Paulina Porizkova: “The magical solution so that no one abuses models… is not to recruit girls!” | Celebrities | S Fashion THE COUNTRY

Paulina Porizkova (Czech Republic, 56 years old) says that the most formative person in her life was her grandmother. It is not weird. Her parents left her with her when she was two years old and fled to Sweden, after the invasion agreed in the Warsaw Pact, in 1968. When they came back for her, the return was not as easy as they expected: the communist government turned her into a symbol and she herself did not want to go with those she no longer considered her parents. Thanks to an intervention by Olof Palme, the Porizkovas got back together, but the life of this girl who would one day be one of the most famous models in the world and an absolute icon of Sports Illustrated (back when it still mattered) had already changed forever. When you moved to the United States fell in love with Rick Ocasek, the singer of The Cars (deceased five years ago) with whom, despite having divorced, he lived under the same roof until the end and who, despite everything and to her surprise, he disinherited her at the last minute. Forty years later, she is still answering questions about all those accidents without any problem. The past does not concern him. She lives in a present of which she is very proud and on which she reflects in a surprisingly frank way. on your Instagram account, thanks to whom, he admits, he has made many friends.

Who would you say has been the most important person in your life?

The most formative person in my life was my grandmother, who raised me until I was nine years old because my mother was obviously there very early on, which I don’t remember, but then she left me with her. When she came back I was pregnant with my brother and had a lot of other things to worry about, so she didn’t really have time for me, which wasn’t that big of a deal. And it wasn’t because I had a grandmother who loved me unconditionally, as a mother should. If I hadn’t had it, maybe I would have felt that no one cared and I think that the children that this happens to in childhood, well you know what happens: addictions, depression, all that.

And what was she like?

She was very, very small. My grandfather was almost two meters tall and she was very short and very funny, they called them “the glass and the bottle”. And she was a very simple woman with a lot of prejudices typical of older people from Eastern countries, but she was very strong and very stubborn. She grew up on a farm and then married my grandfather, who was a teacher at a school, and that’s how she came into contact with education. She herself became a preschool teacher and I spent my life with her at school.

How would you describe your relationship with your mother now?

My mother got married three years ago and is in the prime of her life. She is an adventurer, incredibly brave, a free spirit. In another time it would have been Amelia Earhart. It took me a long time to forgive her for taking me away from my grandmother and I had to overcome a lot of resentment, but thanks to that I had the unconditional love of my grandmother and also the adventurous spirit of my mother.

You say that your grandmother had many prejudices, however you are a person with a very open mind. How do you get that?

When you expose yourself to as many things as I do and you have the intelligence to assimilate the things that happen to you, it is impossible for your mind not to open up. The same thing would have happened to her. It just wasn’t exposed.

The model, in an ET OCHS dress. Photo: Bjorn Ioss

Do you remember the day you were “discovered” as a slightly sinister moment?

A friend of mine had sent some photos to an agency and the woman who recruited me was a very kind lady who had been a model herself. She was a very motherly woman who reminded me of my grandmother and had never been to Paris so I had no idea where she was sending me when she suggested it. I just thought you were offering me a great opportunity.

And how did you feel when you arrived in Paris?

I was absolutely and completely terrified. You have to keep in mind that at school in Sweden I suffered a lot of bullying, the kids were very cruel, they called me a dirty communist and things like that, so I had very low self-esteem for that and for other reasons, like the fact that my parents didn’t they wanted and such. So when I went from that to an environment where everyone wanted my presence, no one despised me, they told me I was gorgeous, it was like the story of the ugly duckling. I was 15 years old and it was the first time in a very long time that I felt deserving of something and at the same time I felt like a huge impostor every day of my life. I spent two years that every time I heard people speak French and I didn’t understand what they were saying, I thought they were going to send me on a plane back home.

Have you stopped having that feeling?

When I wrote my novel, night in summerI think it was part of the process to relive those moments and look at them more objectively to find a place to put them. In my early 40s I had a lot of anxiety attacks and it got to the point where I couldn’t even leave the house.

Does that anxiety have to do with that age limit that is 40?

Nerd. It’s just that until my children got a little older it took me a while to be more than just a mother. It took me a while to get used to my new position in the world. My husband was also a man who suffered a lot from anxiety and at first we understood each other a lot on that point we had in common, then it started to get more complicated…

Porizkova in pants by GIORGIO ARMANI. Photo: Bjorn Ioss

Have you ever said that a model’s career is comparable to that of an athlete, that you start very young and finish very young. What should be done to reorient the life of these “dismissed” models?

