One of the true “OG’s” of the body positive movement, Mia Amber Davis left a lasting legacy as a trailblazing tall, plus size woman.

why she’s revered ✨

  • One of the greatest tall plus size models to ever do it
  • Founded Plus Model Magazine
  • Starred in feature film Road Trip (2002)
  • A modern day matriarch of fat acceptance

I don’t hold back when talking about inspirational women, and this woman is certainly one of those who deserves her own footnote, if not more, in the plus size community.

“road trip” and rise to fame

Mia portrayed the plus size character “Rhonda” in the movie Road Trip, starring, among others, Sean William Scott.

There is no doubt that Mia’s role in Road Trip is open to ridicule when looking at the movie through a modern day lens. At face value, scenes like the one where she is sitting on a bench with her love interest and the bench is acting like a see-saw because of her weight, raising him into the air while she is on the ground, are not great. 

Also, her character Rhonda is generally seen as a love interest for the “dweebiest” looking guy of the bunch – not trying to be mean, just calling it as it is. 

Are we to take from this film that women of size can only attract odd outcasts? Well, that’s the impression I got when I first saw it. 

However, there is no doubt that Mia is talented, and her beauty shines through some of the dimness surrounding her role. Mia admits in the below video that the role “changed her life” and seemingly overnight, she became an ambassador for plus size women. With her statuesque height, deep brown eyes, beautiful skin and instantly recognizable voice, an argument can be made that Mia Amber Davis was one of the most beautiful models, period.

being a plus size model when they weren’t really a thing… 

It’s true, there was once a terrible dark age (sadly, not that long ago) when plus size women were limited to being show ponies at the odd fashion week, or appearing as a caricature in a teen comedy (above.)

This is not to diminish Mia’s work, and some of Velvet D’Amour’s appearances at Paris Fashion Week over the “early years.” She is, in her own way, an inspirational woman who I’ve written about previously. I am simply saying that plus size models weren’t really a thing in the early 00’s and were more used as a novelty…

That is, until the world was blessed with the beauty of Mia Amber Davis. After Road Trip, Mia modeled extensively for plus size brands such as Ashely Stewart and Lane Bryant, and legendary plus size clothing designers such as Monif C. Finally, brands had a “celebrity” who could show regular women they were beautiful at any size.

From the video interview above, it’s clear Mia took an active interest in plus size fashion. Not merely modeling it, you can tell in the way she describes the dresses on the other women she knows what she is talking about. From the ruching details on the one dress, to making sure her voice was heard when she says curvy women need to wear dresses to accentuate, not hide their curves, it’s clear she’s as passionate about the cause as any woman we’ve seen. 

Mia’s own style, however, was something to behold.

mia’s style 👗

Undoubtedly one of Mia’s signifying looks was the maxi dress. Below, she dazzles in the blue dress (potentially a Monif. C dress) and wraps her belt tightly around her waist to accentuate her figure. 

I’ve always been told to not look at maxi dresses as a taller plus size woman, but seeing them on role models like Mia made me totally do a 180 on that. We think they work so well on tall plus bodies we put together our own roundup of the best tall plus size maxi dresses.

BET’s Rip the Runway 2009 at the Hammerstein Ballroom on February 21, 2009 in New York City

I’m getting Greek Goddess vibes from this over the shoulder white dress Mia wore at Fashion Week in 2009. In reading this article about one of her fans meeting her at the event, it’s clear that Mia was also blessed with kindness, and took the time to meet other plus size women, even write to them in this instance, and try to be the inspiration they needed at at time pre-Ashley Graham and Hunter McGrady!

Such was her beauty, Mia could even pull off the black tank top with style.

mia’s measurements

  • Mia stood 6 feet tall
  • She weighed over 300lbs

death and legacy

In a freak tragedy, Mia Amber passed away while having a routine knee surgery done. I do not wish to elaborate further, as I am not 100% familiar with the details and don’t want to rile anyone. All that’s to say about it is: she is gone, but not forgotten. Mia passed away on 11 May 2011, at the age of 36.

When I first came across Mia Amber Davis, I was very young and though I was always big, I was not yet fully aware of the ongoing battle for body positivity and the struggles women like myself faced in adult life. But I, and countless others, owe our confidence and braveness to her, as one of the modern day matriarchs of fat acceptance.

Below is a quote from Plus Model Magazine honoring Mia’s legacy 

“Mia was a super model and industry leader because it was her love for the women she represented that kept pushing her when the industry itself did not embrace her. Anyone else would have given up, but Mia remained steadfast in her career, knowing that she was not just doing it for her own benefit, but for women of all ages. Never one to put anyone down, Mia was about lifting up people and connecting them with others to help them on their journey and never asking for anything in return.”