Supermodel Christy Turlington: Why She Quit Modeling, How She Deals With Aging

Du Jour Cover - P 2012

Du Jour Cover - P 2012

The 43-year-old, who got her start at age 14, tells "Du Jour" magazine, "I never really thought it was going to last that long" in the industry.

Christy Turlington, who was part of the ‘80s supermodel triumverate that included Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell, hasn’t been active on the international runway modeling scene for two decades. She started modeling at age 14 and quit when she was only 25. 

But this week she graces the cover of Jason Binn’s new luxury magazine Du Jour and talks about her model days.

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“We shared experiences, but apart from working together we were all so different,” says Turlington Burns, who married actor Edward Burns in 2003 and adopted his last name. “We came from different family backgrounds, different countries, different everything. But people would call me Cindy [Crawford] or Helena [Christensen] . . . we were all kind of one thing.”

The daughter of a Pan Am pilot and a flight attendant, she was raised to love travel -- and travel is what a modeling brought to her life.  “The biggest draw of modeling was getting out and seeing the world,” she says.

But while other models were out partying, she brought her mother with her on international jobs when she was a teen. “Nobody was with their moms,” she says. “But I wasn’t in a hurry to be older. I would go to shoot the collections in Paris or Rome, and I would be buying porcelain dolls.”

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With an enviable career at such a young age, why did she quit so quickly? “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 says. “I never really thought it was going to last that long anyway.”

But that's not to say Turlington isn't still active in the modeling world. In addition to her charitable work for her Every Mother Counts organization, she still models about 20 days a year doing campaigns for Maybelline, Roberto Coin, and Louis Vuitton. 

And at 43-year-old, how does she feel about the physical aspects of aging? Pretty darn good, since you asked.

“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. 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.”

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