Thankfully, the days of modeling being restricted to thin white women are long gone. Today there is an increasing demand for diverse ethnicities, shapes, and sizes of models. Consumers want to see models that look like them and modeling agencies have responded. We have compiled a list of some of the top Black plus-size models making a name for themselves.
Black Female Plus Size Models
Here’s our list of black female plus-size models. You can see the black male plus-size models in the section below.
1. Paloma Elsesser
American model Paloma Elsesser struggled with body image when she was a child. It took a long time for her to become comfortable with her body and embrace who she is.
Along with feeling uneasy about her body size, Elsesser has also felt detached from her history. Although she has both Latina and African-American heritage, she has felt that she is not Black enough to be part of that culture.
Elsesser was discovered on social media and has been featured in magazines like Glamour, Elle, and Vogue. She has modeled for Fenty Beauty, Nike, and Mercedes-Benz.
She also has an academic side; before getting involved with modeling, she studied literature and psychology at a private university in New York.
2. Precious Lee
At the age of 18, Precious Lee began her modeling career in the United States. Despite facing challenges due to her size and being a woman of color, she has had great success in the industry.
One of her goals is to normalize Black plus-size women in the industry. She wants people to know that success is a possibility for everyone.
Lee has certainly succeeded, becoming the first Black curve model to appear in an edition of American Vogue. She has also graced the covers of Italian and British Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. She has modeled for Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and Versace.
3. Sonny Turner
Black plus-size model Sonny Turner did not have someone to look up to when she was young and struggling with body image. As a successful model, she wants to be that person for the youth of today. Her confidence in herself is inspiring and gives others an idea of what they can achieve if they do the work.
This Jamaican-Swedish model works hard at staying in shape and being healthy. Her Instagram page is packed full of photos of her engaging in fitness and sports activities. From lifting weights and going to pilates classes, to playing basketball and competing in 10K runs, Turner is an excellent example of how to maintain a healthy body.
4. Nyome Nicholas-Williams
Having appeared on the cover of Glamour magazine, Nyome Nicholas-Williams is no stranger to success. But there was another photograph that had a big impact on her career.
After doing a photo shoot with photographer Alex Cameron, both Nicholas-Williams and Cameron shared the photo on Instagram. Despite the picture being much less revealing than other images Cameron had shared of white women, it was repeatedly taken down by Instagram.
Eventually, the CEO of the social media giant would issue an apology and commit to changing its policies.
Nicholas-Williams studied photography at university and worked on the other side of the camera before becoming a model. She has worked with companies like Adidas and Dove. She believes that what matters most is how women feel about themselves, not what others think about them.
5. Gabi Gregg
This Black plus-size model has a strong presence, with over 900,000 followers on her Instagram page, where she goes by Gabi Fresh. Her confidence and talent have made this woman an unstoppable force in the fashion industry.
She started by blogging about beauty and fashion, soon developing a following of people who wanted to know the latest news. She has also worked as a brand consultant and fashion editor. Gregg even had her own plus-size clothing line called Premme until 2019.
She continues to design clothing, focusing on swimwear and lingerie for plus-size women.
6. Olivia Campbell
Black plus-size model Olivia Campell wants to help women feel better about their appearance. When she was younger, she did not see herself reflected in advertising and media. As a plus-size woman, she knows how important it is to accept your body and love yourself for who you are.
Campbell tries to encourage other women to do the same so that they can live their best life.
Known as CurvyCampbell on Instagram, she is committed to portraying an authentic life on social media. Instead of aiming for photos that depict a perfect life, she tries to be herself and stay true to her values.
This model and single mother has shown us what hard work can achieve. In 2018, she was nominated for a Cosmopolitan Influencer Award.
7. Philomena Kwao
Although Philomena Kwao has been modeling since 2012, she did not expect to end up in this career. She has been interested in health inequities from a young age, influenced in part by her parent’s home country of Ghana.
Kwao completed a Master’s degree in International Health Management.
She has appeared in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, Pride, and Essence. Some of her modeling work includes campaigns for L’Oreal, MAC Cosmetics, and Estee Lauder. She has also modeled for Nordstrom, Lane Bryant, Addition Elle, and Torrid.
Kwao currently works with JAG Models in the United States and Models1 in the United Kingdom.
When not busy with her career, she devotes her time to helping other women. She has been a spokesperson for Women for Women International. This organization assists women who have survived war, providing them with skills and tools to improve their situation.
8. Leslie Sidora
French model Leslie Sidora works with Milk Management in the United Kingdom. She also works in the United States with Ford Models and Natural Models. She has a large social media following, especially on Instagram, where she has almost 500,000 followers.
Sidora has been featured in magazines like Elle and appeared in runway shows like Savage X Fenty. While much of her modeling experience has been positive, she says she still faces challenges as a Black woman.
Makeup artists and hair stylists are not always familiar with how to work with Black hair and skin. Sidora’s goal is to build empowerment in young Black women.
9. Akon Adichol
Sudanese-American model Akon Adichol works with Ursula Wiedmann Models and IMG. She has graced the covers of V Magazine and Italian Vogue. Adichol has also appeared in Calvin Klein campaigns.
