Even though there has been a lot more representation of bigger bodies in media and the fashion industry in recent years, there are still a lot of requirements for plus-size models.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few brands that have been praised for using real, unphotoshopped women for modeling. When you look at it as a whole, however, many companies hire plus-size models who have that hourglass shape that isn’t always achievable by the average person.
Many people wonder how curvier models get that perfect figure. It can leave you wondering,
Do plus size models wear shapewear?
Yes, some plus size models do wear shapewear. I cannot say that it’s true for every model, but even the plus size fashion industry has specific demands when it comes to what their models look like. Plus, wearing shapewear makes even thinner women feel confident, which I see nothing wrong with!
Below, I’ll talk a little more about how plus size models achieve their hourglass shape, if wearing shapewear is common, and other ways that plus size models get their perfect shape.
Do Plus Size Models Wear Shapewear?
I’ll be the first to say that some women really are just blessed with a natural hourglass figure. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and while all of them are beautiful, that hourglass figure sought after by modeling companies isn’t always easy to come by.
That being said, yes, plus size models do wear shapewear. It might not be something practiced by every curvier model, but it is fairly common in an industry where looks are literally everything.
What Other Ways Do Curvy Models Get Their Shape?
In addition to wearing shapewear, curvy models get their shape through a lot of hard work. They often diet and exercise to maintain their figure like thinner models in the industry, though they might do different workouts to maintain their curves.
In some cases, plus size models also may use padding in different areas like the bust, hips, and bottom- you know, those areas that you want to look a little better. Plus, with a little more padding, it gives the illusion that a model’s waist is slimmer and makes their hourglass shape more evident.
Of course, hair and makeup products are also used to alter a woman’s appearance slightly. Things like hairstyle change how round your face looks, for example, and some models may use body contouring (which is basically applying foundation to the body) to create definition in certain areas of their body, too.
What Size Are Plus Size Models?
At one time, any woman bigger than a size 6 or 8 was considered a plus size model. However, this isn’t necessarily realistic when you consider that American women, who are a big fashion demographic, are an average size of 16-18.
Today, you are more likely to see women between sizes 10-14 in plus size modeling. The problem with this is that in most actual clothing brands, plus sizes don’t start until size 16 so it’s never really an accurate representation of what the clothing is going to look like on a curvy or full-figured woman.
Keep this in mind when looking at fashion models and don’t hold yourself to these same, hard-to-attain standards. You should also keep this in mind when clothes shopping since some brands put regular sizes on their models and call it plus size. This can make plus-size clothes harder to find.
Is It Easier Being a Model When You’re Plus Size?
It’s a pretty common idea that plus size women in the fashion industry have a much easier time because they are allowed to be bigger. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even plus size models have strict standards that they have to follow for certain brands.
Things like weigh-ins are common even when you’re plus size and it’s not uncommon for women in the industry to go to extreme measures to maintain their weight. They may participate in extreme dieting or workout routines in addition to those methods they use to physically change their shape like using shapewear or padding.
That being said, there are some brands out there that value the look that a real woman has to offer when it comes to modeling and the inclusion that it gives their brand. So, while it may not be like this in all cases, plus size modeling is still a really competitive industry with tough body standards.
Is It Ethical for Plus Size Models to Alter Their Body With Shapewear?
In my opinion, women who care about fashion want to look their best. Shapewear is something that I’ve worn myself for special occasions and there’s nothing really that can replace how confident you feel rocking that hourglass shape under your dress.
While I love love love when the fashion industry uses real women for advertisements and modeling and I wish it happened more, I also don’t see anything wrong with plus size women in the fashion industry wearing shapewear. They want to feel confident and look their best too, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Plus, keep in mind that shapewear is only going to do so much. Yes, it can make your body smoother and curvier, but in many cases, shapewear that is too tight makes you look fatter. So, while it can help with making curves more noticeable, shapewear can only do so much.
The fashion industry is something that has always under-represented women like me, so it is something that I look at and know that just because those women look perfect, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with my body. While I don’t hold these gorgeous, curvier models at fault, I also know that what they are portraying and their body types aren’t necessarily the standard for bigger women.
Do plus size models wear shapewear? Yes, it is something practiced by many models in the industry. Even being plus size, there are often strict requirements for what a model’s body should look like and adding shapewear likely gives them the confidence needed to pose for photos and strut their stuff down a runway.
While I don’t think there is anything wrong with a curvy woman (or any woman) wearing shapewear to boost their confidence, just keep this in mind when you’re looking at these bodies portraying some “ideal standard” for the bigger body.
Even if you don’t look like these women, it doesn’t mean that you can’t rock the same look. It also doesn’t mean that you are less desirable or attractive because your body is shaped differently. We come in all shapes and sizes, and all of us are beautiful.