Model Candice Huffine has smart advice for anyone feeling down about their weight: The body you have right now is amazing.
The plus-size model shared her thoughts on Instagram Wednesday in a confessional post that included an old diary entry. “How come when people say ‘wow, you look skinny,’ we say thank you? In my experience the times I’ve slimmed down the most have been preceded by stress, a breakup, lack of self-care, something traumatic. How come people don’t ever say ‘You look so fit.’ ‘Wow, you are so strong,’ or ‘You run so fast and far now!’?! It’s always about size, not ability, and sometimes it overjoys us for someone to say we shrunk. Well, I’ve changed my mindset once and for all. My stomach can jiggle and roll up when I sit for all of eternity, but if I can be healthy and strong and finish this race, then I’m complete.”
Huffine also offered her current perspective: “A year later and I’m in the best shape of my life and look, tummy still has rolls and I feel unstoppable. There’s no perfect body. The one you have right now is amazing. Let it lead you to perfect days, finish lines, happy times, and fun. Accept compliments that are thoughtful, and give ones that empower.”
More than 2,000 of the model’s 156K followers responded to the heartfelt sentiment by calling Huffine “inspiring,” “strong,” and “fierce.”
Huffine just wrapped a busy New York Fashion Week by walking in shows by Prabal Gurung and Christian Siriano. And along with plus-size beauties Georgia Pratt and Katy Syme, she is designing for Universal Standard, a clothing company that offers sizes up to 28. “I’ve been modeling for 16 years, and no brand has ever said ‘What are you missing, what do you desire, what do you want,’” Huffine told Vogue in February. “It was such a special thing to be asked to be included, and we all jumped at it.”
And while Huffine is considered to be in the prime of her career, success was slow to come. According to the Washington Post, after graduating from high school, she worked odd jobs — “ I was a reservationist, a waitress in Times Square, and a coat-check girl from listings I found on Craigslist”— and finally got her break with Lane Bryant in 2000 and then the cover of Vogue Italia in 2011. “That will go down in history for me as a really major moment in my life,” she told the Post. “People were looking at me in a different way. Curvy girls didn’t have the opportunity to do editorial work that much. We were catalogue girls, online, e-commerce. You didn’t really see us in an edgy, high-fashion way. That really changed the game.”
This year is clearly shaping up to be the year of the plus-size model. Ashley Graham landed the covers of Vogue and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and she walked the Michael Kors runway during New York Fashion Week. Iskra Lawrence recently walked for Christian Siriano, and her unairbrushed photos for American Eagle’s lingerie line, Aerie, went viral. And Sabina Karlsson, who just landed a L’Oreal campaign, is quickly becoming a household name.
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