Few Africans want to see a superskinny model, said Sylvia Owori, who runs Uganda's Ziper models.
"I think most Ugandans would be disgusted. They'd think she'd just come out of the village and she was malnourished," said Owori.
On the street and in African clubs and bars, it is still the bigger girls who are likely to get attention.
But the rewards on offer in Europe can make weight loss worthwhile for ambitious models.
Ghanaian fashion models stumble out of bed for up to $200 a day. Those who make it to Europe get 1,000 euros ($1,360) per half day.
There are a few people in this world who really do get it, though. One of these models had this to say:
Alberta Arhin, 21, has her hopes pinned on an international modeling career, but still loves her kenkey, a fermented corn dish which is a staple of Ghanaian diet.
"I like myself the way I am. I am a Christian. God made everyone different. Don't starve yourself to make someone happy or to be on a runway. It is wrong," said Arhin.