We had the good fortune of connecting with Candi Snead and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candi, how do you define success?
I believe that being successful is really subjective to what your own narrative is. We all have different road maps and unique life paths. To be successful in life, you must focus on your own growth and ignore those around you. It may look like others are passing you by in life but in reality they are just as lost as you. None of us have the answers. The best way to acknowledge your accomplishments is to reflect on where it all started. Success is defined by resilience. Keep going and pushing forward. Remind yourself that you are already enough and already successful in life. But be fearless in chasing your dreams.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I remember being a young girl and obsessively watching America’s Next Top Model. I loved the creativity involved. I loved the extreme poses and the unique beauties that competed. I would dream of modeling but deep down knowing I would never pursue it. I have always been a thicker girl. I don’t have perfect straight teeth and the beauty/diet industry had only ever told me that I was unworthy and ugly. Between having a toxic upbringing full of body shame and abuse, I unfortunately developed an eating disorder at then tender age of 13. I spent the majority of my life hating the vessel I lived in. Nothing was wrong with my body but I had been programmed to think otherwise. Fast forward to being 26, struggling with my ED recovery and in general in a very bad spot mentally. One morning I woke up and decided “Screw this, I am done hating my body””. I wanted to be the brave woman that the little girl in me needed. I decided to be vulnerable with my social media. I decided I was going to be a model. I wanted some other girl who didn’t love herself to see me trying to hard to accept myself fully that it encourages her to do the same. So, two years ago I started living my dream. Booking creative photo-shoots, doing those crazy poses and seeing the unique beauty that I own. I have done over 40 photo-shoots and each one has helped me learn to accept this body of mine, I have been posting pictures that make me uncomfortable to look at. Pictures of my stretch marks, my soft tummy, my crooked teeth. Each time, I post I get that terrible flutter of anxiety in my chest. Knowing I am strong enough to handle any negative comments that come my way but also knowing how easy it is to relapse in my recovery. Within the past month I was hired by a modeling collective in Denver. Again, when I was applying those negative voices in my head were shouting “YOU CAN”T DO THIS, THEY WON”T WANT YOU”. I pushed those thoughts away and reminded myself of my resilient nature and how taking chances has gotten me this far. When I got the news that Soona Collective had invited me onboard to be one of their paid models. I wept. I wept with joy. I felt this huge relief, The industry is truly changing and clients really do want to see REAL people.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would go exploring in the mountains. I would absolutely take them to see the breathtaking views of Red Rocks. For brunch, I am obsessed with Four Friends Kitchen. They have authentic southern (from scratch) meals. Top two items on their menu – shrimp and grits or any of their eggs Benedict. For dinner I would check out The Maine Shack downtown for some amazing lobster. We would go to chessman park to roller skate or flow. Most likely get our hair braided for a show by Danielle Martin at House of Mirrors Salon. We would catch a show at Your Moms House or a drag show at Tracks. VooDoo donuts is a must as well as Cheba hut. This beautiful city has so much to offer. Art, music, food and amazing energy.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My fiance Austin McKenna has been a huge influence on my career path. Over 9 years together, he has surrounded me with love and support. Self love has been a huge obstacle in my journey of life. But with the help Austin, I have been able to see my true potential. He has always loved me exactly as i am and never asked for more. While it is very important to learn how to love yourself and treat yourself with care and respect is crucial. It’s also OK if others in your world have helped you realize your worth.
Ken Shultze Tye Johnson (tyethepoet) Cara Noelani