Nowadays, the fashion industry is giving more and more respect and acknowledgement to the wonderful work that the plus size/full figure community has done. This means great things for so many women, who once thought they could never be models. Although our size is accepted and more opportunities have opened up, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t educate yourself on how to stay a step above, in your quest to be a plus size model.
Most recently more labels, fashion houses, and even retail boutiques have requested full figured beautiful women to attend open houses, model calls, and auditions for their runways shows and fashion campaigns. This means a greater chance for plus-size/full figured women to represent more on the runway, on the catwalks, and in print.
There are a couple of things however that you need to know, especially when starting out. If you are interested in getting involved in plus-size fashion and you want to start in the local scene, below is a list of all the things to consider before auditioning. It may seem like an easy accomplishment, considering you have the attitude and you can walk in heels. However, strutting down the hallway in your stiletto heels and pretending to be as “diva-fied” as Beyonce, Tyra, or any fabulous woman on television is not enough to boost your career or your true potential.
- Self Esteem is Key – Before you go on the audition check your self-esteem at the door. You may already think you qualify if you are considering entering into an audition, but self-esteem is displayed in many ways. Do you freeze up in front of large crowds? Do you second-guess yourself? Are you affected by comments, whispers, and snickers? These factors all measure the potential a model may have. Remember you may have to walk in front of a large crowd, most of whom will not be quiet, can you take the pressure of people commenting, yelling, screaming, or laughing when the time came. There will be other women in the show, some of these women can be very snide and competitive, would you be able to maintain professionalism and still work the runway. Before you decide to jump into this industry, talk to someone who knows and can share with you the pros and cons of getting involved. It takes a strong woman to display her self in front of others, with no fear or hesitation. Make sure you are that kind of woman, no questions asked.
- Hygiene – This should be understood, but you won’t believe how many women come to an audition without first properly taking care of themselves. Of course you want to shower and be clean, while making sure you don’t stink. However, what about shaving those armpits and legs? How about making sure your nails are polished and trimmed in a decent shade. Makeup is based on individual factors. Most of the time fashion designers would like to see you with a little makeup as possible, to get a sense of your true beauty. However, currently, some women are far more self-conscious without it. If you need to cover up some facial discoloration, make sure it looks as natural as possible. Please don’t cake it on and make yourself look like a drag queen. Stick to colors and shades that compliment your skin tone, and never, ever use black eyeliner around your lips for any reason at all. Since we are in the age of weaves, wigs, and natural hair, always be sure that your hairstyle is something simple, as to not distract from the Designer’s work. Loud and trendy hairstyles are cute to some; however, the wrong color and style may clash with the fashions you are wearing. Remember, although you are the model, it’s about the clothes… not you.
- Dress with Some Sense – For some reason, many women think model call/audition and they think to come in their club clothes. There are lines of women dressed in body conscious dresses too tight to breath, shoes made for looking that they can’t walk in, and attire that would make you think they wanted to be in some rapper’s video. On the other hand, some women show up as if they did not intend on being selected at all. It’s as if someone woke them up that morning and forced them to audition by gunpoint. There has to be a balance. No one said modeling equated to being slut-like and sexually appealing, remember there are mostly women in here… who are you trying to seduce? However, you do want to display your beauty and sense of style. Keep it simple. Leggings are always a good choice as it shows your true shape and curves with a nice top and some decent heels of a workable height. Make sure you check their guidelines, first. Jeans and a shirt are also appropriate choices. If you want to display your legs, you can wear a dress, but check the appropriate length and be sure to touch up those legs. This tip is all depending on the rules of the model call and audition. If you don’t know, it’s always best to air on the side of caution and keep it casual, stylish, and simple.
- Bring Everything Required – Check the posting, make a call, email, or ask around. Any real model call and audition will have some information posted about what you should bring with you when you arrive to audition. Whether it’s a photo, your measurements, a resume/portfolio, make sure that you have everything you need when you get there. I always say it’s better to have too much information with you then not enough. If they don’t need then at least you have it. However, it would really suck if you didn’t have what you need, and plenty of girls who arrived that did. You don’t want to miss your opportunity, because of one little oversight.
- Your Attitude – Remember I mentioned it takes a strong women to be a plus size model, well I was not kidding. Although Full Figured women have come a long way, there a still a few who are adamant about holding the community back, with their negativity and cattiness. As a plus size model, you may experience some women who will try to compete with you, for no other reason but their own insecurities. Although you all may have passed the audition stage, there will still be women who feel like they need to compete with you, especially if you so a lot of potential and great promise. Just maintain a positive and non-confrontational attitude. Don’t be easily affected by their actions and try to keep the morale of the show and it’s participants as high as possible. You will be asked to do more shows in the future, if you are less drama and more hard work, regardless of your skill level.
- Communication – Most models starting out have other obligations that they must tend to, although they are trying to accomplish their dream of modeling. Some women have families and children, full time jobs, school, and other community obligations. The important thing to do is to communicate with your event organizers and fellow models, always, especially when you won’t be able to make it to practice and rehearsal. The Designers and the Coordinators have scheduled and arranged each scene specifically based on how many women they have and which ones they had to walk or shoot. If you decide not show up on any given day, then you could jeopardize the show and your ability to be in it. Let the coordinator know if you won’t attend a practice, or if you will be substantially late. The worst thing to do is to hold everyone up the day of the show, because you have no idea what to do and/or what is going on.
- Pay Attention – No matter your skill level or experience, I can almost guarantee that any model can admit that she learned something about the industry or about herself each rehearsal and every show. It’s inevitable. This is an ever-changing machine, which comes with various factors, while you work with diverse personalities. You may gain some skills at one show, and realize a weakness in another. That is the evolution of becoming great. However, if you take it as a joke each time you’re involved than you will never graduate from being just a local model, to someone worth talking about. No matter how much you know, allow yourself to be taught something new. There is nothing wrong with learning more than one way of doing something. Coordinators want to know that you are educated in the basics, but often times they may put a spin on something. Come with an open mind, and be prepared to learn. I hope that when you become well versed enough, you can pass what you learn down to someone else and inspire him or her to become a plus-size/full figured model as well.
Now congrats on your choice to join the brave, bold, and voluptuous on their quest to being modeling superstars. Always remember you are representing a brand, a designer, and a label. Put your best foot forward at all times and always show confidence. Good luck!
- “What’s Wrong With Our Bodies, Anyway?” (torontoemerg.wordpress.com)
- Plus-size models get “Bare” at NY’s Fashion Week (vancouversun.com)
- The Search for Plus Size Models is on for AboutCurves.com Photo Shoot (pasazz.net)
- Plus Size Model Tara Lynn Snags French Elle’s February Cover (thegloss.com)
- Plus-Size Magazine Claims Models ‘Meet The Physical Criteria For Anorexia’ [Weighty Matters] (jezebel.com)
- Brazil: Surge in Plus-size Bikinis Makes ‘Chunky’ Trendy (ibtimes.com)
- Please accept the “plus-size” body, knowing that all is not good with a “plus-size” body (stephintoronto.com)
- Former Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn’s Weight Loss Upsets Some Fans (celebs.gather.com)
- Plus Size News Roundup 2/20/2012 (fatchic.net)