A cover model
Christy Turlington is one of ELLE's cover models—as she has been a dozen times before—not because of her im possibly high cheekbones and large almond-shaped eyes, or because she's a consummate professional in a busines s full of girls barely out of high school, but because she exemplifies women in general, at the dawn of this m illennium. Fifteen years ago when ELLE debuted in the U nited States, she was just two years into her first car eer, modeling. Now, the thirty-one year-old is at the b eginning of several new ones.
Like many women these days, Turlington's figuring o ut what it means to be fulfilled. For this model turned entrepreneur, life is a balancing act between Western n otions of having it all and Eastern philosophies regard ing introspection. "I'm trying to make up for lost time ," she says, referring to her years spent in front of t he camera. "I want to do as many things as possible, bu t also to take things as they come."
A recent graduate of New York University, with a du al degree in comparative religion and philosophy, she's traveled in the last year and a half to Africa and Indi a, begun a writing career that includes an editor-at-la rge spot at Yoga Journal, and launched two companies th at she deeply believes in: Sundari, an Ayurvedic skin-c are line, and Nuala, a collection of yoga-inspired acti ve-wear, both of which are based on the principle that a balanced mind, body, and spirit lead to improved heal th, vitality, and yes, beauty. On top of all that, she continues to model when, according to her, "it's conven ient" or involves visiting a place she hasn't yet been— South America, China, and New Zealand are on her list. Turlington is beautiful, of course, but she's smart eno ugh to recognize the truth behind that old cliche: It's what's on the inside that counts. "Advertising is so ma nipulative," she says. "There's not one picture in maga zines today that's not airbrushed." Now that Turlington is on the other side, so to speak, she is setting a new standard. She and her partners at Sundari have agreed n ot to retouch the images they use. "It's funny," Turlin gton continues. "When women see pictures of models in f ashion magazines and say, 'I can never look like that,' what they don't realize is that no one can look that go od without the help of a computer."
"I don't want to manipulate or trick anyone," she s ays, with implicit knowledge that women around the worl d look to her as an icon of great beauty. "I believe in what I'm doing, in the direction my companies are takin g, and that's a great feeling. I think I speak for most women when I say that personal achievements have the ab ility to bring more lasting happiness than any new hair cut or lip color ever could."
by Nicole Phelps
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