Fluvia Lacerda, Rosie Mercado, and Griselangel Paula are not household names just yet. However, these lovely Latinas are making moves within the modeling industry, not as standard sizes, but as Latina plus-size models.
Modeling is a competitive business. But the competition is more fierce within the plus-size side of the industry.
Limited work available
While the plus-size industry is gaining momentum and growing, it still has very limited work available for true plus-size models. Brands that offer larger sizes as an extension of their main fashion lines often have a standard-size model wearing the garments.
Even plus-size retailers like Woman Within and Roamans still primarily will use standard-size models with very few plus-sizes. However, curvy women are speaking out more to see clothing made for modeled by women who look like them.
Things are changing for Latina plus-size models
When companies and magazines began featuring curvier models, a majority were caucasian. While as beautiful as Tara Lynn, Emme, Crystal Renn, and Whitney Thompson are they do not represent all plus-size women. With newer Latina plus-size models the likes of Fluvia Lacerda (dubbed the plus-size Gisele Bundchen) and Griselangel Paula (who models for Forever 21, Macy’s, and Lane Bryant, among other brands) becoming more high profile, the arena is shifting with Latinas emerging as the hot tickets in plus-size modeling.
Struggles still lie ahead for Latina plus-size models
The Nuvo reality series Curvy Girls gave insight into the ups and downs of plus-size modeling for Latina plus-size models Rosie Mercado, Denise Bidot, and Lornalitz, along with veteran model Ivory May. The series brought to light that even in an industry where one would think size does not matter, it truly does.
Mercado faced the struggles of losing gigs and dealing with body image issues -in spite of being the Face of Full Figure Fashion Week 2010– because she’s a 26/28 while most plus models fall within the 14/16 to 18/20 range.
Lornalitz faced the same size discrimination, but at the other end of the plus size spectrum, being a size 12. While a size 8 (which is still a standard clothing size) is considered plus-size in the model world, anything below a size 14 is often not deemed curvy enough for the plus-size industry.
Latina plus-size models still are paving their way in this industry. The ones out here now are knocking down doors and obstacles so future curvy Latinas have a (hopefully) easier road to travel. Do not worry about not signing with an agency right away, Rosie Mercado and Lornalitz, are still making strides without representation. So, do not lose heart.