“Each person must live their life as a model for others.” -Rosa Parks
Christy Turlington Burns’ PRIME shoot was scheduled to take place the week after her 42nd birthday. She arrived at the studio, sans entourage, with not a stitch of make up on and immediately disarmed us with her kind, thoughtful, open way. Here is a woman who could’ve easily coasted through life on her exceptional beauty alone. Yet she took every opportunity to grow as a human being, to continually learn from her experiences and to give back to the world. We talked about the road that lead her from supermodel to yoga enthusiast to activist and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Yes, Christy Turlington is a celebrated supermodel, disciplined student and passionate documentarian/activist, but you will see her true beauty comes from the thoughtful way she moves through her life.
Listen to Christy’s unique take on aging below:
Struck by her own sense of mortality after the difficult delivery of her daughter Grace, Christy was then horrified to discover the millions of women around the world without access to the excellent health care she received. So she became the Maternal Health Advocate for the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) and enrolled in the Masters of Public Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School. As part of CARE’s water project, she visited a remote village where pregnant women and mothers of newborns had walked miles to access clean water. For some, this was also their only opportunity to receive some form of antenatal and postnatal care. She returned home to New York City and gave birth to a healthy baby boy- a beautiful, uncomplicated delivery in the birthing center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. But she continued to think about those women she had met- young mothers who had so much to fear.
This inspired Christy to make a documentary film that would bring to light the personal stories of women at risk of becoming a mortality statistic.
In her directorial debut, NO WOMAN NO CRY, Christy shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum in Bangladesh, a post-abortion ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States. In her documentary, the staggering statistics of maternal mortality rates are laid out…A WOMAN DIES EVERY 90 SECONDS FROM COMPLICATIONS OF PREGNANCY. 90% OF THESE DEATHS ARE PREVENTABLE.
EVERY MOTHER COUNTS is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal and child health.
To learn more about what being a model human being means to Christy Turlington Burns, please read her story in The PRIME Book…coming soon!