Model Exposes Fat Suits She Was Made to Wear for Plus-Size Fashion Brands

A plus-size model has revealed that she was previously asked to wear padding to model larger clothes than her real size because companies wanted “the neck and the face to look really slim and sharp.”

“I’m a plus-sized model,” explained Karoline Bjørnelykke, adding that most brands she modelled for carried sizes between an XL and 5XL. “If you have eyes, you can see that I’m not that size.”

The model went on to share that for such jobs where she wasn’t the size needed to model the clothes, she would sport padding underneath the garments.

“I have to bring something called padding to work,” she explained, adding that it’s considered polite to do so. “Which basically is fat suits in pieces.”

In the clip, she showed herself placing the pieces over her body, stuffing them inside a girdle. “So you stuff it like this, which makes you look a lot bigger, and if that isn’t enough, you just pin everything in the back.”

“If the clothes look really good from the front, it probably looks like shit from the back.”

“It’s because they want the neck and face to look really slim and sharp,” she explained.

According to Bjørnelykke, the practice is more common in the U.K. and U.S., and she added that she took those jobs at the start of her career, but refuses them now.

“I haven’t been wearing them much since I don’t do a lot of plus size jobs, and when I’ve worn them it’s only been a few pads to fill out,” she told Newsweek. “I don’t have much problem with it then, but it becomes a problem when the model is fully padded, but it’s rare that that happens.”

“I don’t do these kinds of jobs because i don’t think it’s right to fool the consumers,” she added. “Luckily where I’m based now, Norway, padding isn’t used.”

“Just use real plus sized women because there are so many gorgeous plus sized women out there,” she advised.

The video can be seen in full here.

Bjørnelykke’s video emerged after another viral video of hers, which showed her figure in the clip, captioned: “The fact that I’m plus size in the modelling industry is beyond me.”

Her other videos show her transformation from when she was a “high fashion model” to her “much happier” plus-size modeling.

Bjørnelykke’s video on the common use of padding in modeling has left some viewers shocked—with many indicating an immediate need for change.

“This explains the midsections that never make sense,” commented one user.

“Jesus Christ, this is why i’m so self conscious about my face shape,” added another.

“Wow this really messed up my self esteem as a teen,” noted one viewer.

“I’d heard about this before and was hoping it was just a conspiracy theory,” added a TikTok user. Models have previously spoken out against padding in the modelling industry.

In 2014, Refinery29 spoke to various models who similarly recounted their experiences using fat padding on sets, with “pairs of flesh-colored butt, breast, and thigh pads, along with a spandex girdle to stuff them in.”

One model the publication spoke to “uses pads in about half her shoots, and all the models we spoke to have used them.”

“The plus-size “ideal” is the body, big breasts, and butt of a true plus-size woman, but the slimmer waist, face, and wrists of the model beneath the pads,” they reported.

UPDATE 12/31/2021 at 10:32 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include comments from Karoline Bjørnelykke.