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The Complete Guide to Becoming a Curvy Model (2020)

If you planto become a model, but are a bit overweight, then becoming a curvy model could be your best choice!

Thanks to the number of fashion designers, boundary-pushing ladies, glamorous models, and activists, we have one more category in modelling, which is curvy models.

Curvy modelling is currently the fastest growing sector, and has never received as much acceptance and support as it has now.

This means that if you have a body that is more than what a typical model should have or you consider your body to be voluptuous, you can work in the fashion industry.

There is no reason why someone with beautiful curves should not follow their dreams of becoming a model.

Curvy modelling is different than the regular modelling career where size does matter, and someone with exact measurements can only apply.

A curvy model with a size 12 and a little above with good body weight to height proportion is the one that the curvy modelling agencies are looking for. 

Brielle Anyea

Models with extra weight, beautiful face, and good height who are not bothered about the zero-size concept are the ideal candidates for plus size modelling industry. When modelling industry started, it was only about girls who were tall and skinny.

No modelling agency would consider girls who crossed their strict requirements, and it wasn't very easy for girls who dreamt of becoming models to even think of applying for it.

Luckily, that notion is changing because there are people who have different body types, and there are brands that manufacture L, XL, and XXL clothes both for men and women. Now we have a new category in the fashion line, and that is the plus size.

Most of the top garments making companies also design collections for males and females who are on heavier sides, and because if there is a requirement for garments of all shapes and sizes, there is a demand for curvy models as well.

The guide is for the beautiful curvy girls who are planning on becoming a model. Have trust in yourself and never give up on your dreams.

Confidence is the key to for becoming a curvy model, and remember that there will always be a group of people who will criticize you for your decision, but who doesn't get bullied. Stay strong and believe in yourself.

Our go-to guide will include everything that you need to know — starting from how to prepare to become a curvy model, how to develop your portfolio, how to contact the right agencies, and more. Keep reading and get ready. It is your time to shine, don't let anything take the limelight away from you!

Top 10 Most Curvy Models in the Fashion World

Who are curvy models?

Curvy models are usually those who are above the standard size models. The usual runway models that you see walking the ramp are the typical ones. The curvy ones will be healthier and bulkier than them.

There is a standard measurement size for the conventional model whereas curvy models could have different requirements.

It is hard to tell precisely what measurement these curvy models should have because various agencies will ask for different vital stats, but all-in-all, you can expect these models to have a size 12.

In general terms, these are the models who weight more than any average models. However, they are not as bulk as you may otherwise think. The industry doesn't hire women with big chunks of fat hanging from their legs.

Even curvy models need to go through a fitness test, and they must ensure that though they are a little heavy, they look good in anything. Most of the European and US ladies are considered to be quite large in size. So, you can expect them to become a curvy model.

A modelling agency that works with curvy models will look for girls who are big than the standard size. But you will hardly get to see obese or extremely overweight size women walking the ramp for different fashion lines.

The physical requirement for curvy models

When it comes to curvy models’ physical measurements, there aren't any typical rules. But these models should weigh more than standard size models. Usually, the agencies prefer models who are fit and toned even though they are larger in size.

Typically, we have seen models with sizes 12 to 16 working for different modelling agencies, and some of these models also get featured in top magazines. The minimum requirements to become a curvy model can be considered as size 12.

If you are a size 16 with a toned body and you fit into the exact requirements of an agency, then the agency may hire you. Models with size 16 walk ramps, pose for catalogues, and more.

In terms of height, there are no strict rules,; however, a 5’6’’ model is an ideal candidate for this category. You don’t need to be 5’9’’, but if you are, then good for you. Some agencies hire girls who are 5’5’’ as well if they have exceptionally personalities. Some of the successful curvy models are 5’5’’.

Unlike conventional modelling, curvy models’ measurements vary from one agency to another. Generally, an agency might look for someone who is a size 12; then, your waist should be ten inches smaller than the hips. But, don’t consider this measurement to be the thumb rule for every agency.

Fat, Curvy or Thick - What's the Difference?

No matter what your size is, there are a few things that you must follow. One such thing is the high level of confidence. Your confidence is a must-have skill. Along with that, you should have good nails, hair, skin, and teeth. These requirements are similar to other modelling categories.

Just ensure that your body is toned, your body weight to height ratio is proper and right. If you are planning to become a plus-size model, then you must work hard on your body because some agencies could have their body measurements requirements.

