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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 14: Monique Robinson attends Addition Elle Presents Holiday 2016 RTW + Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection at Kia STYLE360 NYFW at Metropolitan West on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/WireImage Style360)/NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 04: Model Precious Lee is seen arriving to the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards at Brooklyn Museum on June 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

When people talk about Black female models, they immediately think of the greats: Tyra Banks, Beverly Johnson and of course Naomi Campbell. How could they not? There is no denying these women paved the way for so many Black women and girls. But rarely are other greats like Liris Crosse mentioned among these women, even though she is an OG model who has accomplished plenty in the industry.

Maybe it’s because, according to society’s beauty standards, models shouldn’t exceed a certain size. Maybe it’s because society doesn’t see Black as beautiful. Maybe it’s a combination of the two and the harsh reality that while society dislikes happy Black women, they hate happy fat Black women. Despite that truth, there are a considerable number of Black plus-size models who are a really big deal (pun intended) in the industry.

Now don’t get me wrong, plus-size models are still struggling for inclusion (unless you’re Ashley Graham), especially if they’re Black. Even in spaces where plus-size women are now being celebrated, plus-size Black women still aren’t being shown the same love. With so many super dope Black plus-size models remaining damn near invisible in many spaces that claim to cater to the plus-size community, I think it’s only fair to shine some light on a few who are working hard opening doors for themselves and many Black full-figured women to follow.

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