JULY COVER MODEL: SHANTAL RUSSELL

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SHANTAL

 “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for it”

What were your first thoughts when you found out you were going to be featured?   

I was excited, the other ladies are pretty solid in their modeling careers and I was just happy to be alongside other women who were so passionate about their craft. It challenged me in the most rewarding way.

Tell our readers about yourself.

This question is so difficult. *LOL* What do you say?

My name is Shantal, I’m a Music Teacher. I love giving back and I love children. I am new to modeling but I am in love!!! It makes me feel safe, like singing. It’s an art, and I love to create !

This July, we’re celebrating freedom of kurves? How important is it for women to embrace their kurves?

It’s important for us ALL to embrace our Kurves because you could be the door to someone else embracing their own! You never know the fires you are igniting in people. You may be just what another woman needs to see! Before we know it we have a community of women liberated and loving their Kurves.

What can we do more as an industry to advocate more woman embracing their bodies and loving them without the pressure of the social media?

I love this question!!!! I think we need to start from the beginning! What I mean by that is create avenues and advocate for young girls! It really does start from your childhood. If we had more opportunities to teach young girls how to embrace themselves as children, we wouldn’t even have to concern ourselves with the adult them. It would be embedded in them.

What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?

I’m huge on energy and vibes. I can feel people’s intentions before they even speak. I’m also very outspoken, I can’t help it sometimes. I come a very expressive family, I’m working on it. I’m learning that there is a time and place for everything.

When did you decided to love your kurves?

Honestly, I was raised by a ton of women who loved their Kurves, specifically my Grandmother!! She was my heart! She always had a lot of style. She told me as a young girl to, “Stand up straight Shantal, shoulders back. Command any room when you enter. Send your confidence before you.” I even had to walk with a book on my head sometimes!

The State of the Plus Size industry is every changing. What are your views on the state of the plus size industry?

What is the one thing you would tell a young girl looking in the mirror who is having a hard time loving her kurves?

That you are enough! All of you is enough. I know it’s cliche to say beauty comes from the inside. So I’ll just say when you understand the depths of you, the WHOLE person, you’ll be able to LOVE all the bombness that comes with, Kurves included.

Tell our readers one of your beauty secrets?

I don’t have any beauty secrets lol, idk, suck that tummy in, sis.

What do you want your legacy to be?

I want my legacy to out live me. When I think of legacy I think of legends like: Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, James Brown, and so many others. If you think about it whenever you hear their music or anything about them you think about their legacy. The only one living out of all of them is Ms. Chaka Khan.

Your legacy is your story, it signifies the highs and lows of your life. How you preserved and triumphed through it all! Yes, I want my legacy to out live me. I want people to say, “Shantal, she never gave up.”

Bustier:  Azari Jackson
Pants: Fashion Nova
Retoucher/ Editor: CR2R productions
Creative Director Nora Bonds @onlymissno
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