To be a Plus Size Model, you need thick skin.  You need to know your strengths and your weaknesses.  You need to understand what you bring to the party, and run with it. 

Photo Credit © Lily Cummings

Photo Credit © Lily Cummings

"We're gonna need you to wear butt padding because they need a 48" hip"

"Sorry, they're going with a size 12 so we don't need you for that casting anymore"

"You're too big"

"You're too small"

"You're butt isn't big enough" 

"You've got too much boob"

"You are a little more athletic than we normally go with"

"You look too fleshy"

"Our customer has a shorter inseam"

Sometimes, hearing all of this negative, conflicting feedback about yourself can be hard to process.  You start wondering if you should change yourself to fit the different molds that are out there.  But if you run around trying to please everyone, you'll wind up being generic beyond recognition.  

When Tess Holliday (a.k.a. Tess Munster) started her social media presence, there was no precedent for a model like her anywhere in the industry.  For a model who was size 22 AND covered in tattoos AND not formally represented by an agency to come and take the industry by storm is revolutionary.  But she didn't worry about trying to fit anyone else's mold.  She focused on what is unique and beautiful about her and ran with it.  That fierce individuality is why she's now on the cover of People Magazine's Body Issue.

Tess understood that to follow the latest trends or to try to morph herself into other people's standard of beauty would mean that she'd lose what is unique and special about her.  She decided not to be a follower, but to pave a new way and make her competition irrelevant.

You're not always going to be right for every client, for every critic, or for every creative director.  #‎beyou‬ and the right ones will find you.