Work on the visible issues, for example, cellulite. Cellulite can make your body look unattractive and may make you lose some lucrative offers.

Also, make sure that your size doesn’t fluctuate if you want to keep getting offers for different modelling gigs. Don’t let it go up and down, or elseelse, you will find it challenging to find modelling jobs. Finally, maintain healthy and good skin.

Have clear complexion, and make sure it doesn’t have scars and marks. Go for manicure and pedicure so that your nails and skin remain soft and supple.

Kinds of jobs curvy models can apply for

If you can prove that you have the right attitude and confidence to become a curvy model, you will never run out of excellent opportunities. Full figures, large size, or extended size,; modelling market has a lot to offer, and the industry is incredibly diverse.

We have seen curvy models walking on the ramp and runways. They have posed for different magazines and catalogues. Then they are called for various print campaigns as well. Finally, commercial advertisements have opportunities for curvy models also.

Some of the biggest brands often hire curvy models to promote their brand if they have similar products to attract curvy ladies from all over the world. So, if you become a curvy model, rest assured there are a lot of things you can do.

Don’t limit yourself to ramp walking only. Try all kinds of things and keep making money. Once you become famous, the sky can only be the limit.

How to get started?

First, make your portfolio.

Once you are sure that curvy modelling is the right career for you, then the first thing to do is to make your portfolio. The portfolio is a crucial element, and every good agency will ask you to submit your portfolio.

The agencies always go through them to shortlist the candidates they would like to interview. Your portfolio is your resume, and it will allow the agency to decide whether you are the right fit for a gig or not.

If you are a newcomer and you haven’t prepared a professional portfolio, then don’t worry. Most of the agencies understand that, and they will still consider your application if they find your application impressive. Reputed agencies will brush this off and will not pay much attention to it.

How to Put Together a Modeling Portfolio

Every agency looks for new and fresh faces. Those who don’t have any portfolio but have applied for a curvy model agency, check if you have got a shot or not, then make sure that you submit a collection of good photographs.

Let your photos do the talking and convince the agency about why theshould hire you and no one else. Ensure that your photos are not too over the board, and you are not wearing heavy makeup in any of the images. What these agencies want to see is the natural and real you.

Makeup will cover your natural face. Keep the photos simple and appear as raw as possible in them. Regarding clothes, wear different types of clothes. Click some high-quality pictures and make sure they have proper lighting as well.

The photos that you will click should cover all the different angles of your face. For example, you can click a close-up photo of your face. Left, right, and finally, a full-shot photo of your entire body. Keep the images versatile and let the agency judge your overall appearance accurately.

Don’t worry about poses. All the agencies understand that for a newcomer, posing artistically in different ways might not be possible. Pose naturally, have a pleasant smile and carry a good vibe in all the photos.

Your photos should tell your hiring agency that you have the potential to become a curvy model. New models often contact modelling agencies, and they are aware that you might not have the right exposure or the experience to create a beautiful portfolio.

How to get signed by different modelling agencies?

So, once you are ready with your portfolio or collection of superb photos, the next thing to do is to send them your portfolio online. If you visit the modelling agencies website, you will see an “Apply” or “Be a Model” tab. Most of the sites will have that tab right on their home page or landing page.

After you visit their website, click on the apply option, follow the instructions, and then submit your portfolio, so that the agency sees them.

Choose the best of the best photos, which will make the agency consider you for a gig. The website might also ask you to submit your measurements, for example, your waist size, height, weight, bust, shoe size, and finally, the dress size.

Along with all these, some agencies will give instructions when it comes to submitting photos. They may ask you to provide a full-body picture, a full-face shot, and then a waist-up photo. Meet the right photographer to get started with your portfolio. Just ensure that the images are bright and clear.

Let your professional photos create the right impression. Wear simple clothes, like a plain white T-shirt with a pair of jeans and keep your makeup natural.

In case there is an open casting, make sure that you go there. Many agencies organize open casting, and these can result in significant opportunities for many curvy models. To sum it up, you can apply on different websites that hire curvy models, and then you can take part in the opencast.

Keep in Touch

In modelling or glamour industry, it is crucial to always keep in touch with the agencies.

A new curvy model can replace an older face at any moment. If you want to be famous, then you need to stay in touch.

Find out the right modelling agencies, and no matter what, always be in their good books.

