5 Questions with Size-18 Model Maxey Greene on Going Mainstream, Size Diversity & More

This size 18 model is proof that if you keep pushing for change, it will come.

You may have seen her on the websites of brands such as Eloquii, Target and Dia&Co. Maxey Greene is a proud plus size model who is unapologetic about her body, always being vocal on loving yourself at any size and pushing for more size diversity in the fashion industry.

She’s breaking major barriers in the modeling industry, showing that models above a size 14 have a place in not just the plus size fashion world, but the mainstream modeling industry, too.

Her recent appearance in American Eagle’s Fall 2018 denim campaign is proof of that.

Read more: This Brand’s Latest Jeans Campaign Has Everyone Talking… Here’s Why

We had the opportunity to chat with Maxey about the American Eagle campaign, what she would like to see happen in the modeling industry and she even offers modeling tips to aspiring models. Get ready to be empowered to never give up!

1. You’ve been breaking so many barriers in the modeling industry as a size 18 model being featured in major campaigns for brands such as Eloquii, Target and now American Eagle. Usually brands hire a size 12/14, sometimes a size 8 model to wear plus size clothing. How does it feel to be “crossing over” into mainstream as a size 18 model?

It’s been pretty unbelievable. For as long as I can remember, whenever I’ve shopped online, I’ve never been able to connect with the plus size models I’ve seen. I’ve always looked up to these women, in awe of their beauty, but I always felt like there was a disconnect because I never saw someone over a size 14.

I wanted to see someone with my body type, just once. To date, the industry has lacked models who represent the typical plus size customer and I knew I wanted to be the girl I was desperately searching for. There should be a place for everyone, a place for everyone to feel comfortable shopping. All sizes should be mixed in and normalized. We all want to feel represented and when brands show a variety of sizes, you feel a connection to that brand, because you see someone that looks like you.

I’m so proud and honored to be a part of this movement, empowering brands and mainstream media to become more inclusive, but at the same time I think there is so much room for growth. I want to see more – bigger bodies, different skin tones, shapes, ages- it’s endless!

2. How did it feel to work with American Eagle and be featured in a campaign alongside women of different shapes, heights and sizes?

When I first got the email from my agent, I was confused. American Eagle wants to use me? I didn’t even know I could fit into their clothes! When I showed up to the job in the morning, I was so excited to see the other models I was working with. There was such a variety of skin tones, hair types and backgrounds.

I quickly realized I was the biggest model, but noticed that each of us had a quality that made us unique. American Eagle is doing an amazing job at showing diversity. I hope more brands will follow suit.

3. You’ve been very vocal about being plus size and not having an issue with the term. How does it feel knowing that you have become an advocate and one of the strong voices in our industry that inspires women of all sizes to love themselves?

First of all, I’m so flattered you would even think that. I’ve always been very passionate about this industry and helping women feel good in their own bodies. Even before modeling, I worked with teens to help promote self esteem and positive relationships with their bodies.

To know I’m now able to do this on a much larger scale is an honor, and even more than that it goes to show that what is happening is being accepted. People want inclusivity in fashion and I am so excited to be a part of it.

4. What are some modeling tips you’d offer aspiring models out there, especially those a size 18 and above?

When I first began my career I was told that because I was shorter than most models, I needed to be better than them. I was under the impression that if you weren’t dealt the “ideal” model card you needed to work even harder to make it in this industry. To me that meant knowing everything about the modeling world, reaching out to people and making connections, doing my homework. Constantly working on my posing and taking advantage of all opportunities to be working with a camera.

Modeling is a real career and I think a lot of people don’t realize that. You don’t make it to the top overnight. It takes time, financial investments, and plenty of rejection. If you’re extremely passionate about doing this, you just have to keep pushing forward! We’re moving into a time where there’s more space for everyone. We’re moving away from a “cookie cutter” mold as to what a model looks like. It’s your job to figure out your role here and what you can bring to this industry.

5. What’s next for you in your career?

I really want to continue being an active voice in this community. I want to educate more brands on how to cater to the plus size consumer. I want to continue to push boundaries and represent the size 18 customer, that has barely been represented in mainstream advertisements (like the one for American Eagle)! We have a long way to go until every single person can look at an advertisement and feel more confident about themselves and I’m going to keep fighting for that.

Special thanks to Maxey Greene for talking to us and for her passion in using her modeling platform to push for change in the fashion industry when it comes to representation of all bodies. We hope American Eagle is just the beginning and she will be seen in more mainstream campaigns.

You can also follow Maxey on Instagram here and visit her style/modeling blog here.

You can check out Maxey’s online portfolio on the Dorothy Combs Models website here.

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