PLUS Cover Model Halle Deneen, Keeping Her Eyes On Her Blessings and Goals
As a plus-size model, influencer, devoted mother, and thriving entrepreneur, Halle Deneen has shattered stereotypes and redefined conventional notions of beauty and success.
With a magnetic presence both on and off the camera, Halle Deneen effortlessly inspires countless individuals worldwide to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams unapologetically.
In our exclusive interview, Halle Deneen opens up about her personal journey, the challenges she’s overcome, and the pivotal moments that have shaped her into the influential figure she is today. From her empowering messages on body positivity to her entrepreneurial ventures aimed at fostering inclusivity, Halle offers invaluable insights into navigating the worlds of fashion, social media, and motherhood while staying true to oneself.
Get to know our cover model Halle Deneen.
You’re an inspiration to many, balancing multiple roles with grace. How do you manage your time effectively between modeling, influencing, motherhood, and your entrepreneurial ventures?
I think one thing that I had to learn (maybe the hard way), is to manage my time properly. Time is so expensive. I have to be very intentional with how I spend my time because it’s so precious.
Balancing everything on my plate is very challenging. I had to realize that when I spend time doing one thing, I’m sacrificing not spending time doing another. One thing that helps me plan my time wisely is my digital planner. I absolutely LOVE planners and organizational tools and I’ve been searching high and low to find one that fits my needs. I want to be able to track things like my habits, tasks and projects in an effective way, and I couldn’t seem to find one… so, I made my own. I’ve been using it every day to plan everything from major projects, to small tasks, appointments, family activities and more. My planner has been a game changer to keeping me on point. I use to be the type of person that would try to remember everything and it almost drove me insane. Being organized and spending my time wisely with intention has been a major key to balancing my life.
I also want to add that setting boundaries in my life is something that I’m proud of. I used to be the girl who said yes to everything (even if I didn’t have the strength or energy to do it). I found myself so drained trying to “do it all.” When it comes to my time, saying “no” has become a norm and I’ve never felt better. Boundaries are a form of self-love. If I find that I’ve been overworking myself and haven’t tended to other aspects of my life, then I have to reevaluate myself and take breaks when necessary. The hustle and bustle has to be coupled with restoration and peace.
As a plus-size model, you’ve challenged traditional beauty standards and promoted body positivity. What motivated you to enter the world of modeling, and how do you hope to change the industry’s perception of beauty?
When I first started modeling, it was a completely different industry. Plus size modeling wasn’t nearly as open and accepting as it is now. I remember being told that I would never make it as a model because I was “too fat” and photographers telling me that it would be an extra rate to work with me because I was bigger than a size 0. I will also never forget when I was cyberbullied for simply wanting to step outside of what was considered the norm and pursue my dream of becoming a plus-size model.
When I decided to go full fledge with my dreams, I remember telling myself that If I became a successful model, I would reach back and help aspiring models as much as I can. I wanted to show women around the world that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what society has to say about you – anything is possible if you simply believe in yourself and have faith. I wanted to prove to my younger self that I’m a fighter and I will never give up when someone tells me I can’t do something or that I’m not cut out to do something because I don’t fit their image of what it looks like.
I’m a barrier breaker because beauty is much deeper than what meets the eye. I wanted the modeling industry to be more open and accepting of women who look like me and to women who maybe don’t look like me, but could relate to my challenges of struggling to be seen and heard by an industry for so long.
Even breaking beauty standards as a black plus-size model, I’ve always wanted to prove our undeniable existence while highlighting how diversely beautiful we are.
Social media has been a powerful platform for you to advocate for body inclusivity and self-love. How do you use your online presence to empower others, especially women, to embrace their bodies and identities?
I’ve always used my social media platform as a safe space to pour into women. My entire mission is to empower women of all shapes and sizes to love themselves, flaws and all.
