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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.


Liris Crosse

Known as the “Naomi Campbell of Plus” Liris Crosse has one of the fiercest walks in the game. Period. She has ripped runways all over the world, starred in movies, worked with countless brands and designers. You honestly cannot talk plus size modeling without mentioning Liris Crosse. Oh, and did I mention she was a favorite on season 16 of Project Runway or that she is an advocate for plus size inclusion and body positivity?


Devorah Story

Devorah Story is a bit of a fresh face, but the girl is putting in major work in the plus size and natural hair industries. She has worked with an abundance of brands, including Ashley Stewart, Jibri, Rue 107, Curlbox and Creme Of Nature. Devorah has ripped countless runways and been plastered all over billboards. It is hard to believe she has accomplished all of this success without being signed to an agency but that is her truth, and she uses her knowledge to assist other aspiring models with her My Model Story Workshops.


Monique Robinson

We can’t talk beauty standards without mentioning stand out Project Runway (season 16) model and the creator of the hashtag, #iammybeautystandard, Monique Robinson. Monique is signed to Dorothy Combs Modeling Agency and is both well known and respected for her work as a body positive and plus size advocate.


Jeannie Ferguson

Although Jeannie Ferguson now spends a lot of her time training other models, there is no denying the mark she has made on the industry. She is without question the dopest petite plus models… PERIOD!


Philomena Kwao

5.  Philomena is a triple dose of black girl magic! She is a writer, humanitarian, and model with undisputed talent in each area. Although Victoria Secret has never offered her wings, she is still soaring due to her work with brands like Sports Illustrated and Lane Bryant just to name a few.


Alexis Henry

Alexis Henry is the creator of the “Plus One Podcast” and a super dope model who was named one of plus size modeling fresh faces by InStyle Magazine.


Nedra Phillips

From Atlanta to Paris, Nedra Phillips has served nothing but curves! Not only has this curvy beauty ripped many runways, but she is also currently the plus size fit model for celebrity stylist Shun Melson.


Chante Burkett

This influencer is quick to say she is not a model but when you are constantly featured in campaigns for brands like H&M, Target, and JCPenny, people see you as a model, especially when many times you are the only Black plus size face included in many of these campaigns. So yeah, Chante Burkett is a whole vibe, and she is repping for visibly plus black women and girls all over the world. Chante even ripped the runway for Loft during NYFW at The Curvy Con.


Emmicia Bracey

When Eloquii launched their extended sizes, they called on model Emmicia Bracey because they knew she could get the job done and so she did. You may not see her as often as other plus size models, but I love what and who she represents in the plus industry. As an extended plus woman I know that even the brands that cater to extended plus women are not eager to use them in campaigns. However, this magical black girl has sprinkled her joy all over the plus industry.


Precious Lee

Precious Lee is definitely the queen of flaunting it! Her curves are always WERKING; Lane Bryant, Sports Illustrated, Simply Be and Good American are just a few of the brands that have had the pleasure of working with this joyful black girl.

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