Charnelle Paulse: Curvy girl fashion tips from a pro

A little while ago I got to ask Charnelle Paulse – one of the most recognisable faces on the SA modeling scene – for some fashion advice. She is a “plus-sized” model and since the only thing I can buy in medium these days is a Big Mac McMeal, I hoped she could give me some advice on how to dress for my shape, but I ended up getting so much more.

Since I have eyes and have glanced at magazines, store windows and my social media feed in the past year, I knew exactly who this gorgeous woman was. So I was rather excited to get the chance to ask her a few questions…I was expecting, “don’t wear this, wear that”, but instead, I got some”real talk” from a woman whose self-confidence shines through as strongly in an online interview as it does in a  bikini.

The Cape Town-based model is currently one of the faces/ambassadors of Donna (previously known as Donna Claire). She’s also one of the faces that launched singer Jimmy Nevis’ clothing brand York Yard, earlier this year. 
The acclaimed dancer took up modeling five years ago while studying Business Management. The first job she booked was a 6-page spread for Your Baby Magazine and there was no stopping her after that. She now represents some of the biggest names in the country as well as an Australian swimwear brand called Lilly and Lime.

Ms Charnelle Paulse let me get quite personal in our interview and I must say she got me thinking:

1. As a model looking good is literally your job, do you ever have days when you can’t imagine being glam?

Hahaha!! All the time. Because I’m on shoots most of the time, where every single thing needs to be perfect, on the off days I really just love being make up free and in tracksuit pants.

2. You put yourself out there a lot when it comes to social media and your job, do you ever get self-conscious?

Lately, I have been yes. Just because there is a lot of women that look up to me. So I always want to feel good and be the best version of myself.

3. You are obviously quite attractive do you ever feel like you have to fight the brainless beauty stereotype?

No, I don’t, because I know who I am. And so do the people I surround myself with.

A lot of people think being a model is easy and just about beauty, It’s not. Clients analyse everything you do. The way you look, the way you present yourself, body language if you can sell that garment. It is not the easiest. There’s a lot more you need to have besides beauty to become a SUCCESSFUL model.

If you have the looks but nothing else about you, you’re not going to win at anything in life. You have to have the drive, work ethic and the intelligence to become successful at anything and most importantly respected for what you do and WHO you are!

4. What keeps you going in this cut-throat industry?
The inboxes/ messages/ calls I receive from woman and girls saying how much confidence they have after hearing my story and seeing me in the stores and malls.

5. Do you have #bodygoals ?

My body goals are always to get my shape in shape! Be the best version of myself!

Bonus feature…is that the amazing Charnelle Paulse did end up giving me some great advice for this summer season:

One thought on “Charnelle Paulse: Curvy girl fashion tips from a pro

  1. Amelia says:

    What a great piece! She’s beautiful, yes, but her attitude is spectacular. We need more of her in the world. And I’ve got the feeling there’s a trend towards being more accepting. Women are starting to be less judgy and more about health and doing your best. Healthy is the sexiest, prettiest thing you can be.

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