Brielle Anyea: "My experience breaking into the industry wasn't the easiest, as I submitted to over 30 agencies worldwide about five-and-a-half years ago, and only heard from four at the time. For the agencies that said no, it had everything to do with my size, complexion, and shape. The industry doesn't really care for plus-size women, [nor] Black women, so me being a darker-skinned, plus-size woman with extra curves made it a lot harder to break in."
Tess Holliday: "Tough. It felt impossible at times. I questioned myself and my intentions constantly, but I knew that I was on the right path, even if the path wasn't clearly laid out for me. I didn't feel represented in the industry because of my height, size, and being tattooed. No one wanted to take me seriously, and it took me being one of the first models to have a large following on social media for brands to pay attention. Then, they wanted to work with me, and sometimes that really pissed me off. But it was a foot in the door, and that's how you change things. Real, lasting changes [have] to start from inside."
Candice Huffine: "Twenty years ago when I signed my first contract as a plus-size model, the industry was a different place entirely. The representation of curve was very new, quite undefined, and very uneven in the demographic of the plus women it represented at the time. It was implied that 'she' was older, more conservative and not interested in high fashion. I feel like these kind of misconceptions about who the curvy woman was and what she wanted kept the opportunities for models to really break through at a great distance. As a plus-size model in the early 2000s when I started, there just simply were no castings for makeup brands, magazine editorials, or fashion weeks for someone with measurements outside of the industry standard."
"I finally realized I shouldn't try to change myself, but instead change the industry."
Iskra Lawrence: "My experience breaking in was ten years of being told I was too big to be straight-size, then too small to be plus-size. When I finally realized I shouldn't try to change myself, but instead change the industry, I was met with disbelief even by my own agents at the time who refused to submit my portfolio to New York agencies because 'there was no industry for me.' [When I did] book jobs, there [were] multiple times [when] I found out I was getting paid less and even half of what the straight-size models were getting paid. My body not fitting into their ideals made me a second-rate model with a second class day rate."