How Tabria Majors went from Instagram to Sports Illustrated

Well known for her works with Forever 21 and recently being one of the 15 finalist for Sports Illustrated Swim Search, Tabria Majors is a model who is giving the industry a run for it’s money. Breaking the internet with her curves on the daily, she is very open about body positivity. She embraces the f-word, and is constantly showing off her skills that totally de-stigmatize concepts that come with being a thicker women.

Check out our interview with the bubbly southern belle below as she talk’s about breaking into the modeling world, plus-size styling tips, and so much more!

How did you break into the modeling industry?

My agent in LA actually found me on Instagram when I had under 2,000 followers. We set up a meeting and I signed with them a few months later.

Was it hard, being that the industry is kind of dominated by sample sizes or what would be considered average?

Fortunately, for me, the sample size for plus is a 14 so I was able to start booking work fairly quickly. The industry is still dominated by sample sizes, but it’s becoming more inclusive of a broader size range

What would be considered plus size in the modeling agency vs. your definition of plus-sized?

A few years ago, plus size was anything over a size 4, but now the industry has adopted the term “curve” which, I think, encompasses 6-12 and plus as 14+. Some people use curve as a blanket term for anything over a size 4 and others make the distinction between curve and plus.

Is that pretty realistic IRL?

I think the standard now is realistic and a better representation of women.

What is one stereotype you hope to break as a plus-sized model?

One stereotype I can’t stand is that plus models don’t work out and sit around constantly stuffing their face! Nothing could be further from the truth. To say we don’t care about our health simply because we’re naturally thicker is absurd.

READ MORE: Why plus size models can make brands more money

What are your feelings towards “the f-word”?

The word fat used to offend me, mainly because I had low self esteem and cared too much about what other people thought of me. Fat is just an adjective that some people use to describe my body shape. I identify as a fat girl, a chubby girl, a thick girl, a fit girl, and I’d like for us to reclaim that word so it’s not as offensive.

Do you believe that plus sized models face greater challenges than ones who are more slim, or is it equal?

The main challenge plus sized models face is the lack of visibility. There aren’t nearly as many brands that offer plus sizes compared to straight sizes. High fashion doesn’t really exist for plus sized models either. The industry has definitely made great strides to be more inclusive but improvements can still be made.

What is something that many people wouldn’t know about most plus-sized models that’s pretty surprising?

I can’t speak for all, but personally, I still go through ups and downs in regards to my self esteem. Sometimes the negative comments do affect me and get me down, but I remember that I can’t please everyone and I shouldn’t allow a random person’s opinion of me to affect my mood.

Is there a special diet/workout plan you do to maintain your poppin’ figure?

For my exercise regimen, I typically do HIIT workouts at home or weight training at the gym. When I’m traveling and don’t have access to a gym, I use the Sworkit app for quick, effective workouts. As far as my diet, I became vegetarian this year and am working my way to becoming vegan. Girls ask me all the time what I do to keep a flat stomach, and I always tell them eat 4-5 cups of green veggies per day, cut out sugar and exercise four times a week. Even if you just follow the first two, you’ll be surprised at the changes you’ll see in a month.

What do you want to see more of in the modeling industry as a whole?

I always want to see more inclusion in the modeling industry. I want curve and plus models on billboards, in high fashion campaigns, in store front banners, in commercials, on magazine covers, etc. I would also like to see more accessibility for plus size fashion. It’s very difficult to find brick and mortar stores that carry plus size.

Models have started to speak up about having surgery/carrying “fat suits” to appear more curvy but some believe this is going against the “Body Positive” message you’ll push–What are your thoughts on this?

Body positivity started as a movement for and by thicker women to combat fat shaming and serve as a community of acceptance no matter your size. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting plastic surgery (I’ve had it myself for breast implants) or wearing garments to make you appear more curvy; however, the problem lies in people not being transparent about it. You’re not obligated to tell anyone about personal issues such as these, but when it’s being masked under the guise of a body positivity it becomes a problem. Girls start aspiring to these “body goals” and may go to great lengths to achieve them, not knowing that it’s unnatural. The body positive community is a very vulnerable space for people, and if you knowingly misrepresent yourself claiming to be a part of it, then it’s not the space for you.

READ MORE: How the plus-size modeling industry sometime uses surgery and padding to achieve “perfection”

Are there any agencies that cater to the curvier woman, and if so what are your favorites?

There aren’t as many curve agencies as there are for straight-sized in the US, but the more notable agencies are IMG, Muse, Jag, Wilhelmina and Natural Models.

What are your top three style tips that you would give to women with a similar body shape as you?

High waisted anything looks great on most figures but especially on a curvy woman. Investing in good shape wear is key, and don’t be shy to show a little cleavage.

Best and worst swimsuit trends this summer for showing off your curves?

The retro high-waist bikini was probably my favorite trend of the summer. My least favorite is the conservative skirted one piece — you might as well just wear a dress in the pool!

What is your ultimate goal as a model?

My ultimate goal is to increase visibility among plus sized and black women. I’d love to continue doing this through social media and also by landing more campaigns, expanding into more runway work, and creating a lane for plus size high fashion. The immediate goal I’m focusing on now is the hopefully winning Sports Illustrated swim search *fingers crossed*

Is there anything else you’d like us to know or wisdom you’d like to spill?

It takes a tough skin to be a plus sized model, so I would advise that you take (unwarranted) criticism in stride, don’t feed into negativity, and ensure your happiness no matter what!

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