United States

The secret high-pressure world of plus-size models

After coming in third on 2018’s “America’s Next Top Model,” plus-size contestant Khrystyana Kazakova was thrilled to land a contract with a top-tier agency. But the feeling didn’t last long: The size 8 beauty was soon informed that she wasn’t “big enough” to net the most competitive jobs. “I was told that if I gained more weight, I would make more money,” says the 34-year-old blonde. So the Siberian-born Brooklyn resident changed up her diet and exercise routine, replacing cardio workouts with weightlifting and squats, and indulging in fatty, protein-heavy meals. Within two months, she gained 10 pounds, but not the way the agency envisioned. “They want you to have an hourglass shape,” she says. “Before firin ...