Ever wonder why Elon Musk is so much better at thinking outside the box than just about anyone else? One answer seems to be heredity. Maye Musk, his amazing mother, is as unconventional as her eldest son. She’s been a model for more than 50 years, having started at 15–but throughout most of her life she considered it merely a sideline. “I always modeled part-time thinking it would end,” she contou O jornal New York Times. “And it hasn’t, of course.”
CoverGirl has been stressing diversity lately. Recent CoverGirl models include its first model in a hijab and its first male “CoverGirl.” Now, the company has completed a photo shoot with Musk as its oldest ever CoverGirl. “I think that women will be really inspired to see that even at 69 you can get a beauty campaign,” she commented.
Musk’s modeling career has really taken off lately, with appearances at Fashion Week in New York, many magazine covers, and representation by the prestigious modeling agency IMG. But besides all that, there’s a lot that’s amazing and inspiring about her:
1. She grew up roaming the Kalahari Desert.
Musk’s parents were chiropractors who also longed for adventure and so when she was two, the family moved from Canada to South Africa, where her parents spent every June and July traveling around the Kalahari Desert, sleeping under the stars, and hoping not to get eaten by hyenas. Her parents achieved some notoriety giving talks about their travels.
2. She’s a nutritionist with two master’s degrees.
Musk’s main career is as a nutritionist. She has two master’s degrees, one in dietetics, one in nutritional sciences. Among her biggest professional challenges these days: Helping other models, who are famously subject to eating disorders as part of their profession.
“Modeling agencies would send me their models,” she told the vezes. “If they were a swimsuit model, they would have to lose 10 pounds to do runway. I would say, ‘You’re perfect. You don’t need to lose weight.”
If the models insisted that they needed to be thinner, Musk gave them real-world nutritional advice–they had to eat “perfectly” to keep up their health and their energy and avoid looking haggard. That meant no pizza, no alcohol, and no desserts. “That’s hard for young girls,” she added.
3. She’s not afraid to pose nude.
Musk has done two nude cover shoots, one for New York Magazine (with a fake pregnant belly) and one for Time Health.
4. She refuses to dye her hair.
“I was always getting my roots done,” she told the vezes. “Sometimes I did it myself because I couldn’t afford to go to a hair salon. When I turned 60, I decided to see what color I am underneath.”
So Musk switched her hair dye to a light blond color and then let her natural gray grow out. Lo and behold, she found she had more offers of prestigious modeling jobs than ever before. “Everybody is loving it,” she said.
5. She gostos being 69.
Too many people try to act like they’re younger than they really are, sometimes with disastrous results. But Musk is proud of her age. “Aging has been good for me,” she said. “You develop confidence, you’re able to handle the knocks a little easier. I model for my age. I’m not trying to hide it and say I’m 50. I’m so proud that I’m going be 70.”
Despite her half-century of modeling experience, she says she’s “just getting started.” I can’t wait to see what comes next.