She has had to work on accepting herself and believes that everyone is on a journey of self-love. She preaches compassion and understanding, recognizing that we are all doing the best we can with what we have.
Adichol wants women to focus on encouraging each other instead of getting lost in competition and comparison.
10. Enam Asiama
Plus-size model Enam Asiama was born in Ghana and lived there until she was nine years old. Her culture associated lighter skin with being more attractive and skin bleaching was a common practice. She grew up admiring her mother’s beauty and ultimately developed a sense of self-love and confidence in her appearance.
Now living in the United Kingdom, Asiama is an award-winning model. She has appeared in the Portugal edition of Vogue and has modeled for a Marc Jacobs campaign.
She enjoys expressing herself through makeup and used to work as a makeup artist. In the future, she hopes to see more inclusivity in the modeling industry.
11. Chloe Vero
Plus-size model Chloe Vero has appeared on the cover of Self magazine; she has also been featured in Vogue. She has worked with a range of photographers including Johnson Lui, Carolyne Loree, and Heather Hazzan.
Vero has also been part of an Olay ad campaign and modeled for Christian Siriano’s and Tommy Hilfiger’s runway shows.
She enjoys experimenting with different looks, including trying out various hairstyles and playing with makeup.
Vero is an advocate for LGBT rights and mental health awareness; she uses her social media influence to speak up on issues that are important to her. She also makes use of her Instagram account to encourage support for the Black community.
Black Male Plus Sized Models
So you’ve met the females, now here’s our list of black male plus-size models.
1. Tevin Evans
Known by his Instagram handle, Fat Chuck Bass, Tevin Evans is a male plus-size model. He uses his social media to show that Black men can achieve success regardless of size. In addition to his work as a fashion model, he is also an actor and has a podcast called Broke and Privileged.
Evans hopes to encourage those men who are challenged by mainstream beauty standards. He says there is a lack of discussion about how men are impacted by body image; he wants to see more people talking about this issue.
Evans has also spoken out about the lack of designer male clothing in plus sizes, saying that he hopes more fashion designers will create lines for this demographic.
2. Raul Samuel
Plus-size model Raul Samuel is known for his bold, confident, and unique style. He works with Bridge Models in the United States and the United Kingdom; in Germany, he works with Rothman Models.
He is incredibly versatile, wearing everything from suits and ties to overalls on his Instagram page. Samuel has appeared in GQ, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. In the past, he has modeled for Nike and Jacamo.
One of the highlights of Samuel’s career was being nominated for model of the year at the 2021 Full Figured Industry Awards. It is easy to see how much he enjoys modeling and soaks up every moment that each day brings!
3. Nemar Parchment
As a Black, gay, plus-size man, Nemar Parchment has faced prejudice and discrimination throughout his life. But he hasn’t let that deter him from reaching for his goals; in fact, these experiences have made him more determined to succeed.
Parchment developed an interest in fashion at a young age and attended the London College of Fashion. He worked as a buyer before getting into modeling, which he thinks gave him a foot in the door. Working for IMG models, he feels privileged to represent Black culture and the LGBT community.
While he enjoys modeling, he hopes to one day do something bigger with his life. He wants to use his influence to make life better for Black people in his community and around the world.
4. Steven Green
Modeling since 2020, Steven Green got his big break when he was contacted by Savage X Fenty. Rihanna’s lingerie brand wanted him to be part of their latest campaign. While Green thought it was a joke at first, he is now thankful for the opportunity and the attention it brought.
In addition to his modeling career with Bridge Models in the United Kingdom, Green has many other talents. He is an entrepreneur, photographer, and stylist. At ease in his skin, he has the confidence to pursue his dreams. Green wants to help others feel better about themselves so that they too will go after their goals.
5. Darnel Ghramm
Hailing from New Jersey, Darnel Ghramm has worked with brands like ASOS, BadRhino, and Boohoo. He loves expressing himself through fashion. In his younger days, he used to follow the crowd but now he lets his personality shine through with his style.
He enjoys picking up unique pieces at thrift shops and turning them into fashionable creations. His journey of self-acceptance has led to a realization that confidence is built through taking chances. Ghramm is happy to see that many brands are finally starting to embrace plus-size models.
He says that plus-size models should be seen as equals and given the same opportunities that mainstream models are offered.
6. Rasheed Yusuff
Nigerian-Italian model Rasheed Yusuff is building a career for himself. He works with Boss Model Management and Kult Models, both located in the United Kingdom. Yusuff’s positive mindset and authenticity shine through in all of his work.
He believes that what you put out into the world comes back to you; he steers clear of negativity and focuses on happiness. Yusuff is an advocate for being true to yourself and not trying to be like everyone else. His self-acceptance has opened doors for him in his modeling work!
Best Black Plus-Size Models, Final Thoughts
As you can see, the modeling industry has embraced Black plus-size models. In runway shows, magazines, online advertising, and more, these models are showing the world who they are. Hopefully, we will continue to see more diversity in modeling as this industry progresses.
We love to see people embracing who they are and strutting their stuff for all to see!