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Let’s get thickening! A ‘plus-size’ model competition is hitting the screen

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New show Thick House is on the hunt for the next plus-size supermodel

Though the heyday of America’s Next Top Model is well and truly behind us, countless imitations have stepped in to fill the gap. There was Make Me A Supermodel, Making a Model with Yolanda Hadid, and more recently, Naomi Campbell’s The Face. Now taking up the mantle is Thick House, a new reality series tasked with the unique proposal of finding the fashion industry’s next curve supermodel. 

Presented by The Shade Room, the show will be hosted by ANTM survivor Toccara Jones, debuting exclusively on Facebook Watch on May 16. “(The judges) are looking for the next viral modeling sensation to cultivate a hot new fan base,” reads the blurb. “Seven diverse plus-sized glamazons compete to impress the panel of catwalking judges and special guests (as they) navigate the modeling industry in the age of social media.”

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Part of Facebook’s We the Culture programming slate, aimed at amplifying the voices of Black content creators, Thick House is set to be a refreshing take on the ANTM format, which, by the end of its run, shared more in common with The Hunger Games than it did a reality competition. Clearly not a fan of the London look, the 00s show host and creator Tyra Banks would force contestants to close the gaps in their teeth and shave their heads, putting them through wholly inappropriate race-swapping challenges and hurrying them down runways sliced by swinging pendulums. It was… of its time. 

Thick House comes as increasing numbers of fashion houses are – finally – beginning to cast plus-size models. Beyond Savage X Fenty, in the past year, Paloma Elsesser, Alva Claire, Jill Kortleve, and Precious Lee have fronted campaigns and walked catwalks for the likes of Fendi, Versace, Jacquemus, and Valentino. And while it’s early days, the fashion industry has been willed to recalibrate its values in the wake of COVID. Perhaps, then, we are at the precipice of seeing real, long-term inclusion on the runway, after all. 

Have a click through the gallery above to see Precious Lee storm Versace’s latest show and check out seven other times that plus-size models have slayed the runway.