Candice Huffine is 5 feet 11 inches tall. She is a size 16. When she wanted to start modeling at age 15, he mother took her to New York for two days to meet some agents.
“It was devastating,” she says now. “I was a size 6-8 at the time and I didn’t realize that was way too big to be a model. I thought I was fit, trim and cute. I had no idea about sample sizes.”
For the guys, sample sizes are the tinier versions that runway models have to fit into for the fashion shows. They are not the sizes more widely sold to the general public.
But Candice Huffine has persisted. She is well-known in the “plus-size” realm. Nowadays, there is a fascination with watching “plus-size” models crossing over into the world of “regular size” fashion. Kind of like when country music star Garth Brooks hit the pop charts with “Shameless” back in 1991, I suppose.
It is becoming less and less rare. Next thing you know there will be hardly any line left to blur. Kind of like Taylor Swift, I suppose.
And that’s just what some people want: for “plus-size” to be seen by the general public as "just as sexy”as “regular” models .
But for some people, that’s not making things any better.
“All this incessant worship of the hourglass, under the premise of promoting ‘body confidence’ has served to do is replace one very narrow beauty paradigm with another,” says Natasha Devon, a former five-foot-eleven model herself.
In a season that has seen Kim Kardashian’s bottom worshipped to the point of straining the limits of the Internet, it would seem that we are finally getting comfortable with the idea of “size”.
But maybe that’s just another verse in the same song.
“Let’s face it, it’s just as unattainable to look like Beyonce, or indeed Candice Huffine, as it is Kate Moss or Elle MacPherson,” Devon argues.
Candice Huffine admits that the whole thing is a bit suspect.
"The concept of going on stage to be judged is probably a bit odd,” she said, "but as a child I didn't look at it that way, it was just really fun."
What Huffine does know is that she is affecting young girls.
“I get young girls saying, ‘Thank you, I can see how happy you are, I can see you ate pasta last night…’ I feel I’m quietly doing something,” she says.