The Runway Diva Says. . . Is an online advice column for aspiring models. As a 20 year veteran of the fashion industry as a plus sized model, I have found in my travels that most aspiring models, no matter their size, don't have a clue of the tools needed to become a successful model. Hopefully, I can help make their journey a little easier. Please Email me your questions to

Friday, May 05, 2006

Getting Started in Plus Modeling

Hello Mrs. Quinn,

I just recently started getting involved with plus size modeling. I've been to conventions and paid thousands of dollars, and been through a share of unlegit agencies. It just seems to me that I keep getting shot down and shot down, but I don't want to give up on my dream. I want to be a plus size model. I recently read your interview on and it inspired me even more. I wish you could contact me back and give me some advice on what I should do. I appreciate your time so much, thanks for reading my e-mail.




Okay, I looked at your photos and you are definitely a pretty girl. I cannot tell however from your photos what size you are. It is unfortunate that you have had bad luck on your far as "conventions" go...avoid them like the plague...I can't think of a single sized or otherwise that has made it big by going this route.

Depending on your city, find out what legitimate agencies are in your city....find out when their open call is and go in and let them take a look at you. Please know that you DON'T need a portfolio, only some recent snapshots of you (and ONLY in natural lighting....keep the make up light and your clothing simple. They are interested in what YOU look like, what your bone structure is and whether or not you photograph well (not all pretty girls take pretty pictures).

Meanwhile, while you are waiting for your "big break" try to get in as many local shows as possible to build up your skills. You should try to develop and fine tune your walk as much as possible and these shows are excellent practice grounds.

And remember....any legitimate agency will not ask you for money to sign with them....that's your first tip off that all is not on the up and up. Follow your instincts...if it seems wrong to probably is.

Please take a moment to visit my website ( and check out my "Advice from the Runway Diva" section and read the letters on "Do I have What it Takes?" and "Navigating the Open Call", you should find that info helpful to you on your journey.

Good luck to you and please let me know if you have any other questions!