The 1990s marked the decade of the supermodel with gorgeous women like Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, and Linda Evangelista appearing everywhere from the runway to the red carpet and billboards to music videos. Twenty years later these mega-beauties still work from time to time, but their offspring are already waiting in the wings. Crawford's 11-year-old daughter Kaia (whose father is entrepreneur Rande Gerber) made her modeling debut earlier this year as the face of Young Versace, and now Turlington's daughter has accompanied her mother in a photoshoot for DuJour, a new luxury
lifestyle print + digital magazine which just launched. In the accompanying article Turlington refers to her precocious daughter Grace Burns as "8 going on 14." Grace clearly has inherited her mom's good looks, namely her trademark toothy smile. Her father is actor/director/writer Edward Burns.
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While many of today's top models hail from South America and Europe, Turlington was born in Walnut Creek, California and moved to New York City to model full-time at age 18. She quickly became one of the biggest faces in the industry, gracing countless magazine covers and posing as the face of Chanel, Valentino, and Calvin Klein's Eternity perfume. Though her career had just hit full stride, she quit modeling in 1994 when she was only 25 years old. "I thought, you know what? I'd rather end it when I want to end it, rather than somebody else doing it for me," she told DuJour. "I never really thought it was going to last that long anyway." She went back to school, graduated cum laude from New York University in 1999, and became involved in public health campaigns after her father died of lung cancer. Motivated to make a difference, she launched smokingisugly.com, and worked to inform people about children, education, and animal rights.
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Turlington spends her days now promoting education on maternal health after a complicated child birth with Grace had her frightened and clinging to life. Back in 2003, Turlington was delivering her baby with a midwife on hand and without any drugs. Her placenta had grown into her uterus wall causing postpartum hemorrhaging, so she was rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. Thankfully she recovered, but the experience lead her to investigate postpartum hemorrhaging (PPH).
After discovering PPH is the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths, Turlington funded and directed a documentary called "No Woman, No Cry" in 2010. The film follows four pregnant women around the world and begins with footage of her own traumatic birthing experience. "I thought some people might perceive it as, 'Oh, what's a model doing in this?'" Turlington told DuJour. "But hopefully that falls away. I'm just like any of the other women in terms of giving birth-you're always vulnerable in that state, and you always need support." She founded the advocacy group Every Mother Counts in hopes of eliminating preventable pregnancy-related deaths, which have decreased by nearly 50% in just two years, partially due to her aid.
It's understandable that Turlington has a extra-special bond with Grace, and she poses with her mini me and other young students from Long Island's Stony Hill Stables in the new issue of DuJour. Turlington herself grew up riding horses. According to DuJour the model was actually discovered at 13 years old while riding a pony. "I ride here sometimes," Turlington told DuJour. "I started to take it back into my life once I was spending all my time at the barn with Grace."
Turlington still stars in the occasional campaign for brands like Maybelline and Louis Vuitton, but she's also earning a master's degree in public health at Columbia University. She and her husband are eager to take Grace and her six-year-old brother, Finn, traveling around the globe, with an African Safari vacation just around the corner. Turlington has so much going on, she could care less about aging.
"It's been interesting to be in a profession where there's all this projection around beauty and youth, and people assume that you care-and I feel like I'm not playing the game," she told DuJour. "I've always liked myself more every year in terms of who I am and the person I've become. I can't imagine denying everything that comes with that."
With such an incredible role model, we can only imagine the career that awaits beautiful, young Grace Burns.
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