You might be reading that headline and are thinking, “hmm… Christy Turlington still models.” And you would be correct, sort of.

Turlington does indeed still do some modeling, but nothing, and we mean nothing, compared to what she used to do in the 1990s. She was a part of an elite group of models dubbed the Big Six, who each took over the fashion world. Now, Burns (her married name) is more interested in humanitarian work and yoga, and it’s not because her looks have faded (FYI, she looks better now than she ever has), it’s because she had a very clear moment of quitting modeling and why she would never fully going back.

christy turlington burns model

“I thought about it for a long time, and I guess I really haven’t fully given modeling up, but in my mind I did, because I went back to school and moved on in my life. And when I went back to school, same thing. I remember somebody telling me that they were in a location van and they saw me walk by with my backpack, and they were like, ‘Oh, poor thing.’ And I’m thinking – ‘Poor thing? I’m getting my education, you fools,'” the 46-year-old shared with fellow model and goddess Iman in a new interview for Citizens of Humanity. “But I remember thinking about it. I think I had finally quit smoking and had gained some weight, and I was in Paris for the couture shows and I remember that moment when I thought, ‘You know what, I’m doing something healthy for myself, and they’re judging me and I don’t want to subject myself to it anymore.’ And it’s such an empowering feeling when you can make that choice.”

Turlington ended up graduating from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study of New York University in 1999.

In the interview, Iman, who was the equivalent to Turlington, if not bigger, during the 80s, remembers when she had had enough as well.

IMAN: I woke up one morning, and I have to tell you, the Naomis and the Lindas and everything was happening at that time, so that was it for me.

CTB: But there was overlap.

IMAN: Yeah, but it was like a perfect time to exit. I literally woke up and called my agent and said, ‘That’s it,’ and they said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, let me call you next week, for my book.’ And I said, ‘No, I’m done.’ And I was done and I never went back.”

Needless to say, both of these women are doing extremely well for themselves.

Head over to Citizens of Humanity for more.


What do you think of Christy Turlington’s reason for leaving modeling?