SELF-LOVE

Lov­ing your­self is a com­mit­ment worth mak­ing. Here’s a lit­tle help on how to do that.

ELLE (Canada) - - Content -

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

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