It’s been a progressive year for body positive advocates. Ashley Graham became the first plus-size model (or as she prefers to call it, “curvasexalicious”) to land the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. Zach Miko became the first plus-size male model to get signed to a major modeling agency, IMG. In the Philippines, we have a growing number of plus-size models that are spreading the love for curves. Here are our favorites.
1. Danah and Stacy Gutierrez
Twin sisters Danah and Stacy are the founders and EICs of plump.ph (formerly theplumpinay.com), the first plus-size fashion and body positive online magazine in the Philippines. You may recognize them from our fashion spreads in Cosmopolitan. We recently featured the 25-year-olds in our March swimsuit special and May’s Fun, Fearless, Females.
2. Kimi Lu
When she’s not busy organizing #protons workshops, the 31-year-old life coach does modeling projects on the side. Kimi is currently one of the plus-size models of SM Woman, and has appeared in numerous TV commercials. Her Instagram account isn’t just about flaunting her sexy curves; it’s filled with inspirational quotes to motivate the mind, body, and spirit.
3. Teena Arches
This 23-year-old is one busy gal. She caters to 8,500 (and counting) subscribers on her YouTube channel, Ang Kikay Ko, where she does makeup tutorials. Aside from beauty vlogging, she juggles multiple careers as a makeup artist, TV talent, and plus-size model. She has appeared in TV commercials and currently models for Love Curves, a plus-size fashion brand. She’s also one of the members of Eat Bulaga’s plus-size girl group, 6Bomb.
4. Cai Cortez
Aside from bagging numerous movie roles, actress Cai Cortez starred in Ang Taba Ko Kasi, an indie rom-com shown in this year’s CineFilipino Film Festival. She was also part of last year’s millennial play, No Filter. And just last week, she was unveiled as one of the endorsers of SM Woman’s plus-size line.
5. Rona Samson-Tai
She has graced numerous fashion spreads in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. The other half of celebrity/athlete Eric “Eruption” Tai, Rona is a fitness enthusiast and body positive advocate. We love how she shares her workouts and healthy meals with her followers, and addresses issues on body shaming. She’s also one of the co-founders of BeAmaz1ng fitness apparel.
6. Kat Gumabao
The ate of Michele and Marco Gumabao started out behind-the-scenes as a makeup artist, talent manager, events and marketing consultant, and volleyball coach. But now Kat is shining in her own spotlight as a plus-size model. She has modeled for fashion brands Tomato, Zalora, SM, and Robinson’s, and has appeared in magazine editorials. We hear she’s going to start her own beauty blog soon. Can’t wait!
7. Ivory Yat
You may recognize her as an alumna of MasterChef Pinoy Edition season 1. This pretty 29-year-old chef shared that when she weighed lighter, it was hard for her to get projects, but when she started attending VTRs in her plus-sized figure, she started landing modeling gigs one after the other. Ivory was so happy to break into this niche market. She now juggles modeling with her career as a chef and restaurateur. Check out her new resto, The Beef Barn in QC.