You can research about different modelling agencies online, and then whatever agency suits your requirements, send them your portfolio.

using phone

Even if they don’t have a gig right away, they can always help you later. Don’t forget that we live in such a society where fake agencies always find their way to trick naïve and newcomers. Don’t become a victim.

No agency will ask for money because, they work on a commission basis, and they get money as a specific portion of their wages when a model accepts a job and performances.

The more the agency can make their models work and appear for different types of jobs, the more these agencies will get paid.

That’s how they work. Also, ensure that the agency you are contacting is reputed and reliable. You can ask them about their experience and to give you references for the models they have successfully assisted.

Other than that, you can always take Google’s help to find out about local modelling agencies that hire curvy models. Contact them through emails or give them a call. Ask if they are hiring new models.

Also, follow up. Follow up is a must, and you always make sure to remain in touch with these agencies. Remember, these agencies receive hundreds of applications in a day; they might forget about you if you don’t bother to keep in touch.

Whenever you get a call to meet them, wear a beautiful dress that will make you feel comfortable and let your confidence outshine everyone else who has applied. 

Never Miss an open call

If you are a newcomer, then open calls can be a little intimidating for you.

And it is understandable, mainly because open calls are for a large number of candidates.

And people who want to become curvy models are always looking for opportunities, which means these open calls will have a massive number of candidates applying.

Not all models feel comfortable giving auditions when there are a lot more candidates. 

modelling agency

But this could be your best bet, and you should never miss it. In an open call, some of the agencies will want the candidates to fill complete details of their body measurement and personal information. Be honest while filling the details.

Your contact number, email, address, and everything else should be correct so that the agency can contact you. Then ensure that your body measurement you have written is also correct, too — for example, your height, weight, bust size, waist size, and more.

The information should be accurate. Most of the agencies will ask you to fill in such details the moment you apply for one of their gigs. While auditioning, keep up a positive personality. Don’t let any negative thoughts overwhelm you.

You are there for the open call for a reason, so give your best shot. When it comes to agencies, they meet new faces almost daily, so they can be cut-throat while selecting the right candidate. Some of them can be harsh while giving feedback.

Don’t let anything let you down. Never lose hope, and even if one agency declined your application, try the next one. Keep on working, that’s the key to winning the race. If you don’t get cast for a gig, don't lose hope, there will be plenty more opportunities waiting for you.

Many agencies search for fresh faces all the time. Keep applying, keep going for open calls, and keep giving your best. Also, make sure that you are applying for the right position. Learn about the opportunity that you are applying for.

Get to know if the job is the right option for you, or should you not go for it. These things will allow you to face lesser rejections.

After appearing for audition if you get a call from the agency to submit your portfolio, don’t say no. You can ask for their suggestions and let them know that you are new and would like to get an idea about who you should meet to create a portfolio.

The agencies understand that, and they will help. After everything is ready and the agency is all set to send you for different gigs, you might also get the privilege to have your visiting cards, and if things go as planned, you may never know, you might get your manager too.

Don’t feel pressured to say yes to every modelling gig that the agency offers. Go for the ones that you genuinely think are right options for you. Outshine that and companies will start contacting your agency to hire you. Wait for the right moment.

Some of the most inspiring plus-size models

There are two most popular curvy models that you should follow. These ladies are real inspirations for everyone who is aspiring to become a curvy model. Ashley Graham is arguably the leading curvy model in the industry who appeared for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit magazine issue.

Tess Holiday, another curvy model rocking the ramp walks for some of the most famous designers and appeared in Cosmopolitan UK’s cover page.

Some of the famous curvy models that might inspire you are Candice Huffine, Robyn Layley, and Tara Lynn. Just because we have mentioned a few names, it doesn’t mean that there is no one else. The world has many inspirational curvy models. Don't forget to look out for them as well.

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham 

Tess Holiday

Tess Holliday

Candice Huffine

Candice Huffine

Can a curvy model become a bikini model?

Earlier, agencies used to hire only skinny models for swimsuit campaigns.

But with time, curvier models are also getting hired for swimsuit lines specially designed for heavier ladies. If you would like to apply for swimsuit campaigns as well, then make sure that your portfolio includes your photos in swimwear too.

The agenda is to make your body toned for different swimsuit wears.

There shouldn’t be any cellulite peeking through your hips or belly. Social media is the perfect platform to get hold of swimwear gigs. Agencies who want to work with fresh faces, post their requirements on different social media platforms.

