People have many questions about the plus-size industry. The term plus-size is even misinterpreted in various ways. One thing to take note of is that it isn’t necessarily synonymous to being overweight, and the industry does not exclusively focus on women or men selling plus-size clothing. Instead, the plus-size industry is one of the most diverse and fast rising sectors in the fashion world, as it takes on ad campaigns, movies
For 30-year-old Candice Huffine, she’s worked extra hard to get to where she is right now. Standing at 5’11”, she began her career as a model in the plus-size industry at the age of 15. Throughout her career, Huffine has booked jobs with big name clients like Italian Vogue, V Magazine, H&M, and 2015’s Pirelli Calendar.
Huffine spoke to Cosmopolitan about her career in the plus-size industry. Check out the best parts of the interview below.
Candice Huffine: Defining Standards in the Plus-Size Industry
When you got into modeling, did you feel like there was special scrutiny on your body?
Candice Huffine: No, not at all. I was 15 and a size 8, probably because I was tall. But I was signed as a plus model immediately. I didn’t even know that plus modeling existed, so I needed them to explain to me what that was: Another division set up for girls who weren’t a sample size. To tell a 15-year-old she’s plus-size is extremely confusing—especially for me because I was a cheerleader, and I thought I had this, like, very slim, trim body. I didn’t realize this label existed in the modeling world or that I would be tagged with it. But I thought it was great that I could be exactly what I wanted (a model), and I didn’t have to change. I got work immediately.
The criteria for modeling in the plus-size industry are not classified in terms of measurements. But they do tend to fall outside the range of standard models, which is why Huffine and other models sized from 8 to 12 are considered plus-sized.
Has there ever been a situation, even in a casting or on set, where you doubted yourself or your body?
Candice Huffine: No. I mean not at all. There have been frustrating moments, where it’s like I really want to wear that outfit that doesn’t fit me. And it’s a little bit of a process to get the looks together, and I’m there like, “Bah, I just want to wear that over there,” so that happens. It doesn’t make me feel bad; it’s just frustrating because I love fashion and I want to wear everything.
Nobody’s ever made me feel like I didn’t belong there. The other models I’ve worked with, regardless of their size, have all been super-nice. We’ve all just sat around and chatted, and there is no weirdness.
Finally, it is important to note that models in the plus-size industry still need to work hard to maintain their health. For Huffine, she gets the inspiration to stay fit through her triathlete husband. So she admitted that she has taken up running and has enrolled herself in fitness groups.
Well, you look super-healthy, to me. You’re the picture of health.
Candice Huffine: Thanks! We are super-healthy. Plus models that I know are some of the healthiest girls I’ve ever seen. They’re yoga teachers, they eat strictly organic foods, or they’re vegans or whatever. I can’t reiterate enough that this is just the way our bodies are supposed to be. I’m extremely active. You don’t see me dwindling down to a size 6 because my body’s not meant to be a size 6.