The word of modeling is the only place where bigger doesn’t mean better. Plus-size models are allowed in glossy magazines and down the runway only on rare occasions, forcing our focus on unnaturally thin frames.
However, nothing can prevent us from cherishing the beauty of these curvaceous women. Go ahead and admire the generous proportions of the hottest plus-size models of 2016.
1. Denise Bidot
Denise Bidot is arguably one of the most famous plus-size models currently active.
Forget about trying to guess her ancestry. Born in Miami, Denise has both Puerto Rican and Kuwaiti origins, enough to rank her as an exotic beauty.
What made Denise Bidot stand apart from her fellow curvaceous models? If magazines cover became an easy game for plus-sized, runaways will remain a taboo topic.
Bidot was the first to grace the catwalk at the New York Fashion Week. It gets even better. The model dazzled everyone when she released untouched photos for the “Beach Body. Not Sorry” campaign.
Anxious to see more of Denise Bidot? Her upcoming TV project “Straight/Curve” is weeks away from being released. Together with other models, Bidot sends a powerful message that there is no wrong way to be a woman.
Ready to see another breathtaking beauty?
2. Candice Huffine
Candice Huffine said goodbye to a career in straight modeling when she was just 12.
It’s almost impossible to fight puberty and to undo the changes it imposes on the female body. However, Candice was only a size six (a bit above for her age) when she joined a division that targeted women with curves.
Huffine’s first major commercial contract came with retailer Lane Bryant in 2000. The rest is history. Candice graced the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar to become one of the most prominent plus-sized.
Together with two other top models similar in body proportions to her (Tara Lynn and Robyn Lawley), she appeared in Vogue Italia. Many saw the iconic 2011 photoshoot as the birth certificate for the movement that eventually reformed the fashion industry and granted plus-size women a ticket to stardom.
The following plus-size model is the star of the moment. You must see her sexy cover!
3. Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham delivered an incredible surprise in 2016.
Graham was the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It doesn’t end there. She recorded another breakthrough by starring on both the British and the American covers of Vogue.
Ashley Graham owes much of her fame to the controversial Lane Bryant TV commercial in which she appears topless and breastfeeding. The ad was rejected by multiple networks and created quite a fuss on social media.
Graham did not resume to cashing the checks earned as a plus-size model. Her work also involves speaking in high schools and promoting the idea of body acceptance.
4. Maggie Yumi Brown
What could be better than an Asian-American plus-size model?
Fans of the genre have a simple answer – nothing! Born in Montana, but raised in Hawaii, Maggie Yumi is as exotic as it gets.
Her claim to fame has to do with participating in the “Tyra’s Thick and Sexy Top Model Contest” on the Tyra Banks Show. She won the competition in November 2006 and embarked on career few saw possible.
Maggie Yumi was featured on the cover of Bombshell magazine and collaborated with Torrid, ElegantPlus, and Plus Model Magazine. She is now working with Wilhelmina models.
Ready for some more junk in the right parts of the body?
5. Tara Lynn
Tara Lynn could be considered a veteran of the plus-size universe.
Nevertheless, the 34-year-old waited until 2011 to make her boldest claim to fame. Together with a model we talked about earlier (Candice Huffine), she graced the cover of Vogue Italy, marking an unexpected sign that the fashion world is not only acknowledging that some women are beautiful in a different way, but also welcoming them on board.
Lynn’s Elle cover accompanied by the tagline “The Body” sent a similar message. Women should no longer be ashamed of how they look. Everyone is beautiful in a unique way, and we should all cherish the variety.
You will love our next stop in the wonderful world of plus-size modeling.
6. Marquita Pring
Marquita Pring is beyond doubt one of the hottest models of the moment.
The debate whether we should count her as plus-sized or not can last forever. One thing is sure. Beauty standards should be less rigid when it comes to appreciating the female body.
Marquita’s fulminant rise saw her walk the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier and become the face of Levi Strauss. She didn’t stop there. The momentum brought her contracts with Polo, H&M, Kohl’s, Mark & Spencer, and many other big names in the industry.
What makes Marquita Pring a most wanted? The combination of the athletic body and the sultry smile makes the 27-year-old irresistible. She is one of the plus-size models currently associated with IMG Models.
Every woman should be able to buy fashionable clothes. The next plus-size addressed the issue and became a designer.
7. Nadia Aboulhosn
With a height of 1.60m, Nadia Aboulhosn was clearly too short and stocky to access the catwalk.
