Last year brought about incredible change in the world of body love—in part thanks to the rise of the plus size model. From the first ever Body Love Conference to plus size models openly discussing their hatred of the term itself, our eyes were opened and our hearts set free on a journey toward loving and accepting our bodies, just the way they are. Now, we’ve all sat around and absorbed the goodness of real life women embracing themselves through Upworthy videos and Buzzfeed posts, but in the world of models and celebrities, there’s still a lot of room for growth.
While it’s true that the world of modeling is still stuck on stick thin women walking the catwalk (we hear that Cindy Crawford couldn’t have become a model today because she would have been considered “too curvy”), there are a few plus size models who redefine hot. These five women give us hope that mainstream media will adapt to what we want to see and we will no longer feel compelled to starve ourselves into our skinny jeans in order to look like an airbrushed version of ourselves. For inspiration, check out the beautiful curves on these fierce and famous plus size models who have smashed their scales and sauntered on the catwalk with the best of them.
1. Andrea Boschim
Andrea, one of our fave famous plus size models, is another Brazilian superbabe who is on the older side of the modeling spectrum in addition to being plus size. Born in 1978, her career has included appearing inside Veja, representing plus size women for the first time in the magazine’s history. Since then, she’s become a fashion consultant for television shows and international events. We love that she took a groundbreaking modeling career and turned it into so much more.
2. Robyn Lawley
This Aussie is the first ever plus size model to star in a high-end designer campaign. Her photos for Ralph Loren have made history and, though she certainly doesn’t have a typical body standing at six foot two, she’s lovely and positively relatable in her struggle to love and accept her body exactly as it is.
3. Tess Munster
Tess is a survivor of domestic violence and speaks nationally about body love, abuse and conquering the haters. Her large figure has broken down barriers in the modeling world as she’s done campaigns for plus size fashion as well as cosmetic lines including Benefit. She’s tattooed, edgy and unafraid to be herself, posting lots of “behind the scenes” shots and videos for fans online. We love that she’s genuine and brave and positively stunning from her sassy red hair to her perfectly painted toes.
4. Ashley Graham
The main reason we love Ashley is because she’s unafraid to speak her mind and go against the grain. Now, she’s obviously beautiful and incredibly successful having appeared in Vogue, Elle and as the plus size face for JLo’s clothing line, but she’s also smart, sassy and honest. She sat down with The Edit and said, “Young girls don’t have much to look at, curvy women are not on covers of magazines, they’re not talked about on social media as much as other celebrities. Jennifer Lawrence is the media’s poster girls for curves – she’s tiny.” Slow clap, Ashley. Slow clap.
5. Fluvia Lacerda
Okay so we just love to say her name. For real, you try it, we’ll wait. Fluvia is Brazilian and she’s known internationally as the “plus size Gisele Bundchen.” Rumor has it she was discovered riding a bus in Manhattan so, while we may think we don’t stand a chance, you never know!