Career / Confidence

Flaunt your curves: 9 careers you can choose to promote body positivity

. 9 min read . Written by Nruthya Johnson
Flaunt your curves: 9 careers you can choose to promote body positivity

Body image is a tightly wound concept in our society. It’s not unusual for people to needlessly comment on our bodies, leading to low body confidence.

However, let’s face it; this ideal body is unrealistic and unattainable. There is a lot of bias and judgement faced by women who do not fit the “ideal” body size. However, that does not mean that they cannot make a greater impact than is expected of them.

Fun fact: The term ‘body positive’ was coined in 1996, only to gain popularity in 2012, with the movement focusing on increasing inclusivity and generating momentum for the notion that all bodies are beautiful and worthy of being accepted as they are.

So, when you think of a better future, do you envision a world of body-positive spaces that celebrate all bodies? If your answer is yes, then you might consider getting on the track to making a difference. 

We’ve curated a list of careers in various industries ranging from food and fashion to dance and psychology. We’re all for smashing taboos and stereotypes around how we see plus-size women. With these careers, you can play your part in making women feel safe and comfortable in their bodies through positive representation and building a positive body image. Check out these 9 career options that promote body positivity that might just interest you. 

1. Plus-size model

The world of fashion has started to embrace women of all shapes and sizes, so now is your chance to get your foot in the door!

Plus-size modelling is the perfect job for those women who love to pose for photography or art while promoting body positivity.

They are usually part of an ad campaign for a business to promote their services or products. Joining the industry might be a challenge, as it is quite competitive. Depending on the assignment, you will be required to shoot photographs on a runway, in studios, or outdoors, with your photographs appearing on magazines, websites, billboards, ads, catalogues or social media posts.

Skills required:

  • Confidence and charisma
  • Social media presence
  • Resilience
  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Concentration
  • Good eye for fashion
body positive

Qualifications required:

  • Modelling coaching lessons are recommended

Where to start:

  • Research what kind of modelling you want to do
  • Prepare a portfolio of quality photographs
  • Attend additional workshops in related fields such as acting, public speaking, or makeup artistry
  • Start contacting relevant modelling agencies or attend open calls
  • Build your style on social media platforms and partner with brands

2. Fashion designer 

Many women feel robbed of their fashion choices because it is often a struggle to find trendy clothes in their size.

Fashion design is all about art, creativity, and design. As a fashion designer, you help create clothing, shoes, and accessories. You can identify new trends and experiment with these in your own style and research customer’s preferences and functions. Besides, you also need to effectively create silhouettes, select fabrics and create an original collection for your target audience — in this case, plus-size women.

In lieu of this, you can also start your own plus-size clothing business, thereby promoting body positivity, by catering to the needs of women who don’t normally get what they want in traditional stores. 

Skills needed:

  • Creativity and talent
  • Visualisation skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Networking skills
  • Good business sense
  • Knowledge of sewing techniques
  • Ability to identify new trends

Qualifications required:

  • Bachelor’s in Fashion Design

Where to start:

  • Prepare a portfolio of original and unique designs
  • Pursue an internship or apprenticeship under a good designer
  • Start your e-store on Facebook or Instagram

3. Plus-size influencer

The world of social media is your oyster, and you can start by building a name for yourself as a plus-size influencer on Instagram. Let’s be honest, seeing the likes of fashion icons and content creators like Sakshi Sindwani, Supriya Joshi, or Aashna Bhagwani makes us feel more comfortable in our own skin. 

Thanks to these women, the world is a more accepting place – that beauty comes in all shapes and forms. Whether it’s through their killer fashion sense, their bomb make-up techniques, or even their hilarious content on Instagram, these influencers give us the confidence to be ourselves in all our true glory.

Skills needed:

  • Communication and public speaking skills
  • Networking skills
  • Basic knowledge of branding and marketing
  • Adaptability to new trends
  • Camera confidence
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Social media savvy
  • Creative thinking abilities

Where to start:

  • Start your Instagram handle and find your niche
  • Create a brand aesthetic and personality
  • Understand and interact with your audience
  • Establish your brand on social media
  • Curate and plan your content strategy
  • Capitalise on trends that are relevant to your content

4. Intuitive eating counsellors and non-diet dieticians

Non-diet nutrition has a holistic approach that promotes healthy behaviours and social well-being rather than focusing on being thin or losing weight. Instead of weight, body image is addressed. Mindful enjoyment of food is encouraged where you learn to meet your needs. A non-diet nutritionist is weight and food neutral and practices from a place of inclusiveness and body positivity. 

Counsellors help you check your internalised weight bias, as we all grow up in a culture where it is hard to identify it.

A counsellor gets with clients to help them develop a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. Unlike dieting, intuitive eating encourages tuning into our own body’s internal cues such as hunger and fullness. 

Skills needed:

  • Team working skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to motivate others
  • Communication skills
  • Knowledge on the impact of diet on health
body positivity

Educational qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or food technology
  • Master’s degree in nutrition
  • Accreditation as a dietician from IDA

Where to start:

  • Intern under a certified dietician while pursuing your accreditation as a registered dietician

5. Food critics or bloggers

If you want a career in tasting delicious food and writing reviews about it for an official publication, then the position of a food critic is perfect for you.

