My name is Anne-Roos Zuidema, and I am a plus size model at Maxime Models in the Netherlands. I used to only hang out with guys and dress that way, and people saw me as a real tomboy. When I posted a photo in a dress on my Instagram for the first time in 2017, I was immediately approached by Miranda from Maxime Models. I have been getting more and more work since then and can actually make a decent living from modelling.
I have never really thought about my Unique Selling Point before, but if I look at myself in that way, it could be that I can take on different personas. When I’m a model, I submerge myself in the role I have at that moment. It can go from being serious, to happy and funny or pure & natural. I really try let these emotions shine in the photos and videos and I think that customers see that I am versatile. The hardest thing of modelling for me is when I get the impression that the client is not completely satisfied with the photos or when it takes a long time to get the right photo. I can then doubt myself and become insecure about my poses and faces. Personally, I rather not do jobs where I’m photographed for example from behind in a thong, or with bare breasts. In the future I think I’ll become comfortable with pictures of my butt but for now I don’t feel I’m there yet. Luckily, I have no trouble Setting boundaries by saying no when I don’t want to do something.
I feel the market has been growing for plus size models like me. More and more often I see pictures of plus size models hanging in stores, and there are quite a lot of stores fully focused on a size more nowadays. I think this is due to the growing online attention for body positivity. We all want to know how the clothes will fit on us, and it’s just not true that every person looks the same. We finally see diversity in shapes and looks, which makes everyone feels more included. After all, brands want to meet the consumers’ wishes.
What amazes me is that a lot of plus size clothing seems to be made to hide your body. A real no-go for me! I love my body and want to show it. I hope that with more examples of people embracing themselves, other women can start to feel that way too. Personally, I would like to make a difference by changing the default thinking pattern. We have to get rid of the standard image of what a model should look like. This image causes children to doubt themselves, to become unhappy and maybe even get sick. I also notice that there is a standard image of a plus size model. This is because it is always about the breasts and hips, but the slim waist must be accentuated. Most plus size women do not have such a slim waist and that should also be accepted. There should be more images published of plus size women who do not have an hourglass figure.
I think the purpose of The Model’s Health Pledge is so very amazing. Frequently stories come out where models are treated incorrectly or experience very unpleasant situations. A Reporting Point for these situations is a great starting point to start fixing these issues. TMHP also contributes by changing the standard model image by showing more diversity. In addition, you can use the pledge as an indicator to know what kind of agency you are signing with. Do they meet all the pledge points? Then you’re in the right place.
Lastly, always keep your eyes open and be aware of what you are doing. Nothing is more important than your own safety and health. Do not cross your own boundaries for others and by being healthy you will feel better about yourself!
Interview by: Merel Zoet