There’s still a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity in the fashion industry, but beauty ideals have certainly changed over the past decade and there’s certain influencers, celebrities and models we can thank for that. 20 years ago, you’d never have seen a plus size model on the runway, but Milan Fashion Week saw models Precious Lee, Alva Claire and Jill Kortleve make history as the first plus-size models ever to walk for Versace.
As well as fashion week, this shift has helped to improve the self-esteem of millions of women worldwide who are able to log on to Instagram and see women that look like them. They can finally seek outfit inspiration for their body shapes and hear from people going through exactly the same struggles as them. Say what you want about social media, but this is one really positive byproduct of it that we’re 100% here for.
With that in mind, we’ve collated a list of kick-ass plus-size fashion influencers for those seeking a confidence boost, outfit inspo, and friendly faces when you log onto the ‘gram.
Callie started a blog in 2012 and surprisingly, it was about her diet. After it made her feel lousy, she had an epiphany and decided instead to embrace her body. She continued blogging, but this time she only focused on the positive and it took off. Callie’s Instagram is pure joy; she always has a smile on her face and you can’t help but smile back.
Tess is one of the most successful plus-size models of the decade, having been signed to Milk Model Management in 2015. It hasn’t been easy though and Tess has been vocal about the sheer amount of rejection she faced while she attempted to break into the industry. Despite this, she now boasts 2.1 million followers on Instagram and uses her platform to shout against fatphobia, homophobia and racism, while also encouraging her followers to love themselves. She’s bold and badass, and we love it.
Stephanie is a blogger, journalist, author, public speaker and content creator with awesome style. She’s been writing for over 11 years and has built up quite the portfolio, with bylines in publications including Metro, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Grazia. Like Tess, Stephanie often speaks out against racism and fatphobia to her 220k strong Instagram following and describes herself as a ‘fat acceptance advocate’.
Like the other influencers in this list, being a social media star is just a small part of what Grace does. She’s a TedX speaker and has presented various TV shows, including BBC3’s Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets, while she’s also appeared on BBC Celebrity Mastermind. Grace speaks out about body positivity, spirituality and wellness and diet culture on Instagram, all the while looking incredible. Follow her for confidence-boosting content and style inspo.
Nicole is one of those women on Instagram who just makes you smile. Her grin is infectious and shows up in nearly every picture she posts, which is a breath of fresh air on a lengthy feed of moody pouts. When it comes to her style, there’s something for everyone; she doesn’t shy away from a print, but she does sleek and chic just as well.
Nicole launched The Creator Union in 2020 alongside influencers Valerie Eguavoen and Rachel Duah, speaking out about the racial pay gap in the industry, and she hosts Mixed Up Podcast with Emma Slade Edmondson.
If you don’t know Nyome yet, where have you been? The influencer fought to change Instagram’s nudity policy alongside Gina Martin and Alex Cameron to ensure all bodies were treated fairly after photos of her taken by Cameron were repeatedly deleted by the app and they were slapped with warnings that their accounts could be deleted for sharing them.
Talking about her experience, Nyome said she was shocked that ‘a fat black woman celebrating her body is banned … I want to promote self-love and inclusivity because that’s how I feel and how I want other women like me to feel’.
That’s exactly what she does on Instagram, with incredibly beautiful photoshoots, feel-good style and unapologetic content.
Chloe has minimal, clean lines down to a tee. She always looks utterly flawless and is often seen wearing leather, shades and neutrals with a pop of colour. Chloe is the founder of thy.self, a lifestyle brand set on diversifying the wellness industry.
Latoya is a fashion blogger from Chicago and she’s always head-to-toe in colour. Whether it’s metallic suits, or animal print, she never shies away from trying new things when it comes to her outfits and that’s why we love her. You simply can’t pin-point what she’ll be wearing next! She’s always smiling, always glamorous and always providing outfit inspiration.
Danielle Vanier is one of the first plus-size fashion bloggers and ‘grammers we ever came across. Launching her fashion blog in 2016, Danielle quickly became one of the most successful plus-size bloggers by offering advice on how to dress as a plus-size woman in a world that doesn’t cater to you. She’s helped shape and change the industry and has worked with countless brands, including M&S and Matalan.
Olivia Campbell is a plus-size model and content creator based in London. She started her Instagram account for work, but she’s since become an influencer in her own right and it’s not hard to see why. She’s confident, sexy and so stylish, we literally want everything she wears.
Kate Wasley is an Australian plus-size model with over 370k followers on Instagram. She often shares body positive quotes written in lipstick on her mirror, including one that reads: ‘You will never feel at home in a body that you view as temporary.’ Follow for bikini style and uplifting content.
You’ve most likely heard of or seen Jada before, but we couldn’t not include her in this list. Jada is a plus-size model and activist who ran the London marathon alongside journalist Bryony Gordon in her underwear to redefine fitness, making it known that it’s for everyBODY. She uses her platform to speak about self-esteem, confidence and mental wellbeing.
Jari is a trans plus-size model, actor, producer, and activist taking the world by storm. She’s walked runway shows at New York Fashion Week for various brands including Chromat, appeared in Netflix’s Tales of the City, has contributed to publications including Allure and Nylon and recently became the first black trans Producer to have a film premiere at Cannes Film Festival. Phew! One of her most liked posts on the ‘gram is a photo of her popping a bottle in front of a billboard in New York City with her face on it. She modelled for Calvin Klein’s Pride Campaign this year and was given the coveted billboard spot in Soho. Iconic.
We could talk about Jess all day. She fills her feed with important content, speaking about topics such as periods, body hair, male violence and harassment, abortion laws and body image. Scrolling through her feed makes us feel empowered! Jess posts plenty of gorgeous lingerie shots and her outfits are just as beautiful.
Noomi may not be as well known as the other women we’ve included in this article, but her content is just as important. Often posting honestly about body image and representation, PCOS, sexual abuse and eating disorders, she doesn’t shy away from talking about the things that matter. Noomi shares beautiful and creative photography too.
Sonny is a plus-size model and has appeared in campaigns for ASOS, Primark and Aerie, to name a few. She’s walked runways at both New York and London Fashion Weeks and has almost 300k followers on Instagram. If minimalism isn’t your thing, give Sonny a follow. Her feed is full of colour, sparkles and shine.
Miss Deadly Red
Miss Deadly Red is a model and make-up artist and it shows. Her make-up looks are on point, but she looks just as stunning barefaced. She provides constant lingerie inspiration and is the perfect pin-up.