Supermodel Chanel Iman on dealing with fashion industry stress: ‘Coming home to my family heals everything’

Chanel Iman on showing her game-day pride and the power of putting words to her feelings. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Chanel Iman on showing her game-day pride and the power of putting words to her feelings. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

As the wife of New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard, there’s little doubt as to which NFL team supermodel Chanel Iman will be rooting for this season. Thanks to a new partnership with the BIC NFL Series, the catwalk queen will be showing her team spirit with the help of the brand’s BodyMark temporary tattoo markers, available in team colors and logo stencils representing all 32 teams.  

Ahead, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue favorite and mom of two young girls opens up about dealing with game-day nerves, talking out her thoughts and finding solace in her faith. 

Are you superstitious at all about what you wear when you’re cheering on your husband?

I keep it very simple when it comes to my game-day look. I try to wear jeans, a jersey and some sneakers. But I think the accessories are great — like the BodyMark tattoos. 

How do you deal with game-day stress?

It’s a job; sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I just try not to let it stress me and it really doesn’t really affect my mental health. 

Do you have any practices that help you prioritize your mental health?

In my downtime, I write. It helps to get out what I’m feeling and all my thoughts about what I may be going through. I think it’s important for everyone to have someone to talk to. I think it’s helpful for me when I talk to someone about the things that I may be going through in my life. 

What does self-care look like for you? Are there any small rituals that help you reset?

Hot showers, for me, does it. If I’m going through something and I get in the shower, I get out [of the shower] a whole different person, a new person. Baths can do the same for me. Candles as well, just [creating] a great setting. 

Do you have any mantras that you draw on when you’re having a tough time?

I always just tell myself that this too shall pass. That helps a lot, to know that it’s just temporary. 

You were so young when you started out in the modeling industry. Was there advice from your parents that helped you navigate that world?

My mom always told me that a mustard seed of faith moves mountains, and that’s something that kind of sticks with me all the time. I’m a believer and I pray to God. Something that always sticks with me through my whole life is just having faith. 

There’s been so much coverage about the stress and pressure within the fashion world. What’s helped you handle that?

For me, if I have stress in the fashion industry, coming home to my family heals everything — especially my kids. I could be having the worst day of my life, but my kids can uplift me. 

Finally, what stresses you out, and what brings you joy?

When things don’t go as planned, that really stresses me out. But my family brings me joy. Traveling, experiences… those are the things that I love most.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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