Cape Town plus-size model Candice Manuel. (Picture: Instagram)
Breaking stereotypes one ramp at a time, Mitchells Plain plus-size model Candice Manuel will be strutting her stuff at an international fashion show this weekend.

An excited Candice, 30, says walking the runway at the African Fashion International (AFI) show in Johannesburg is the biggest opportunity of her modelling career so far.

The curvy model has become a big hit on social media, making waves with her online campaigns against body shaming.

Candice Manuel (Picture: Instagram)

On Friday, Candice and her mother will jet off to Joburg where she will take part in the AFI at Melrose Arch.

Candice, who was born in Portland but now lives in Parow, started modelling in local pageants when she was 18, in order to support her unemployed parents, but says three years later she started getting rejected “for being too fat”.

“In the years that followed, the weight crept on and I was no longer marketable as a model.

“I had my contract terminated at the age of 21 as I was too fat for the industry, and this made my confidence drop,” she says.

But Candice, who works as a personal assistant, found her mojo and then decided to speak out against body shaming.

Two years ago she launched her campaign, “Embrace Your Curves”, on social media and now has a huge following.

“This Facebook page allows women of all sizes to share their stories with us. Every Wednesday, we share a video of a #WomenCrushWednesday, where a woman talks about her challenges,” she says.

Candice says the campaign is aimed at women of all shapes and sizes, as no matter how you look, people will always find something to criticise.

“I currently have 17 000 followers on Facebook and Instagram combined,” she adds.

Today Candice is comfortable in her size 42 jeans and says she wants all women and girls to feel the same way.

Meanwhile, she can hardly contain her excitement at the opportunity to share the ramp with international models.

“As a Mitchells Plain girly, being chosen to walk the international runway makes me proud,” she says.

“The boldest statement I’d like to make walking this runway is to be recognised as a professional model, thereby removing the labels of being an “Insta Model”, “Blogger Model” or “Plus Size Model”.

“I hope this encourages my community that no race, gender, social background or size of your jeans should ever stand in your way.”

Candice will be modelling for Bridget Pickering of the Ruff Tung label on Saturday.