Nevertheless, that did not stop the 28-year-old with mixed American and Lebanese origins from seeking recognition. Nadia is not just a model, but also a fashion blogger, whose efforts go towards “bridging the gap between straight and plus size.”
Her work eventually attracted the attention of magazines like Vogue Italy, Teen Vogue, and Seventeen. Nadia made the transition from the curvy section no one likes to read to the centerfolds and even the cover.
Nadia evolved to become a designer, and her clothes went on display at the New York Fashion Week for the 2015 fall collection.
Are you eager to see the next beauty?
8. Jennie Runk
Jennie Runk’s story is bewildering.
Spotted by a talent seeker when she was just 13 and volunteering for a cat adoption shelter, Runk had two alternatives put in front of her. Caught in between sizes once puberty was done with her, Runk had to choose between losing and gaining weight.
Her bet proved successful, and she became a symbol of plus-size modeling. The extra 9 kg that she packed brought her into a segment of the industry marked by bitter rivalries.
Jennie Runk’s career took off with photo shoots for Vogue, Glamour, Cosmo Girl, and Seventeen. However, the breakthrough came once she became the flag carrier for H&M’s 2013 summer campaign. The photo above was featured on the official website and created sensation across social media.
The 27-year-old made a bold statement that the public wants to see more plus-sized models gracing the covers and that clothes should be tailored to fit the majority and not the lucky few.
Excited to see the next plus-size model?
9. Toccara Jones
Talking about Tocarra Jones can quickly fill up the remainder of the article.
The 35-year-old came dangerously close to winning the third season of America’s Next Top Model. Although being the 8th person eliminated, she was voted by AOL Entertainment as the most memorable contestant.
Why is that so important? Let’s say that Tocarra competed with other women that had a net advantage over her. Have you ever seen a plus-sized next to a straight-sized?
Many perceive Toccara Jones as a version of Tyra Banks that packed too many extra pounds. Even so, she managed to sign substantial contracts, including one with Wilhelmina Models.
Toccara Jones appeared on the covers of Black Men, King, Ebony, and Smooth and modeled for giants of the industry as Avon and Torrid. Toccara was also hugely successful in the TV world and even flirted with acting at a point in her career.
The next model will steal your heart with her incredible eyes and generous curves.
10. Chloe Marshall
Chloe Marshall is one plus-sized model that stirred a bit of controversy when she made a bid to compete for Miss England.
It all started in 2008 when she became Miss Surrey. The prize granted her a spot in the Miss England finals, becoming the first size 16 to compete.
Marshall’s story became an instant headline. Those who did not want her in the competition claimed she delivers a wrong message. With a Body Mass Index of 26, they classified her as overweight.
Fortunate for Chloe, modeling agencies are less strict than beauty pageantries. She snatched a contract with Ford Models and even walked in Lane Bryant’s 2011 runway show in Las Vegas.
The breathtaking 25-year-old was never shy about her body. Look at the photo below. She is just stunning!
The next model became famous the moment she was born. The reason is not easy to guess.
11. Mia Tyler
Mia Tyler might not be the most prominent plus-sized model, but a small detail makes her noteworthy.
Mia is the daughter of rock legend Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and actress Cyrinda Foxe. Do you wonder what happened to her body? Let’s assume Mia likes to eat or has a natural predisposition for accumulating fatty tissue.
Count in the two pregnancies, and that can work to explain why her body embraced such generous proportions. While Mia was not active lately in the world of modeling, her last name was prominent enough to turn her into a celeb. Add her role in Rush Hour 3 and other movie cameos, and you get a better sense to why people kept talking about Mia Tyler.
12. Mariesther Venegas
Mariesther Venegas enjoyed the whole world’s attention when she walked almost naked on the streets of Berlin for the city’s 2012 Fashion Week.
Nevertheless, most photo shoots would see Venegas fully clothed or flaunting her generous curves in sexy lingerie. Her claim to fame is feeling incredibly comfortable inside a body others would rush to dismiss as non-attractive.
With a career that started in 2010, Venegas modeled for Torrid, IGIGI, and Plus Model Magazine. Like many other plus-sized women, she was discovered during a campaign to find the next star.
Mariesther likes to end all her interviews with a strong positive message. “Love yourself; if you don’t, how can you expect anybody else to?” Her role in helping women with low self-esteem was incredible over the last couple of years.
Ready for another gorgeous woman that happens to have some extra kilos?
13. Christina Mendez
Don’t let the name fool you!
