The fashion industry has been criticized for years because of their choice to use underweight models. However, one no longer has to be stick-thin to get ahead, and there are agencies that now promote curvy models.
Milk Model Management is dominating the plus-size scene, or in their own words, the ‘curve’, and they have a growing list of in-demand models that many brands would want to work with. They are husking out up to $25,000 to secure the models for major campaigns.
The now 41-year-old Anna Shillinglaw is a former model who started out as a “straight” model before she moved into plus-size. She set up this agency 8 years ago, and there’s no limit on the size of the models.
Some of her most popular clients, like Felicity Hayward, Hayley Hasselhoff and Sonny Turner all feature in a popular documentary that investigates behind the scenes of the booming modeling industry, Channel 5’s Curvy Girls Stripped Bare.
The models revealed in it how their curves have had a direct impact on their earnings, and how they even had to wear padding on set to boost their hips and bottoms further.
Sonny, who is an Instagram favorite, has gone from a size 12 to a size 16, and she has no doubt about her size.
She said that the fat is making her money, and even if she feels that she wants to slim down to the body size she was when she started, she wouldn’t have as many jobs.
The model also added that they’ve built a brand now, so other brands now know what they stand for when they want to work with them.
The agency has now more than 100 models, and even US model Tess Holiday was previously represented by them.
Sonny says that she doesn’t care what people think about her and she even jokingly said that her family don’t take her line of work seriously.
It was Sonny that revealed that when she was scouted by Anna at first, she was asked to wear extra padding on her hips and bottom to look bigger on castings.
She said in the documentary that when she was first signed to Milk, she was neither plus-size enough to be a ‘curvy model’, nor skinny enough to be ‘straight-sized model’. However, the agency told her that they really want to sign her because of her great face and hair, but she had to wear the fat padding.
Sonny continued that wearing padding was a common thing and it was openly discussed during casting. Models were sometimes even asked to “pad up twice”.
Sonny began to gain weight when she left home as a teenager and relied on junk food entirely. As it turned out, it worked to her advantage, because that’s how she became a plus-size model.
Anna, and Sonny, as well as all of the models, however, say that they don’t want to encourage an unhealthy lifestyle or attitude.
Sonny admitted that she is a lot more mindful about her lifestyle choices now, and she works hard to maintain her shape. She realized that going to the gym is a part of one’s life, and that her being a plus-size model does not mean that she shouldn’t be healthy.