National News

58-year-old plus sized model takes the runway by storm for New Orleans Fashion Week

Posted March 23, 2018 6:10 p.m. EDT

— Fifty-eight-year-old plus sized model Kathi Callahan started modeling at 18 years old. In the 1980s, she was a pioneer for women her size in the industry.

A size 14 didn't stop her then, so why would it stop her now? In a career that pressures women to weigh under 100 pounds -- and the average age is 22 -- Kathi stands out among her peers at New Orleans Fashion Week.

"I think I was 90 pounds in third grade," laughed Kathi. "Everyone has been 90 pounds at least once in their life. That's how you should look at it!"

She's as upbeat as it gets, despite several setbacks.

Kathi broke both of her ankles not long ago and landed in a wheelchair for 10 months.

"I used to be self conscious of my size, but once I lost the ability to walk, that's when I really cherished this body that God gave me."

Her only goal is to be happy.

"Modeling has opened so many doors for me, it helped put me through college," said Callahan.

Callahan married into the military, following her husband around from city to city throughout his career. She took a back seat.

Their last stop along his journey was New Orleans, where he decided to retire. Now at 58, she's decided to get back in to modeling and doesn't care if she doesn't fit the regular mold for the job.

"Everyone ages, it's apart of life!" said Callahan. "I just want other women to see me, and know that they can do anything they want. I am a representation of real life, and there's fashion out there for everyone, not just the thin and the young."

Callahan will be strutting down the runway this weekend at New Orleans Fashion Week.