The conversation surrounding plus-size models has been going at a mile a minute as of late—think Melissa McCarthy’s comments about getting plus-size clothing displayed in stores more prominently and top models like Amber Tolliver saying “clothing options shouldn’t be different for curvy women.” Yet until very recently, it’s been all about women. Most agencies include divisions specially for the category and are supporting an industry that’s beginning to cast curvy beauties in mainstream campaigns. While it certainly all seems like progress, there’s an interesting catch: just where are all the male plus-size models?
The answer would appear to be Germany! It’s where there are multiple agencies with special categories (and the majority of the men are busy working).
A model in Ralph Lauren’s Big & Tall line
“The market seems to be different in Germany,” Curve Model Management owner Mona Schulze told The Guardian. “Customers want to be able to identify with the models, they want them to mirror them.”
Men need to be around a size 42 to be considered plus, though that’s not a term that the agency endorses. Schulze says she scouts a lot on the street since men aren’t as likely as women to pop in for consideration; when she sees a guy with potential, she uses terms like “standard” and “everyman” to discuss his build.
Billy Reid’s spring 2015 runway shows what the typical male runway model looks like
A check of the top agencies in the United States doesn’t reveal any plus-size category for men. Fitness categories include males who are beefier than runway models but still appear super in shape. Jermain Hollman, 6’5 with a 36-inch waist, is considered plus-size but, hello—he’s got some serious abs going on in his Facebook profile pic. Thirty-two inches is the average waist size for working male models, and while those in the biz say they haven’t seen things in the past, there’s hope that the positive attention being shined on women’s plus-size divisions will affect men as well.