Glamour magazine has completely changed things up for its April issue. The glossy decided to feature model Natalia Vodianova on the cover, making her the first model to appear solo on Glamour in over four years. It makes complete sense the Vodianova would be the choice for this honor. The 33-year-old is not only gorgeous, but she’s changing the world, one child at time since launching Naked Heart Foundation.
There are so many incredible aspects to her interview with Glamour, so let’s get right into it. Growing up in Russia allowed Vodianova to see the world of beauty completely differently than most her age. “I watched Soviet films made in the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, because that’s what was on. And a certain kind of light and beauty were part of the propaganda. These women had eyeballs that were whiter than snow. Huge smiles. So when everything was tough, what people were seeing on TV were these motivational images; there was always a bit of strength through the suffering. When I discovered foreign films, Audrey Hepburn became my icon. She’s so full of life. I love Roman Holiday, Sabrina.”
By the time she was 17 years old, she had moved to Paris to start her modeling career — again discovering differences between the French and the American way of thinking about beauty and age. “I think [youth obsession] is a sign of new money—like, I was nowhere and now I’ve made it, so I need the newest car, youngest girl. It’s not like that here. If you meet Catherine Deneuve, you feel the presence of an [older] woman who is celebrated.”
And even though Vodianova has walked in countless shows and has been featured on dozens on magazines, she is more interested in her foundation and helping children than the clothes. “Looking back on my childhood, I loved Oksana [her sister with cerebral palsy and autism] more than anything, but I also realized a lot of [my family’s] struggles were because of her. So when I was setting up my foundation, I was thinking about children with special needs.… I remember cutting the ribbon at the first play park I built, which was five minutes from where I lived, and all these children filling up the park. The sound of laughter was overwhelming. I cried. It was just—the most beautiful moment I’ve lived so far.”
Head over to Glamour to read more from Vodianova’s interview, and be sure to pick up your copy of Glamour’s April issue on newsstands March 13th.