Although having Latin ancestry, Christina Mendez was born and raised in New York, the best city to be if you want to pursue a modeling career.
Full Figured Fashion Week selected Christina Mendez as “Model of the Year” in 2016, certifying the role of the exotic beauty in promoting the idea that “curves can be marketable and sexy.” It might not sound much, but Mendez became a name pivotal in the world of plus-size models.
New York Fashion Week is known for its high standard of selection. You will be surprised in a positive way to learn that Mendez was allowed on the catwalk alongside straight-sized models.
Her appearances in 2013, 2014, and 2016 showed the world of fashion is no longer capable of keeping its doors locked. The pressure is mounting, and compromise is the easiest option.
Smart and gorgeous, the next plus-size model offers the ultimate package.
14. Philomena Kwao
When Philomena Kwao won a British contest that sought the next plus-size model, everyone doubted she would stay in the headlines more than a day.
Nevertheless, Kwao proved everyone wrong, despite the fact that her African ancestry made it twice as hard to establish herself as a successful brand. Forget about Tyra Banks or Naomi Campbell. None of them was overweight, and none had broad shoulders.
Looks and brains don’t typically go along one with each other. Philomena is one of the rare exceptions. Even in the scenario that saw her failed as a model, the British beauty would earn a more than decent living with her first class degree in Economics.
Only 26 years old, Philomena Kwao has glossy magazines at her feet. She might not be the mainstream beauty men fantasize about having, but she is equally successful in catching the eye.
Tired of seeing so much beauty? We hope not!
15. Barbara Brickner
Barbara Brickner is a veteran of the plus-size world with a career that spans over more than ten years.
Why is that so important? We should all acknowledge that it has become visibly easier for plus-size women to be accepted on magazine covers and even on the catwalk. Rolling back a decade, the idea alone was scandalous and had many burnt alive for heresy.
Barbara Brickner made a name for herself modeling for the Italian company Elena Miro. Her 2000 solo calendar and plus-size maternity clothing BB Maternity showed everyone that this particular niche is worth exploring.
Nordstrom, Playtex, and Talbots are just some of the names that had fruitful collaborations with Brickner. Even plus-size models battle age and the newcomers, so the American gradually lost her spot in the front row.
The next plus-size was not shy to pose naked in a magazine for men. You must see her!
16. Fluvia Lacerda
We should praise Fluvia Lacerda for something special that she did.
The 36-year-old plus-size model was featured on the cover of Playboy Brazil, smashing stereotypes that endured for decades since the magazine first appeared in 1953.
The curvaceous mother of learned to love her body and shared it with the rest of the world. We assume you can imagine the level of hate speech that came her way along the years.
Most people are not comfortable when they see others venturing too far out their league. The momentum that made Fluvia Lacerda so successful comes from the other side of the social spectrum.
The Brazilian model inspired women of all ages to stop crying in the mirror and learn to accept themselves. Her 200,000 Instagram followers certify to that.
As we approach the end of the list, the plus-size models get hotter and hotter – a reward for your patience.
17. Natalie Laughlin
Oscillating between size 12 and 14, Natalie Laughlin was an icebreaker for the industry.
What makes her so unique? Let’s just say that Laughlin was the first ever plus-size to appear on Times Square billboards. It did not happen only once. She pulled five consecutive ads, a record that still stands.
Natalie is an exotic beauty born in the sun-infested Trinidad Tobago, from a mix English and French ancestry. However, only the move to New York City brought her the well-deserved limelight.
Magazines often refer to Natalie Laughlin as the Cindy Crawford of plus-size models. Her enduring success goes back to 1995 when Glamour magazine generously presented her claim in the beauty world.
Like almost all plus models, Laughlin also had a problematic childhood. She was the victim of bullying and repeatedly tried to starve herself to a weight considered normal in the modeling world.
Not every man can date a curvy model. Check out the last one on the list!
18. Precious Lee
Precious Lee is far from the kind of silhouette the fashion world promotes as desirable.
However, that didn’t stop her from becoming famous and claiming a successful career in modeling. Lee was one of the plus-size women that starred in the #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual campaigns.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Precious graduated Mass Media Arts and had to put aside ambitions to become a lawyer. She moved to New York, signed with IMG Models and became the first African-American plus-size to appear in Vogue.
Lee’s most memorable achievement is claiming a spot in one issue of Sports Illustrated. Who would have thought that a size-14 girl with a short haircut short could stand along mainstream beauties?
Look at the photo below. Do you there say those women are not gorgeous?