If you look up ‘food critic’ online, you’ll probably come across tons of articles on how food critics do not put on weight when eating is their job. Changing the mentality that you need to be thin and presenting readers with healthy opinions and criticism of food can change our relationship with food and eating.  

Quite similar to a food critic, you can work on your own terms as a food blogger. One of the biggest and most prominent areas in the blogging field, this is the perfect option for those who love cooking and have a knack for writing. You don’t necessarily need professional training as a chef. Your experience cooking in your own kitchen counts too!

Skills needed:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Creative thinking skills
  • Adaptable to new tastes
  • Passion for food and cultures
  • Social media savvy
  • Networking skills
  • Motivation to set goals
  • Creativity in writing
  • Consistency in work
  • Digital marketing and social media marketing

Qualifications required:

  • Bachelor’s in English, communication, journalism, or any related course
  • Taking culinary courses is recommended
  • Knowledge of photography basics, editing, and digital marketing will come in handy for a blogger

Where to start:

  • Offer reviews of restaurants and bars on Zomato or Tripadvisor to build credibility
  • Approach publications for a position as a critic
  • Build your identity on social media for partnerships
  • Create your own website and write clear, engaging content
  • Guest-write for fellow bloggers

6. Body-image consultants and self-esteem ambassadors 

Perhaps, this might be the best option to go for to make a difference.

Image consulting involves mentoring, and training people in appearance, body language, and etiquette to create a powerful first impression. What better way to promote a positive body image and inclusivity?

It is also important to network with people in other fields that you may not be experienced in, such as hairstylists, fashion, and other image-related areas. 

Skills needed:

  • Good communication skills
  • Eye for detail
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Aware of current trends
  • Organisational skills
  • Flexibility
  • Marketing skills
  • Innovative thinking
  • Ability to convince
  • Networking skills
body positivity

Qualifications required:

  • 12th board exam certification
  • Image Consulting certification
  • Take up relevant courses in related fields such as fashion, consultancy, human resources management, etc.

Where to start:

  • Research the industry and work with consultants in your area
  • Create a portfolio of successful makeovers and testimonials to get new clients
  • Build a brand on social media so new clients can find you

7. Flow artists

Haven’t we all watched Eshna Kutty grow her brand on Instagram through hooping? Luckily, now you can too! Hooping is just one of the many forms of flow art. Flow arts include any movement-based disciplines including dance, juggling, and even playing with fire. How cool is that? Very similar to a mind-body activity like yoga, flow arts helps focus the mind as we hone physical abilities. 

One of the key takeaways from this art form is that it helps you build a healthy relationship with your body.

Flow arts is one of the most inclusive activities ever. It does not discriminate against gender, age, or size; this is one of the best careers to get into. This skill-based art brings more awareness of our bodies in a fun form of exercise. The best part about flow art is that you can even pick it up in the comfort of your own home.

Skills needed:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility

Where to start:

  • Join classes that focus on body movement 
  • Build your presence on social media for bookings
  • Network with other artists to reach more audiences

8. Choreographer

The dance world has historically set down rigid ideas of what an acceptable dancer looks like. How about we push the gates wide open for women of all sizes and change our perceptions of our bodies?

Come to think of it, we are all a bit tired of looking at only skinny ladies dancing in movies.

You can work on film sets and musical productions, with dance companies or a performing arts school as a body positive choreographer. Can we all agree that dances choreographed by Saroj Khan or Farah Khan just hit differently? Are you ready to set the stage for more inclusive dancers?

Skills required:

  • Passion and talent
  • Leadership and teaching skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Sense of timing and rhythm
  • Coordination skills
body positive

Qualifications needed:

  • 12th board exam certification
  • You can take up courses on dance and its technicalities

Where to start:

  • Most choreographers start as dancers themselves
  • Look for assistant choreographer positions and work your way up
  • Start your own YouTube channel to build your brand
  • Offer online classes to professional and amateur dancers

9. Inclusive therapists 

How often have you heard others tell you to work out, eat less, or buy certain products to look better? I know I have! No one is obligated to look “perfect”. Can we have someone tell us we look great just the way we are? 

Therapy and social support go a long way in helping a woman feel comfortable in her skin. Addressing body image issues through compassion is a great way to rebuild a person’s self-image and their notion of body acceptance. 

Skills needed:

  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Accessibility
  • Open-mindedness and flexibility
  • Observational skills
  • Patience
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Organisational skills

Qualifications required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology or counselling
  • Master’s degree in CBT or CMT
  • PG Diploma in guidance and counselling (optional) 

Where to start:

  • Work supervised clinical hours
  • Build your presence on social media to reach audiences
  • Provide online sessions to clients

Of course, this list is not the end-all list of careers that you can choose to promote body positivity. We believe that you can advocate for body positivity in the workplace in any career. A few organisations like Dove and Nike are paving the way ahead by promoting body positivity at work. Let’s start these important discussions in the workplace and unlearn this mentality for the better. 

You’re invited! Join the Kool Kanya women-only career Community where you can network, ask questions, share your opinions, collaborate on projects, and discover new opportunities. Join now.