The other day I was talking to my friend Kortlynn, and I was so afraid to post a picture of a campaign I shot when I was freshly postpartum that showed how imperfect my stomach was. When I tell you, Kortlynn gave me the reality check that I needed- she didn’t play any games with me! She reminded me of the foundation of my platform and told me that I have always been so inspiring for so many women. I needed that.
I think social media has a way of making us feel like we have to always be picture-perfect when we really don’t. Especially as a new mom- the societal pressure for us to “bounce back” is toxic. We lose sight of the precious experience that our body went through to bring forth life into this earth. I always want my community to know that you are perfectly imperfect. Beauty is all about your soul and how bright you shine from within. In everything that I post, I seek to inspire my followers to love on themselves a little more each day.
Motherhood is an influential aspect of your life. How has becoming a mother influenced your career choices and personal growth?
Motherhood has been life-changing for me. Once I got pregnant with my son, it was almost as If I had a huge wake-up call. I knew that I wanted to establish longevity and stability with all of my career choices. I focused more on defining and further solidifying my model coaching and consulting business. I absolutely love teaching, so this business allowed me to focus on motherhood while running my business.
With motherhood came a new Halle. I have always been selfless, but now? I’m even more selfless! I’m so much stronger and I know that I can get through anything.
Motherhood has taught me patience and the importance of rest, which… I would say I struggled with it a bit in the past. Before I had my son I was always on the go. I remember one time I was back and forth from Maryland to NYC 4 times in one week. I pushed myself to the limits for my dream, but I neglected restoration often. My son has taught me to refill my cup (I especially need my energy to keep up with him – lol).
One of the biggest things that I’ve learned is to be present and to tap into my inner child. I find so much joy in being in the moment and actually living life. There is so much beauty that the world has to offer. While I’m a businesswoman and entrepreneur, I’m never too serious to run around and play on the playground with my son as If I’m 2 years old again – haha.
It’s so important to have a village as a new mom. Whether that’s your family, friends, or simply people that love and support you. Once you find that village, lean on them to help you grow and thrive as a mom.
Being an entrepreneur requires creativity, resilience, and determination. Can you share with us the inspiration behind your entrepreneurial ventures and how you’ve overcome challenges along the way?
The inspiration behind all of my entrepreneurial ventures is to always find a way to empower, educate, and motivate the people that are in my industry to succeed.
I currently have a model coaching program and a recently launched influencer coaching program and my inspiration behind both is pretty simple: teach the world what I know, while instilling confidence and worthiness of success in every person I encounter.
As I mentioned earlier, I also launched my first digital planner called The Winning Season Planner. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to name this planner and one night as I was brainstorming, I had a gut feeling that this planner is going to help a lot of people step into their winning season!
Every service and product that I create has to have a meaningful impact on those that experience it. I want my clients and customers to feel transformed when they interact with me and experience my energy, because it’s true – I truly enjoy pouring into others and I find joy in seeing people succeed. I really wanted to create a product that spoke to the busy mom, the busy entrepreneur, or simply the busy person who needed a space to organize their life, track their progress, and even engage in some self-therapy.
Of course, there are challenges along the way. Each challenge has taught me something different about myself. Challenges show me how resourceful, resilient, and powerful I am. I always tackle challenges by recognizing the challenge as something that is here to build me up. The next thing I do is immediately think of ways to overcome it. I always remind myself of this one truth, “everything is figureoutable” …and yes, I made that word up – lol.
What advice do you have for aspiring models, influencers, moms, and entrepreneurs who may face obstacles or doubt in pursuing their passions?
When you are pursuing your passion, you have to expect challenges. In the Bible, God didn’t promise us that weapons would not form against us, he just promised us that they wouldn’t prosper. I find so much peace in this truth.
One piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to try something new. I believe that you can only fail if you don’t try. There have been several ideas and ventures that were not in alignment with myself. Does this make me a failure? No. I tried and when It didn’t work, I pivoted. Learning how to pivot has helped me grow a lot in my business.
