Kate Wasley is a plus size model from Australia who broke into the mainstream with an appearance in Sports Illustrated’s swimwear edition.

why she’s revered ✨

  • As a mainstream model, she speaks out against size discrimination and the lack of inclusivity in fashion
  • Does NOT like photoshop!

Here’s the thing: I don’t usually feature mainstream plus size models, and it’s something I’ll go into in more detail in future but basically they’re not relatable to the majority of fat women at all. I’ve chosen to write about Kate Wasley, from Australia, because she is a rare gem in the world of these mainstream models who does a lot for the cause and whom I find genuinely inspiring.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Kate Wasley

raging against the photoshop

I knew about Kate for a while because she modeled for Sports Illustrated’s swimwear edition and yes, I had the usual reaction of a bigger woman seeing the outcome of her feature: the “plus size” Kate was no larger than the average American woman, so was at once not indicative of the majority of fat women but also curvy enough to receive unprecedented abuse from men who think a woman’s body should be a stick. This is nothing new.

However, I immediately gained a ton of respect for Kate who shared a video off the back of this where she detailed all the miniscule edits you can add to pictures to make your body appear completely different. The post from Kate earned major media coverage and was eye-opening in many ways for those of us not familiar with the modeling industry.

In a matter of seconds, Kate undoes the blemishes on her face, smoothing her cheeks out, then shockingly shows how easy it is to “tuck” in her tummy, “expand” her boobs, reduce the size of her waist and give herself a bigger ass. All this is literally done in seconds. Scary.

Kate writes on her post that it’s so easy to compare ourselves to these sorts of “altered reality” images we see on Instagram and exposes how utterly fake so much of this is. Now, Kate does not call out Sports Illustrated but you can be sure there was some editing done for her own shoot. Just as I’m unconvinced when I look at posts from mainstream plus models similar to Kate, and find them totally un-relatable. Kate, however, is different.

kate wasley is a tall, plus size icon

kate vs australian fashion week

She really does cement herself as one of the mainstream voices around size inclusive activism with articles like this. After attending Australian Fashion Week in 2021, Kate wrote this piece saying she felt left out and as always, not represented. There was one size 18 model in the entire fashion week. It’s a wonderful read: Kate says the excuse that “Australia is behind the rest of the world” is garbage, and brands have no excuses for not “sizing up” to include normal and plus size women.

Kate’s own fashion is extremely varied. I may go into more detail on this in future, but she pulls off long plus size swimsuits with the best of them!

kate on the harms of social comparison

Okay, this video is everything. Not only is Kate standing up for a good cause about body comparison on social, but she is absolutely glowing here. This is how we need to see our plus size models: embracing the double chin, jiggly arms and an actual real video of them showing their true, natural beauty as opposed to the kind Kate is speaking out about. 

She calls social comparison the “thief of joy” and goes on to discuss how this started for her long before social media, when she would look at the women on TV and in magazines and constantly think because she weighed more than them she was not good enough.

She concludes by telling the viewer to “follow people who may have had a similar journey to you” and encourages us to curate newsfeeds around positivity. I couldn’t agree more, after all, that’s how I achieved body enlightenment and why I started this!

kate wasley’s measurements

  • Kate is 5 foot 11 inches tall
  • She is an Australian size 20 bottom (US 16) and 18 top (US 14)
  • Kate’s weight is not publicized
  • Her Wilhelmina modeling page puts her bust at 41”, waist at 32” and hips at 47” which seems off to me. Plus modeling agencies continue to lie, cannibalizing any good work they may think they’re doing. Anyone who knows anything about being plus would not put Kate’s waist at 32” after looking at her pictures, yet, this is what it’s listed at. This is shameful on the part of the agency.

where to find her