Promoting plus size women

2019-07-04 06:00
Candice Manuel

Candice Manuel

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Local entrepreneur Candice Manuel, through her non-profit organisation (NPO) called Embrace Your Curves, embarked on her quarterly journey to raise funds for charity at The Address Club in Athlone on Friday 28 June.

As a plus size woman, Manuel knows the challenges faced by big women and cares deeply about the vulnerable women in her community. Hence, she decided that through her brand, which was started with the aim to empower women by encouraging them to be confident in their bodies, she also put time aside to give to the vulnerable women. She approached the club to sponsor her charity event by providing a venue.

Manuel says she has previously managed to raise R10 000 for Little Brinks in Morningstar.

This time she is charging a minimum fee of R50 and the proceeds will go to a women and child abuse awareness organisation. She says at the events, guests are encouraged to donate unwanted items which she later, along with her team, will hand-out to a NPO or directly to street people depending on the number of tangible donations they receive. These include clothing, non-perishable food items, toys and blankets.

A portion of the NPO runs as a business focusing on designing and promoting fashionable clothing for plus size women to accumulate funds to run its causes, and Manuel also owns a Candys Partyland company.

“We aim to stick to our main purpose of women empowerment, as we so often see these days, that this term is used widely in many cases for selfish reasons. We do this by involving real everyday women in all our doings, may it be photo shoots, events, featuring them on our Women Crush Wednesday (#WCW). “Yes we do make a small profit of the apparel that we sell but those are sold in small qualities to promote brand awareness,” Manuel says.

She says as part of the NPO she has started a bursary programme which she hopes will be able to fund five unemployed women from disadvantaged areas to develop their skills and further their education.

“We believe that the future is female, and we aspire to inspire these ladies to rise above their circumstances and change the way society perceives women in poorer communities such as Mitchell’s Plain, where I was born and raised,” says Manuel.

She added that women are facing societal expectations and pressure to look a certain way and achieve more in order to be recognised, which is not always an easy description to match for many.“Being the best version of yourself doesn’t mean you have to fit into specific dress size,” she says.

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