Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Feminine Feminist to Admire: Christy Turlington

instagram: cturlington

You've heard it before: women are often misrepresented in the media. For decades, famous females have been definitively divided into two categories - the dumb blonde or the bossy bitch. While this identity crisis for women in the media is undeniably true, I believe we have an even more pressing problem on our hands. The fact is, smart, powerful, motivated and altruistic women often don't appear in the media at all. Women who deserve credit and praise for the inspiring, powerful and wonderful things they do each an every day are not celebrated, but are instead ignored or slighted in favor of a celebrated male figure.

So often women are cut out of the picture while men are credited with huge successes and breakthroughs. Historically, the glorification of male accomplishments may have occurred more often because women were stymied from entering the public realm through harsh laws and strict social codes (something we'll get to at another time), but during the 21st century when we have come so far towards equality, it seems absurd that powerful women aren't receiving the credit they deserve. 

This is why I'm making it a personal goal for 2016 to include posts highlighting the phenomenal work of feminine feminists around the world. The more role models we put out there, the more inspiration women and men will have for highlighting the accomplishments of strong ladies in their lives who do fantastic work behind the scenes each and every day. 

For the first post, I wanted to highlight Christy Turlington, whom I saw speak two years ago in Chicago. Ms. Turlington, speaking about her organization, "Every Mother Counts", which assists women in developing areas on prenatal care, floored me with her effortless grace and eloquence, as well as her passion for helping young mothers in need.

A bit about her past: 

instagram: cturlington

Christy Turlington was discovered at age 14 in Connecticut while out on a horseback ride. After photos of her riding landed into the hands of a NY modeling agency, Turlington was welcomed into the arms of the selective fashion world. While she didn't pursue a career in fashion until after her high school graduation, Turlington went on to become one of the most successful models of all time. Exploding onto the fashion scene in the 1990's, Turlington's portrait graced the pages of over 300 fashion magazines, and she was constantly pursued by fashion editors, makeup artists, photographers and designers the world over.

Not content to rule just the runway, Turlington decided to go back to school to earn a Bachelors Degree at NYU while simultaneously pursuing her career in fashion. The young model excelled at her studies and graduated Cum Laude in Comparative Religion and Philosophy Studies from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

instagram: cturlington

The next few decades saw Turlington continuing to dominate the fashion world as well as turning her attention to numerous philanthropic causes. For example, Turlington supported many efforts to rebuild post-war El Salvador in the 1990's thanks to her Central American roots, worked tirelessly to promote smoking prevention and cessation, and also began supporting several maternal care organizations.

In 2010, Turlington debuted her documentary film, "No Woman, No Cry", which highlights the startling and oftentimes horrific conditions women in undeveloped countries face during pregnancy. Turlington subsequently launched the organization Every Mother Counts, which raises money, supplies and transportation for such women in need.

Every Mother Counts is an incredible organization that brings essential medical care to women in locations such as Syria, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda, and even the United States. In the last few years alone, EMC has helped thousands of women through education, transportation and the gifting of basic medical supplies. 

I was so inspired by the incredible work EMC does, as well as the passion and commitment to the cause Christy Turlington showed during her speech at Chicago Ideas Week in 2014, that I decided to host my own little fundraising party and donate the proceeds to the non-profit. It was a wonderful feeling to know that every dollar we raised was going to help future mothers and their babies, and that even individual donations of $10 or so made a great difference. You can learn more about donating here

Today, Turlington continues her efforts to improve prenatal care for women through EMC and advises for Harvard School of Public Health board as well as the Advisory Board of  New York University's Nursing School. In addition, Turlington is studying Public Health at Columbia University in New York. 

While most people know Christy Turlington as a beautiful and successful fashion model who was regarded by many as "the face of the 20th century," much less attention is paid to her ceaseless humanitarian efforts and continuous pursuit of education. Much more than just a pretty face, Turlington is a strong, powerful, compassionate and educated person seeking to make the world a better place. And that is something to celebrate. 


  1. Great post! A lot of people dont know this all about her and I think there is also a documentary on her work as well!

  2. Great inspiration! Love this post!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  3. Wooow! Beautiful post my dear!!! My new post on the blog!!! please write a comment! Thank you so much!!! ))

  4. nice post.
    wonna follow icather on bloglovin?????

  5. I heard about her organization a few months ago and I was very moved to hear of her involvement with other women. She's great.

    Heba xx || The Heba

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