Where are all the Plus-Size Models in Nigeria?

Toccara Jones Where are all the Plus Size Models in Nigeria?I have always wondered why there are only a few plus-size models in Nigeria’s modeling industry. Nigeria is in West Africa and the definition of beauty greatly differs from that in Western nations, so why does the modeling industry not reflect the society it is situated in?

Before I go on, let me define what a plus-size model is. Plus size models are also known as “full-figured models,” “extended-sizes model,” and “outsize model”.

A good working definition comes from Wikipedia which defines  a plus-size model as “a person who is engaged primarily in modeling plus-size clothing. Plus-size models also engage in work that is not strictly related to selling large-sized clothing e.g., stock photography and advertising photography for cosmetics, household and pharmaceutical products and sunglasses, footwear and watches. Therefore, plus-size models do not exclusively wear garments marketed as plus-size clothing. This is especially true when participating in fashion editorials for mainstream fashion magazines.”

This is in contrast to the  skinny models used in Nigeria. In fact, Nigeria has the epitome of what the ideal model looks like, thanks to the successful Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi. Oluchi has walked the runways in many countries in and out of Africa and now has her own agency called O Model Africa. Oluchi is skinny and has a thin frame with a size/frame that fits the American and European model industry standards of size 2-6. The question though is, is Oluchi and other skinny models (aka Lepas) like her the only standard of beauty in Nigeria’s modeling industry that  should be used in Nigeria? (If most Nigerian women are not a size 2-6, why create an image for them to attain that they cannot? Is this the launch of body image issues for young Nigerian girls to come?)

There is a huge market for plus size models in Nigeria and, all over Africa for that matter, plus sizes ranging from 10-14. Even Western nations are also now valuing plus-size models’ so why is Nigeria where a larger percentage of the women are plus size, not doing the same?

For example, according to the same Wikipedia, “Fashion designers are starting to look more closely at the earning potential from plus-size clothing, and have used plus-size models for their advertising campaigns and catwalks. Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano both used plus-size models in their Spring 2006 showings in Paris. Italian plus-size fashion house Elena Mirò now regularly stages biannual prêt-à-porter shows during Fashion Week in Milan. Mark Fast andWilliam Tempest each used plus-size models during their own London Fashion Weekshowings for Spring 2009, and again as part of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk event held on September 19, 2009 in association with the British Fashion Council.”

So this makes me wonder why Nigeria’s modeling industry is not embracing plus-size models. One reason I have heard is that of acceptance in the industry. Indeed the lack of acceptance is why “The International Fuller Woman Network” was created to connect initiatives around the world that support the size acceptance and plus empowerment movement.” This network has also forged partnership with Big Sister Magazine in Nigeria which is the only “one of its kind that is published in Nigeria and West Africa.” This magazine aims to improve confidence by “encouraging the plus size woman to look fabulous and as such, features some of the best and outfits from the plus size wardrobe…” (http://bigsistermagazine.blogspot.com/)

The average Nigerian woman, for the most part, is a “real” African woman. She isn’t skinny and shapeless. She is a woman with curves and great assets in the backside and the bust. (So, if Nigerian corporate companies are hiring models to sell their products to the average Nigerian woman, shouldn’t they be using plus size models just as much as they use skinny models, if not more?)

Also, most African men, if not all, appear to desire these kinds of average plus-size women. So, if the average Nigerian woman is desired and continues to be desired, increasingly, by Nigerian and African men, why isn’t the plus size model industry introduced into the Nigerian market? (Have you seen Nollywood movies lately? Name one skinny actress you know. Most of them are plump compared to their Hollywood counterparts. If Nollywood is not changing the standard of beauty in Nigeria and is comfortable exporting that to the world, why is Nigeria’s fashion industry insisting only on the Lepa shandis (skinny women?))

The definition of a skinny model came from the West because of its culture and foods. Nigerian/African culture is different. As the industry is still in its infancy state, perhaps a (more expanded view of beauty) is needed that caters to its citizens, its culture and customs.

I’m just wondering and saying, where are all the plus-size models in Nigeria?

What do you guys think? Please share your thoughts.

-Priscilla Bamfo
-Photocredit: Curvyspot/ Model Toccara Jones, Former America’s Next Top Model Contestant

pixel Where are all the Plus Size Models in Nigeria?

29 comments

  1. well,am a plus size lady and i believe the modelling industry should try and have plus size modelling agency and fashion show for plus size women because big is beautiful also to make plus size women feel beautiful in their body and not try all pill just because they are trying to fit in.

  2. please am a girl looking for an opportunity to model. Am very Pretty, 5.3ft tall. Please i really need someone to link me up. Did my phone number;+2347037431147

  3. IT IS VERY TRUE THAT WE HAVE ONLY FEW PLUS SIZED MODELS IN NIGERIA. I HAPPEN TO BE ONE OF THEM. MOST PEOPLE THAT FALL INTO SUCH CATEGORY, FIND IT HARD TO SEEK OPORTUNITIES FOR FEAR OF BEING LAUGHED AT OR CALLED A FATTY, BIGGY, OR ANY OTHER OF SUCH NAMES. BUT BELIEVE ME, IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY, WE WILL SHINE TO THE VERY TOP. I AM LOOKING FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A MODEL, I AM 5 FT 6 AND LIGHT SKINNED AND ALSO VERY GOOD LOOKING WITH THE IDEAL SHAPE. ANY AGENCY OR PERSON WILLING TO HELP BRING OUT THE MODEL IN ME, SHLD CALL 08101071915 OR EMAIL tolulopeakinkuebi@yahoo.com plus i am also open to ushering jobs and others in the category

  4. hi
    i wonder at the scarcity of plus size modelling companies or plus size models.i am very well interested in plus size modelling ,as it has been something i’ve been wanting to do.i am 5ft 10″ and US size 10.

