Young models in China see big benefits in ‘plus-size’ careers

China 24

A group of Chinese, plus-size models are causing a stir online. CGTN’s Hu Chao reports.

Yuan Yuan, Yao Yao and Deng Deng are all plus-size models in their early twenties. They make an average monthly income of around 8,500 yuan.

“A lunch without meat is one without a soul. At our company, we feel like we are queens,” Yuan Yuan said.

“Now I eat whatever I like and whenever I like. Together with the other girls here, I feel happy,” Deng Deng said.

These plus-size models launched their careers about half a year ago, working for a women’s plus-size, online clothing store. Now many of them have over 100,000 fans on Tik Tok, the most popular short video app in China. The job has also boosted their self-confidence.

“I’m pretty confident now. When we’re doing live streams, many fans online often tell us we’re so pretty,” Yao Yao said.

The models are led by Guo Zhenxing, general manager of the Nan Dao Feng Taobao store online. It’s annual sales last year exceeded 100 million yuan.

“According to statistics from the T-mall and Taobao online store platforms, the annual sales volume of women’s plus-size clothing now only makes up 5-percent of the women’s clothing category. But I think this market has great prospects because more people now have weight problems,” Guo said.

In 2016, Guo let his models focus on short videos and live stream promotions. The women now live stream around six hours a day. However, they don’t always win the support of their audiences and receive negative comments online. Regardless, they say they enjoy the work and will continue doing it.

Crystal Tai discusses China’s understanding of ‘plus size’

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Crystal Tai about Chinese beauty standards in the media. Tai is an independent journalist who writes about the fashion industry, pop culture and social issues.