Trading Vogue covers for Every Mother Counts and other charity work.
Christy Turlington started modeling when she was 16. By the time she was out of her teens, she had become one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Turlington became so popular and in-demand that the fashion world made the coolest nickname ever: The Trinity. By the time the American supermodel was in her mid-20s, she had decided to go back to school. And that’s where the real story begins.
In 1994, Turlington decided it was time for a completely different direction and applied to New York University, from which she graduated in 1999 with a degree in philosophy and comparative religion. Skin-care and yoga-apparel businesses followed, as did another significant life change. In 2003, Christy Turlington married Ed Burns, and the couple soon welcomed a baby daughter.
The labor turned into a nightmare, changing Turlingston’s world. She had a retained placenta that was both painful and scary. “But it wasn’t like I felt that I wasn’t in the right place to get the care I needed,” she says. In 2005, Turlington began working with the international humanitarian organization CARE and had since become their Advocate for Maternal Health. Turlington is also an Ambassador for Product Red.
Turlington-Burns started traveling to the poorest countries. The Maybelline model realized just how lucky she was to be alive. “I thought about my complication in that environment, and I would have died.” Christy turned her traveling into a documentary in 2010 titled No Woman, No Cry. After her directorial debut, the former supermodel started the charity Every Mother Counts.
Before her involvement with mothers and motherhood, Christy ventured into the world of public health advocacy in 1997, when her father died of lung cancer. Today, she is not only known as a Calvin Klein face, but also one of the most prolific activists on the planet. Turlington is a mom of two, wife, yoga teacher, and head of the board of Every Mother Counts. She employees nine people, and so far they raised at least three million dollars for places as far-ranging as Indonesia, Uganda, Brooklyn, Florida, and Haiti,
The charity’s primary focus is divided into three sections: transportation, education, and supplies. Christy Turlington-Burns is active on social media, but that’s not all she does. Fundraising galas and fundraising events, such as the New York Marathon, are part of the constant need to make people involved, to inspire them to action.
Despite being one of the most beautiful women on the planet, Turlington no longer talks about modeling, and especially her looks. She understands that her fame comes from being a cover girl, but that doesn’t change the fact that she wants more. Among her closest friends are former models turned activists, such as Carolyn Murphy and Natalia Vodianova.
Turlington’s biggest hope for her kids: “I hope my kids surpass me and my actions.” And that’s saying a lot from a woman who made millions just by sitting pretty. It’s inspiring, empowering, and anyone can get involved. Any act can make a world of difference.