In a world where fat shaming is a socially accepted practice and we like our models to be ultra thin, trying to make it as a plus size model is no simple feat. Now imagine you’d also be a black woman, which is basically the discrimination trifecta. Paloma Elsesser fought those odds in one of the more superficial lines of work on the planet, and won.
Paloma was born in London and raised in Los Angeles. She lived in a predominantly black neighbourhoor, feeling a lot like outsiders in the very hip and rich city of LA. Once she started college, she moved to New York. She gained a degree in psychology and literature and actually never considered becoming a model.
One day some friends told her she had a unique look, so she decided to go to different modelling agencies. Since she was unschooled in all things fashion, none of them felt the need to give her a fair shot and they all rejected her.
After sort of giving up on her dream of becoming a model, she got an email from a black makeup artist that was looking for unique faces. The artist, Pat McGrath, felt like Paloma had something cinematic to her face and absolutely wanted to work with her. And ever since that first modeling gig in 2015, her career has only skyrocketed upwards.
Paloma has been on the cover of pretty much every Vogue variant, has been a part of Victoria’s Secret 2021 swimsuit campaign and has garnered more and more respect as one of the faces of the newly found inclusivity of the fashion industry.
She’s currently using her income to support her family financially, working on all kinds of community programs and slowly designing her own plus size label. She feels like this is something that needs to happen since plus size women don’t have the luxury of going to the store and picking some random clothes that look nice.
As you can clearly see on her Instagram page, she’s a woman that wants to connect and be connected with people. She’s become one of the faces of the new fashion industry and the new American aesthetic, and you can guarantee that she’s not stopping her rise to the top anytime soon. She’ll become an even bigger name than she already is today and hopefully permanently change things for plus size women and women of African-American descent.