curves in the right places, its good to be Big & Proud.

Thanks for the visit Peches.


Peches Bra from Mumbai on April 20, 2011:

Thanks Viryabo for this lovable hub. After putting fat i was depressed, and always thinking of slim again, after getting this page and your sweet thoughts for plus size women, i will try to overcome my frustration for plus size.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on December 17, 2010:

Love you for your kind consideration and good thoughts for others G.

Thanks my friend.


GPAGE from California on November 16, 2010:

viryabo..this is a lovely hub. I know quite a few women that have been successful at this. One of my close friends has a successful plus size clothing business based in NY. I always try to inspire women to be themselves and love themselves. All the best, G