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Nobody has ever said to me that I was pretty, ’til I met Peter Beard.
People talk about the miracle of birth. No. There’s the miracle of conception. I did IVF, but nothing happened. So I began to think of adoption, and then I got pregnant. It was definitely a miracle.
I’ve always said if what I’m going to create doesn’t look good on everybody, I’m not going to do it.
Mrs. Obama is not a great beauty. But she is so interesting-looking – so bright. That will always take you farther.
Multicultural markets are nuanced but not alien.
My looks have changed. I have laugh lines – not wrinkles.
The difference between rearing a child in your 20s and one in your 50s is one of patience.
People get numbed when they see picture after picture, year in and year out, of people starving.
I arrive in New York on October 15, 1975. On my own, by the way.
I would go to cosmetics counters and buy two or three foundations and powders, and then go home and mix them before I came up with something suitable for my undertones.
At the end of the day, my legacy will not be modelling but my cosmetics line.
I like to get up around 5:30 or six – that’s my favorite time of day. My family is still asleep, and the office is still closed, so I can start my day slowly.
I keep on 5 to 10 pounds above my jeans weight, as the ultimate no-filler-needed refresher, and buy a size up on jeans.
I vowed to myself when I got married that I would cook every night. I find it very therapeutic.
I wanted a bronzer so I could look like I just came from Ibiza everyday.
People called me ‘Iman the black model’. In my country, we’re all black, so nobody called somebody else black. It was foreign to my ears.
We never wore burkas because Somalis had our own culture.
My ritual is cooking. I find it therapeutic. It comes naturally to me. I can read a recipe and won’t have to look at it again.
My mother was an activist; so was my father. They came from a generation of young Somalis who were actively involved in getting independence for Somalia in 1960.
I was studying political science; I was adamant that I was going to follow in my father’s footsteps.
I’ll be truly happy when we’re not counting the number of ethnically diverse models on a fashion runway or campaign, when having a representation of the entire human race is the norm and not an exception.
I was not considered beautiful at all. Really. And this is what all models say. But I’m still not considered that beautiful in my country. I don’t know the beauty ideal where I come from – but it’s not me.
I had never seen ‘Vogue.’ I didn’t read fashion magazines, I read ‘Time’ and ‘Newsweek.’
I am so far more secure and more grounded and more know who I am than when I was in my 20s.
On my 50th birthday in 2005, my discount-wielding AARP card came in the mail. I hurled it in the trash, put on something fabulous, and had a decadent meal. Just the thought of putting it in my wallet felt like a concession.
We all want what every girl wants: to look fabulous while we’re out there ruling the world.
We never do Valentine’s dinner, because everybody, they look. On Valentine’s, imagine me and David going to a restaurant! Like, everybody’s going to say, ‘Did they talk? Did they hold hands?’ Twenty years. We’ve been married twenty years!
I was never a practicing Muslim. But I do consider myself a Muslim.
The women I gravitate to are the ones who defy convention and reinvent themselves – hence, they reinvent the world around them.
I was under 18, and to leave Kenya to come to the United States, to get a passport, you had to be 18. So I lied and said I was 19 to get the passport, because otherwise, I had to have permission from my parents, and my parents would never have let me come.