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Elle (South Africa) - - EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S LETTER - @x_kel­ly­fung_x @kel­lyn­fung

Ev­ery now and then, there comes a trend so im­por­tant, uni­ver­sally rel­e­vant and per­fectly timed that it un­ex­pect­edly over­pow­ers the zeit­geist, be­com­ing more than just a fad: it’s a move­ment that changes the way we live. Ath­leisure is it this decade, for many rea­sons, most notably that with our in­creas­ingly busy lives and the de­mand­ing pres­sures we face, we need clothes that can adapt. Com­fort, func­tion­al­ity, ease of move­ment and ver­sa­til­ity are key, but with­out com­pro­mis­ing form, pol­ish and the frills that make dress­ing for women fan­tas­tic. While this is hardly news to you die-hard fash­ion-lovers, what’s in­ter­est­ing is the way the hy­brid of ca­sual work­wear and gym gear has so ef­fort­lessly re­tained its niche as the market leader, in­te­grat­ing it­self into the wardrobes and onto the bod­ies of even the purest fash­ion fiends, my­self in­cluded. Per­haps we’ve had to con­cede be­cause leg­gings have be­come ac­cept­able pants, or maybe with the rev­o­lu­tion rolling on, we’re more con­scious of our bod­ies than ever. Not in the ‘get your body sum­mer-ready’ kind of way, which spanned the cover of ev­ery mag­a­zine circa 2003 (snooze), but in an hon­est shift in mind­set from how we fuel our bod­ies to how we re­gain con­trol of them. Thank­fully, we’ve moved from want­ing to per­fect to cel­e­brat­ing the bod­ies we were given. And by ‘cel­e­brat­ing’, I mean, re­ally lov­ing them and treat­ing them with kind­ness and re­spect – which, as we all know, isn’t easy. Trend an­a­lyst Ni­cola Cooper (who – through her own dev­as­tat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence – learnt the strength of her body) shares her story, along with other women sur­vivors in a very spe­cial project she com­piled with cre­ative team Angie Batis, Adi Koen and Camilla Janse van Vu­uren. The por­trait series sees the real beauty and power of these women as they re­late their ex­pe­ri­ences of sur­vival, re­silience and strength, bar­ing all and wear­ing their scars as badges of hon­our (p58). This month, our fo­cus has been on feel­ing good, no mat­ter what skin you’re in. We’ve rounded up the best of the best in swimwear, guar­an­teed to boost your con­fi­dence if you’re like me and usu­ally start off a lit­tle shy when beach time comes knock­ing. Beauty Editor Lau­ren Ni­coll and her team have also put to­gether a com­pre­hen­sive guide which tack­les health’s new wave, decodes the lat­est buzz­words and shares ways to lower stress lev­els, in­crease con­fi­dence and achieve a per­fect bal­ance (p102). Speak­ing of con­fi­dence, mu­si­cian and poet Sho Madjozi is the fear­less, out­spo­ken woman-to-watch grac­ing our cover. Be­tween in­ter­na­tional per­for­mances, where she’s shared the stage with the likes of Cardi B, she’s lead­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of te­na­cious, provoca­tive fe­male artists who are grab­bing the world’s at­ten­tion. She’s do­ing it her own way, with a self­as­sured­ness no-one can sway – and why should they? As I write this, I’ve just been given a tea­spoon of fen­nel seeds in a cup of hot wa­ter by our Copy Editor, who’s the pin­na­cle of health and well-be­ing.

“We’ve moved from want­ing to per­fect to cel­e­brat­ing the bod­ies we were given. And by ‘cel­e­brat­ing’, I mean, re­ally lov­ing them and treat­ing them with kind­ness and re­spect – which, as we all know, isn’t easy”

‘Drink them,’ she said. ‘They help the di­ges­tive sys­tem.’ How does she know? I’m pat­ting my belly, think­ing of the ar­ti­cle I’ve just signed off about stress bloat­ing (p104). Maybe I’m late to this party, or maybe I’m ac­tu­ally onto some­thing here... ei­ther way, I’m drink­ing these fen­nel seeds, hop­ing they’ll do the trick and al­low me get back to work, which for the most part, is go­ing with my gut.

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