Believing in yourself and recognizing your own capabilities is also key. Oftentimes, the solutions to our problems lie within our creativity, business ideas or artistic expressions. I realized this when I started creating my own opportunities based on my creativity and innovation. Doubt only seeps in when we lack confidence. We must realize that we already have what it takes to win because it resides within us. It’s our duty to dig deep and to know that we are powerful enough to overcome anything.
Placing my faith in God when facing adversity has been my anchor because I can rest assured knowing that what’s ahead of me is greater than what’s behind me.
As a model, influencer, mom, and entrepreneur, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others, especially with social media. If you want to keep your sanity, keep your eyes on your own blessings and goals. There is no bigger thief of joy than comparison.
Representation matters, especially in industries like fashion and media. How do you envision the future of inclusivity and diversity in these spaces, and what role do you hope to play in shaping it?
Representation absolutely matters, not just for the individuals seeing themselves reflected in media and fashion but for the entire fabric of society. Inclusivity and diversity shouldn’t just be buzzwords; they should be the foundation upon which these industries are built. I envision a future where every person, regardless of their size, shape, ethnicity, or background, feels valued and seen. This means dismantling outdated beauty standards and embracing the richness of diversity in all its forms.
As a black plus-size model, I strive to be a catalyst for change in this movement towards inclusivity. I want to use my platform to amplify marginalized voices, challenge stereotypes, and advocate for more diverse representation both on and off the runway, in magazines, campaigns, and more. Whether it’s through speaking out against discrimination, collaborating with brands that prioritize inclusivity, or mentoring aspiring models from underrepresented communities, I am committed to playing an active role in shaping a more inclusive future for the fashion and media industry.
Your journey is undoubtedly empowering. Can you share a particularly memorable moment or achievement that encapsulates the essence of your mission and values?
As I reflect on my journey, it truly inspires me to keep going and while it’s tough to pick just one moment, there are so many that really capture the heart of what I’m all about.
Like when I helped some aspiring models land contract modeling deals with a household name plus-size agency, breaking down barriers and showing them they belong in this industry. Then there was that time I had the unique opportunity to be the keynote speaker at a middle school graduation. I gave a speech about believing in yourself as you take on new adventures and seeing those kids light up was unforgettable.
Oh, and starting my own agency at 25 was a huge milestone for me. This accomplishment was all about creating opportunities and nurturing talent.
But honestly, it’s the little things that mean the most. Like seeing the confidence bloom in Comcast execs during their headshot sessions, or talking with young women I bump into about their dreams and goals. Those moments remind me how powerful positivity and inspiration can be, no matter where you are in life.
Balancing authenticity with the demands of social media can be challenging. How do you ensure that your online persona remains true to your identity and values?
Authenticity is at the core of everything I do, both online and offline. In a world where social media often encourages perfection and curated images, staying true to my identity and values is so important to me.
One way I ensure authenticity is by consistently checking in with myself and reflecting on my intentions behind each piece of content I create. I ask myself whether it aligns with my values and if it genuinely represents who I am. I also strive to share not only the highlight reel but also the real, unfiltered moments that make up my life. By being vulnerable and transparent with my audience, I build trust and connection. I also actively engage with my community, listening to their feedback and incorporating their perspectives into my content. This is so important to building my tribe! This allows me to be my authentic self while staying grounded and connected to the people who support me.
I’m constantly learning and evolving as both a model and a content creator. By staying true to myself I hope to inspire others to embrace their authenticity.
Lastly, what’s next for you in your career and personal journey? Any exciting projects or goals on the horizon that you’d like to share with your followers and supporters?
This year is the year of limitless possibilities. I’m so excited to see what this year has in store for me! I’m looking forward to reaching more and more aspiring models and influencers and teaching them how to turn their dreams into their goals. I definitely want to invite everyone to join my influencer program. The doors will be opening soon!