For a curvy bikini model, there will be some strict requirements, even when it comes to curvy models. Brands wanting to launch curvy models for their swimwear lines are looking for women who have an hourglass shape. Every brand wants their swimwear to look good on the women who are wearing it.

There is a good chance for curvy models to find suitable swimwear gigs. You just need to find the right platform and wait for the right moment. Yet again, your confidence will play the leading role.

Brands and Fashion Designers that are Often Looking for curvy models

When it comes to brands, some of the top-notch companies that hire curvy models are Eloquii and Torrid. Then Premme and Universal Standard, also look out for fresh curvy models. Premme and Universal Standard design plus size clothes.

Companies like H&M, Crew, Modcloth, and Loft have an extended plus size section now, and these companies have started looking for plus size models to show off their designs to the world.

Canada is known for having elite plus size fashion brands, such as Penningtons and Addition-Elle. In the UL UK, the Asos Curve is the famous fashion brand that hires plus-size models.

Top curvy modelling agencies that you should check out

If you are wondering, who are the top plus-size modelling agencies, then the good news is, there are all over the top cities. You will find the top agencies in cities from New York to Paris. However, some of the leading agencies have not yet opened their doors for curvy models.

Still, looking at the way curvy modelling is becoming popular, we are sure that there will be more agencies looking out for this category of models. Some agencies hire only curvy models, and they have started their agencies with curvy models, while the others have a subdivision for curvy modelling.

The first-ever agency to start launching curvy models was Big Beauties Little Women, who are now called the Ford+. The agency began in 1997, and Marry Duff, who was a former curvy model, was the founder.

The agency became so popular that Ford purchased the company and named it Ford+. Ford+ is only for plus size or curvy ladies who can flaunt their curves with confidence while walking the ramp or appearing for different glamour gigs.

Essential Steps to Follow to Become a curvy model

If you want to become a curvy model, then follow this guide. It will make the process easier for you.

1.  Research a Lot

Even before you start applying for an agency, the first step that you must follow is to go through a professional photoshoot.


You need to have good photos to submit to the agencies.

Research a bit about all the photographers in your area who do photoshoots with curvy women.


Clicking some professional photos posing at different angles will reduce the chance of rejection. It is an essential step.


Once you have a few good photos, research about the agency where you wish to apply. Spend some time researching. This will help you save time and eliminate the fake ones from your list. 

Also, prepare a spreadsheet with full information about the agency you would like to apply. Get their contact details and their website address. Keep track of those agencies you have applied to and make sure to follow up. Don’t spam their email IDjust follow up after a few days.

2.  Don’t Go to an Agency without a prior appointment

If you enjoy being photographed, you love posing in front of the camera and are confident about your personality, then modelling could be your perfect career.

However, never forget that models work hard as well. They don’t become a model overnight.

We do agree that some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but those who don’t, need to prove themselves.

You need to be patient and work very hard to ensure that a recruitment agency hires you.

rejected application

So, after applying, you must make sure that you ask them for an interview. Never appear at the door of an agency, without due permission. Don’t show your desperation and eagerness to take up any gig and offer.

Talk to them about an interview and during the interview process, ask them about the different opportunities they are offering. Also, be confident during your interview. Work on your posture, look bright and be friendly.

3.  Take Time to know yourself

The tricky part of becoming a curvy model is when you don’t know yourself accurately.

Every aspiring model should know completely about herself. Ask yourself some questions and try to be honest while answering them.

Unless you ask yourself some questions, it can become hard to find out the right gig for yourself.

Get to know if you have the right body to height proportion to apply for a particular agency. What about your photos? 

curvy mirror

Are they good enough, will any of the agencies accept them? Do you honestly, want to become a curvy model? Will you be able to survive in the fashion industry? A model doesn't need to look like a bombshell. What is truly needed is to have the right personality and attitude. 

To work in the glamour industry, you must work on your personality. Most of the curvy models get gigs and offers by different agencies, not because they look jaw-droppingly good, but because they have something unique about themselves.

Your smile is your best jewellery. Have sparkling white teeth, work on your hair, skin, and don’t forget your nails.

4.  Stay healthy

Having a healthier and a bulkier body give you no exception to not exercise.

Even though you are applying for a curvy modelling job role, you must exercise and eat healthy food to keep your body toned.

Drink a lot of water. Stay hydrated, and don’t let your size go up and down. Exercising regularly keeps everyone happy and jovial.

curvy workout

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