Move over Ashely Graham, Zach Miko is here and ready to change the plus-size modeling industry right beside you.
At 26-years-old, Miko has just signed with IMG Models under their new plus-size division, Brawn. Standing at 6-foot-6-inches with a 40-inch waist, the actor, comedian and writer made headlines after he became the first plus-size male model for Target last year.
Miko told FOX411 modeling was something he never thought was possible for him, but he is honored to change the industry for men.
“Modeling has changed my life,” he said. “Modeling never was even thought of as an option. It wasn’t even a conceivable notion. My biggest focus in modeling is to try to make it available to anyone who loves it. The men’s industry is definitely playing catch up with women’s industry as far as diversity and inclusion goes.”
Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models, told WWD Brawn represents physical strength, and it sends a body positive message. IMG Models is home to Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, Christie Brinkley and many more.
“The body positive messaging and size diversity is something that’s relevant and something that continues to be on everybody’s mind,” Bart said. “I want every man in America to say, ‘I can do that’ when they see Zach.”
As someone who struggled with body and self-esteem issues throughout his life, Miko hopes send a message of hope to other men.
“My main message is to love who you are and what you look like right now,” he said. “Not what you will look like after you lose weight, or after you gain weight, or how you’ll look years from now, or how you looked when you were younger, or after you start this work out or get that procedure. Who you are and what you look like right now and in the moment is perfect. Individuality is the most beautiful thing.”
Recently, Graham graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue as the first plus-sized model—a major breakthrough in the modeling industry. Miko agreed with Graham’s goal to do away with the idea of plus-sized models altogether.
“My dream is for all men is that no matter your size you can walk into a store, pick out something you like, try it on, it fits and looks great, and then pay for it and leave,” he said. “As far as being the face of Brawn goes, it’s like taking the first humbled feeling and multiplying it by 10. It is such an honor to be the first Brawn model signed to a major international agency. I hope there are a million more after me.”
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.