By Chiara Atik
Hips don't lie — unless you're a plus-size model, apparently.
Model Marquita Pring caused a slight sensation yesterday when she gave away some plus-sized industry secrets in an interview with Women's Wear Daily. Those hips? They're not all hers: sometimes she gets a little help by way of padding.
"I don’t know if we should reveal this secret! They’re pieces of foam. So I just lay them flat on each hip underneath [hosiery]. They’re like a solid inch and a half thick... It’s a little bit of model magic."
Turns out that just like skinnier models, plus-size models are often required to fit certain body ideals. Instead of having to look smaller, Pring says she's sometimes asked to look bigger, anywhere from a size 8 to a size 16.
The 21 year-old beauty is just the latest in a string of curvier models to take the fashion industry by storm, joining the ranks of Lizzi Miller, the 180-pound model who boldly posed nude in Glamour, and former anorexic-turned-plus-sized icon Crystal Renn.
Pring, who's career took off after posing in V Magazine's plus-size issue last year, has since posed for Italian Vogue and walked in Jean Paul Gaultier's spring fashion show. The plus-size modeling world, she says, is different from the sometimes catty and competitive environment of skinnier models.
"Within our curvy universe, it’s a lot more close-knit and friendly. There’s not nearly as much competition. I think with the skinnier girls, there are so many more incredibly beautiful, stunning girls that have very similar features and characteristics. Whereas the plus-size industry is a lot smaller so I think we accept more than compete. We know you don’t have to be catty to get ahead."
With its supportive environment and acceptance of a healthier body type, the plus-size modeling world sounds pretty ideal. Just don't call it "plus-size," Pring says.
"I hate the term. I don’t consider myself 'plus-size.' I don’t consider any of the girls on my board plus-size whether they’re smaller or bigger than me. But it’s true that there’s really no true definition. The second I say to someone, 'I’m a plus-size model,' they just look at you like, OK, if you’re plus-size then I must be oversize. So I would love to just do away with the term and say 'curvy' instead."
Related: Is the term plus-size offensive? Queen Latifah thinks so
Plus-size models buck thin trend in V magazine
Plus-size model shocked at being made to look thinner