Life as a Plus-size model
Increasingly, the modelling industry is being put under pressure to involve models that the general public can relate to; often, this isn't the traditional 'stick-thin' look. A number of brands are embracing plus-size models in their campaigns, including H&M, Urban Outfitters and Nike, and thanks to this, a range of people are being celebrated for their beauty, no matter what their size.
In Plus Sized Wars, available to watch on All4 here, plus-size model Georgina Horne - who has garnered a following on Instagram of over 137,000 admirers - admits that the pressure to be a role model for bigger girls can take its toll, but ultimately, it's all about how you feel in yourself.
Am I Normal interviewed Georgina, asking what inspires her, her opinion on how the modelling industry views larger women, and her future aspirations.
Hi Georgina! Let's start by asking you what prompted you to get into modelling?
It was strange, how it happened! I saw an advert for a modelling contest, and they required the girls to be size 16+ and over 5’6 tall. I had never thought about myself as a potential model until that point, but after coming third I suddenly thought that it could be a career for me! Cue me applying to a few agencies, getting rejected by the real ones, and scammed by the fake ones. I then realised that it wasn’t for me, and decided that starting a blog would be a much better way to showcase how clothes and lingerie looked on a body like mine; with the success of my blog and social media platforms, I was then asked to model by some brands!
What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about modelling?
My favourite thing is the fact that I only really model for brands that suit my style – pin up, girly, vintage ones. I never really have to wear anything that is too far out of my comfort zone which is lovely! My least favourite is wearing heels! I am about as graceful as a dog with worms!
Is there anyone in the industry that inspires you?
Felicity Hayward! Ugh to be her for a day! She is just so full of life and vigour and she looks slamming in everything.
How do you feel the public generally reacts to seeing a plus-size model instead of the standard skinny look?
Plus-size females are mostly positive and grateful to be represented on some level. Then there are others who like to waffle on about ‘promoting obesity’, because apparently, providing clothing for larger females is a crime. It’s a funny old world at times!
Do you think there has been a positive shift in the modelling industry when it comes to hiring models of all shapes and sizes?
For sure! But I think we have a long way to go. Size 14s are being hired to model ranges that start at an 18 – but then size 4s are hired to model ranges that start at 8. However, thanks to bloggers and influencers and people sharing outfit photos all the time, we can see all sorts of bodies in all sorts of outfits all over social media.
You’ve revealed that you’ve received negative comments on social media from fans and bloggers over your choice to exercise and lose weight – how do you deal with these reactions?
To put it bluntly – my body my rules! My belief is that unless we have a disability or ailment that prevents it, our bodies are meant to move and stay active. I want to be able to run around after my nephews, dance the night away, go dog walking, open jars, carry bags of new shoes and live my life to the fullest, and so exercising is so, so important to me! With regards to weight loss or gain – if you feel unhappy in your skin and you lose or gain weight in a safe and healthy way, then there is no harm done.
What would you say to any of our readers who might feel self-conscious about their weight?
Surround yourself with positive media – don’t read those magazines that act like no one has cellulite or goes without make up. Wear clothes that YOU want to wear, not your petite peer who has a totally different style and shape to you. If you do want to make changes, do it slow, steadily, and safely. Your body is ready now and at the end of your journey, so don’t wait until then to start living your life.
What tips would you give people who want to get into plus-size modelling?
On my blog I discuss this, and write: Most modelling agencies require you to be 5’9 and over, have no or very few visible piercings or tattoos, and ask you to keep your skin, hair and nails in great condition. Generally, you need to be below the age of 30. You may do and be all of the above and they may still say no because they already have three girls who look a little like you on their books. You might be asked to slightly change your hair or look just to make you more bookable. And then once you’re signed, it’s generally not a great idea to try to change things up too often – or at least not without speaking to your agent. You will be hired based on your consistence – the look seen in your portfolio. So no impulsive hair changes or crazy colours!
What are your future aspirations?
To carry on living my best life! More photoshoots, more blog posts and more amazing experiences.
Follow Georgina on Instagram: @fullerfigurefullerbust
Would you consider doing Plus-size modelling?
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