Loving yourself is a commitment worth making. Here’s a little help on how to do that.
An extraordinary group of women and experts share their journeys to selflove...and how you can get there in 2018 too. Feat.: MICHELLE OBAMA.
CANDICE HUFFINE ON L OVING YOUR BODY AT EVERY SIZE
Candice Huffine is over it. Specifically, the 33-yearold model is done with all of the naysaying around “plus-size” models, a group that she, at a size 12, is considered to be a part of (although technically she falls into the in-between category of “curvy”). “Fashion has to be for everyone,” the Washington, D.C., native told ELLE during a recent photo shoot in New York. “There are so many stereotypes about plus-size girls, like that we’re not healthy. I’m going to run my second marathon in two weeks! Another thing is that because we’re plus-size, we don’t like fashion. In the past, brands believed that being plus-size was a temporary state, that women wanted to lose weight and therefore would not spend money on expensive plus-size clothes. But we want to be well dressed, and it shouldn’t matter if we’re overweight or not!”
Huffine has been modelling since she was 15. As a size 6, the teenager was rejected by over a dozen modelling agencies before being signed to a new “plus” division.
& Since then, she has gone on to be the first plus-size woman in the Pirelli calendar, she has landed major fashion covers ( Vogue Italia! W! ELLE!) and she was named the face of Lane Bryant’s recent Im No Angel and Plus Is Equal campaigns. She has also just launched her own size-inclusive activewear line, Day/Won, which goes up to a size 32. Oh, and she’s the brains behind Project Start, an online community for runners of all sizes. If you’re noticing a theme here—tackling all the limitations society tries to place on what a woman in a body like hers is “allowed” to do—then Huffine has accomplished her goal. “You can be a great professional, you can have a lot of friends and you can go out to dance—it has nothing to do with your body,” she says. “We need to focus on a whole life, not just our bodies.” What advice would you give to women who want the same confidence about their bodies? “Find something that makes you happy and focus on that. Dieting 100 percent of the time will not make anyone happy. We need to make peace with ourselves and work on it constantly. No one is born super-confident!” You took up running two years ago. How has that changed your life? “I didn’t have an exercise routine before. Sometimes I did boxing or spinning, but not frequently. I was tired, stressed and always about to explode. Running is physical; it’s relaxing, and it makes me feel good. I started to feel proud of myself. Project Start began on Instagram [Huffine has over 200K followers] about a year ago to encourage women to move past the insecurity and to show that it is possible—also to show that you can feel good about physical activity regardless of your size. People usually associate it with trying to lose weight, but for me, it’s something for your soul.” And that inspired your activewear line too, right? “Most running clothes have a limited size range, and that’s not motivating. The idea was to launch a collection so that women of all sizes feel encouraged to achieve their goals. They don’t need to be professional runners or yoga instructors. I want women to feel like they have the tools to live their best life.” You’re an outspoken voice in the online body-positivity community. What’s it like having so much influence? “It makes me happy that women reach out to me to talk, expose their fears and just vent. They feel heard, and that makes a difference.” h