  5. hi,im ibukun aka sexy biggy.im very proud to be a plus size model and in addition to that i just won d 3rd runner up in d nigeria big and beautiful organised by gee-swill global company.i will really like to work wit u and to model for more companies.dis is my no +2348068243109 or +2348189065631.hope to hear from u soon

  6. would really want to model, am beautiful, intelligent, tall, chocolate and medium size with the ryt curve! Please if there’s vacancy for a plus size models you guys can contact me on 08167770781,08189746347. Email,gvina.ishaku@yahoo.com. Thanks!

  7. Hi,am a plus size nd also a make up artist, nd would like to model. Contact Info:08156602735,kallydamsel@yahoo.com

  8. thank you. I was saying the same thing today, the market for plus size is growing in UK and US, even Models 1 agency in UK merged with a plus size agency in UK. There are competitions coming up everyday for plus size ladies on the International level but the nigerian modelling industry is being very stereotypical and is not embracing nature. Africans are the ones with the flesh and in my opinion, there should be more plus size competitions and plus size agencies in Nigeria and Africa than any other place

  9. all my friends are size fives and am being laughed at because am a little bit bigger than them,as a matter of fact,am a perfect model and i love myself and wish to be a model because i have got all it takes to be one.A i really want to prove my friends wrong.this is my number 07060767625 and 07038471274.thanks.

  10. AM A MALE….ND WANNA B A MODEL TALL BOUT 5FT 11INCHES HAV GOT D CHARISMA,AM HANDSON MUSCULAR WIT D 6PACKS…PLS CALL DIS NUM;08132423883

  11. please i really want to model 4 a company that dealz wit plus sized ladies….. ma number is 08169755972…. i really want to show out ma beautiful skin 2 d work and ma sexy face…. i do solemli wish dat ma offer will b accepted and i would b given a quick response… im indeed very gr8ful 4 all d help and 4 ur respectable n beloved reply… thank U.

  12. Most girls Ώį̸̸̨ƭƕ modelling talents have lost their self-esteem, all thanks to their slim counterparts, modelling agents and even the general public. I strogly believe human beings have different shapes, sizes and physical makeups. This makes life interesting, as life is not one-sided. I love modelling, and pressing on in making the best out of it. Other plus s-girls should also do this.

  13. This post make sense to me and its time we appreciate + figure and showcase them often in Nigerian fashion industries, we learn using skinnies from Oyibos now they are using plus sizes too I case we can also learn from them and starting using plus size too, everyone is unique in their diffrent body shapes be it lepa/skinny big/plus size, I’m very proud of my curve figure and very much interested in plus size modeling my email is workathomeuj@gmail.com

  14. I’m actually a plus size and I wish to model,tried to loose weight but couldn’t,haven’t gone below size 10 no matter how much I try,because of it,I haven’t being bold enough to confidently call myself a model because I don’t know will be the response I’ll get. But I’m happy you addressed the issue. Just hope it will be looked into. Thanks

  15. hi my name is kimberly boardman, am plus size and i really want 2b a model pls kal me
    08124805879 or 08161159815 or my fb kimmy boardman email boardmanezinne@yahoo.com thanks

  16. am wemmy and am plus sized and i really want to be a model call on +2348176493170

  17. hi my name is kim and m a plus size model, here is my number 08124805879 pls i would luv a feed back. Tnx

  18. Am on de huge side of wieght and i will like to model. Am 24yrs and a graduate. Weight is 90kg height is 5’6inches. Number is 08061286330. Hoping to hear frm u. Tanks

  19. Hola am Chica, based in owerri. I juz wish i cud b part of dis pluz size thick chickz model, hav nurtured dis feelng of being a +Model but dnt hav any clue, i juz make a search on google dat brought me hia 2day. I weight 80kg coz of sitting at home doing nuthin’. Here is my Fb ID CHIKALA DIZER DELIS Plz check me out coz i so want in. I lov fashion whch makez me A Natty dresserz. My celphne +2347064803710. We cn do dis amigas(girlfrndz)

  20. Wow thank god I came across this page,am a size 12 and I hv always wanted to be a model.pls help me make this a dream come true this is my cell number 08166402142 thanks

  21. hi,am esther by name. i am big,bold nd beautiful….its my desire to become a plus size model…pls do contact me.08069667417.
    i really do anticipate a response,THANKS.

  22. Am big n would really luv to b a plus size model.08132225183

  23. Am kourtneypearls a plus size lady, I love fashion, make up , interior would really love to be a plus size model pls contact me 08135320079. I love to be inspired. Look out for me. Smiles

  24. Hi beautiful bbws. My name is joshua ,I’m a guy .I have always had a thing for plus sized ladies and I would love to meet one…Here are my contacts below BBpin : 2724CBE3, 08149271115..email akpekiakpeki@yahoo.com

  25. Hey….um my name is Dumebi and am plus-sized………..i was hoping i could get hooked up with a modelling agency…..my no is 08160519814 and i hope to hear from from you guys soon#Tnxs

  26. Hi am chinaza will really like to be a plus size model and have all d fittings , will really appreciate ,heres my number 07082722470 will be grateful to hear from u

  27. Pls will really like to be a plus size model and have all d fittings , will really appreciate ,heres my number 07082722470 will be grateful to hear from u

  28. Am plus and really long to model. 07032494594.

  29. Am sexy I will say,am size 16,5.7h and cute with a full figure lol.08111028226 thks

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