Well, unfortunately I think the solution to that would be to go back to what modeling was in the early days: women, not girls. Because when you are a model and you are already a woman, nobody manipulates you or takes advantage of you. It is a magical solution! Do not recruit girls!

And how close are we to that?

I don’t think we are very close yet, but at least now there is a conversation around the subject, although the truth is that I don’t see much hope for change as long as there is still that saturation of Instagram filters, in which even young girls are it makes them feel like they can’t be normal humans.

Were you surprised by the way in which Linda Evangelista made known to the world what had happened to her during her aesthetic treatment?

I absolutely understand what it’s like to grow up and be kicked out of a business that doesn’t want you anymore, while the public still has the same expectations of you. She was just trying to lessen that public pressure. In my case, it is most likely that I would have told you everything step by step on Instagram, so it would not have been a surprise [risas].

The model with an INTERIOR top and WOLFORD stockings. Photo: Bjorn Ioss

Does impostor syndrome last forever?

I think so… [risas]. I have friends in the most important positions in their areas of work who, despite all their achievements, continue to experience it, in their 50s and 60s. What we all have in common are complicated childhoods. But hey, I also tell you that the moment you have a child you are already beginning to screw up his life. As much as you try to do it right, you will always do something wrong. No matter how hard you try to be the perfect mother, you won’t be able to, no one can.

What is the photo session of which you keep the best memory?

You know what? Surprisingly my best memories as a model are very recent. In the eighties they treated you in a very different way than they do today. Now they are concerned that you are comfortable and also social networks have allowed no one to get away with bad behavior. That is one of the good things about the networks, that you can no longer be a creep without everyone finding out.

Porizkova in a BALENCIAGA jacket and MARYAM NASSIR ZADEH top. Photo: Bjorn Ioss

She has once said that her husband was tremendously jealous. When did you realize that this was not good?

He was incredibly jealous when we first met, in a worrying way, but back then that still seemed like a sign of love. Once we got married, though, that died down and I thought, “Wow. This means that he finally trusts me and that he has realized how much I love him.” I thought I had fixed him with my love. But it was just that he no longer let me into the darkest parts of his soul. She was a deeply insecure person who didn’t want you to know that she was and who built herself an armor to keep you out.

And do you think that jealousy could have had something to do with the fact that he disinherited her?

I honestly wish I could tell you why, but only he knows. I actually think it was a quick decision that he made with the help of his lawyer and that he didn’t even understand what he was doing, but considering that I had started another relationship and that he was so jealous, well yes, he could have something what to do with that.

He has also said that he was a very unfunny man, very serious. How did you manage to be happy with him when you were so funny?

Well I guess I provided the fun [risas]. He was a wonderful artist, song writer and singer. He had so much talent that he just came and it was enough. He was comfortable being alone with himself, writing poetry and absorbed in music. It was also absorbed by our children, when they were born. He was a wonderful father but hey, he didn’t really like to do other things and at first, when I was very young, I would just sit and wait for him. As I got older I came out of that confinement, I made friends and started doing my own activities.

When they separated, they continued to live under the same roof. Did they force their children to take part for one of the two?

Well look, I tried in every way that they didn’t have to, because that’s what happened to me when I was a kid. I would never do that to my children. They know perfectly well that we both take care of them and continue to love them even though we started separate lives.

And now, what do you look for in a partner?

The reality is that I am now 56 years old and more intellectually prepared than I have ever been before. I am also more demanding. Now I know what my needs are, which I didn’t know when I was 19. When I met my husband I was a teenager and at that age you say, “Oh, he’s great, what does it matter that he lives with his mother if he has a great record collection ?”. I love creative men, but they are always a little crazy.

The Czech model in an IONNES dress. Photo: Bjorn Ioss

* Styling: Ryan Young. Model: Paulina Porizkova (Traffic Models). Makeup: Fulvia Farolfi (Bryan Bantry Agency). Hairdresser: Ben Skervin (Walter Schupfer Management). Manicure: Maki Sakamoto (The Wall Group). Local production: Jennifer Pio. Photography assistants: Geoff Leung and Allison Brooks. Styling assistants: Trevor McMullen and Weatherly Giblin. Makeup assistant: Robert Reyes.

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Paulina Porizkova: “The magical solution so that no one abuses models… is not to recruit girls!” | Celebrities | S Fashion THE COUNTRY