This Is What 'Average' Size 16 Women Look Like

Photo: Getty
What 'Average' Size 16 Women Look Like

I'm a size 16 woman.

And by that I mean, I'm a woman who wears a size 16 right now. My entire adult life (and I'm talking post-puberty, so like, from the age of 15 on) I have worn somewhere between a size 14 or a 16.

I have twenty pounds that I shed or gain, depending on many factors, But even at my lowest weight, my size have never gone below a 14. It can't. My hip bones are wide-set and so are my ribs.

My body type is a natural hourglass-shaped figure — and it's kind of crazy that I've lived this long being so damn insecure about it.

After all, the average woman in America is a size 16.

But that's easy for us to forget when most of the women we see on billboards, magazines, TV and movie screens have bodies that are anything but average.

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We should support women no matter their size, be they skinny or fat! (Many men may love plus sized women, but I don't want my naturally thin sisters to feel left out.)

But the truth is undeniable: skinny women are better represented than size 16 women in the media, despite statistics making it clear that we are now the country's most common size.

If we're so common why are we made to feel so ugly? Probably so the diet and beauty industries can sell us more products, right?

There is a change coming with the new wave of plus-size models like Ashley Graham.

All you have to is look on Instagram and you will see fabulous, fierce, full-figured women all of whom rock a size 16 like it's the sexiest thing there is.

That's because on them, it is.

Here are just a few of the size 16 models out there to inspire you, to make you feel normal, but more than that, to make you (wonderful, normal, healthy, unique you — and all of your friends, regardless of size) feel absolutely beautiful.

1. Anansa Sims

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Anansa (@anansasims) on Apr 4, 2020 at 5:38pm PDT

Anansa Sims is the daughter of the original Supermodel, Beverly Johnson.

Johnson was the first ever black supermodel on the cover of Vogue. Talk about good genes!

2. Ashley Graham

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham) on Mar 29, 2018 at 11:46am PDT

Ashley Graham was the first plus-sized supermodel to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue.

She has taken the country by storm as she has crossed over from plus-sized fashions only to world-wide acclaim.

3. Barbara Brickner

Barbara Brickner is the queen of the plus-sized fashion community.

Legions of fans know her from her catalogue work where she showcases her curves in lingerie.

4. Fulvia Lucerda

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Fluvia Lacerda (@fluvialacerda) on Jun 14, 2018 at 5:03am PDT

Fulvia Lucerda is often call the Gisele of the plus sized modeling world.

Her Instagram account is full of her adventures traveling the globe and trying out amazing new fashion.

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5. Justine Legault

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Justine LeGault (@itsjustinelegault) on Jul 14, 2016 at 7:29am PDT

Justine Legault lights up in front of her camera.

Her unofficial motto, "Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." Justine is beautiful in each and every way.

6. Tara Lynn

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by t a r a l y n n (@taralynn) on Jul 19, 2019 at 5:53am PDT

While other models are content to pose and preen,

Tara Lynn's good looks motivate her daily to inspire women to love their own body at any size.

7. Irena Drezi 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by IRENA DRÉZI (@irenadrezi) on Feb 6, 2020 at 4:31pm PST

Czech-born model Irena Drezi moved to Ireland as a refugee when she was just 3 years old. Since breaking out in fashion, she says she's been happily overwhelmed by the positive attention she's received. 

"It's surreal,” Drezi told The Sun. “Ninety percent of the comments were all positive. It actually made me cry.”

8. Paloma Elsesser

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Paloma Elsesser (@palomija) on Nov 4, 2019 at 6:57am PST

Paloma Elsesser is a rising star in the modeling world.

To date, the superstar has worked with such impressive names as  Fenty Beauty, Vogue Arabia and 7 for All Mankind.

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9. Candice Huffine

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Candice Huffine (@candicehuffine) on Sep 6, 2019 at 5:57pm PDT

IMG model Candice Huffine got her start on the beauty pageant scene.

Now signed with IMG, the body-positivity advocate has her own athleisure label, Day/Won.

10. Georgia Pratt

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Georgia Pratt Holiber (@jojacalled) on Sep 10, 2017 at 5:33am PDT

Georgia Pratt got her start in Lane Bryant's #PlusIsEqual and #ThisBody campaigns.

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In the years since, she's walked New York Fashion Week runways and appeared in Elle Magazine.

11. Hunter McGrady

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Hunter McGrady (@huntermcgrady) on Jun 29, 2015 at 9:33am PDT

Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Hunter McGrady finally found career success once she stopped starving herself in order to maintain a weight of 114 lbs. on her 5'11" frame.

“I love my body now. I love everything about it,” she says. “I’ve been an 18, I’ve been a 10/12, and I’ve been everything in between. Right now I sit at a 14/16, and I love it, because this is my God-given body.”

12. Kate Wasley

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Kate Wasley (@katewas_) on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:03am PST

Australian model Kate Wasley got her start on Instagram, but she's no amateur.

The beauty went on to be featured in the 2018 Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Men Go Absolutely Crazy For Big, Beautiful Plus-Size Women

13. Jenn Purviance

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by JENN V (@jivercs) on Apr 19, 2014 at 12:09am PDT

Jenn Purviance is crushing it in the fashion world and at life.

One look at her Instagram is all you need to see that she's a woman on a huge adventure.

14. Valerie Lefkowitz

Valerie Lefkowitz is a size 16 model who stuns in jeans and sundresses alike.

She's a powerhouse and a total beauty to boot!

15. Jennie Runk

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Jennie Runk (@jennierunk) on May 17, 2018 at 7:08am PDT

Jennie Runk isn't just another gorgeous size 16 model, she's a cat lover and a proud Hufflepuff.

What is not to love, I ask you?;

16. Lucy Moore

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by LUCY (@lucymooremodel) on Feb 12, 2019 at 9:08am PST

Spend just a couple of minutes on size 16 model Lucy Moore's Instagram and you'll realize she's not just a stellar model, she's absolutely squad material.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.