Thursday, April 12, 2018

Women We Love: Maye Musk

Let's wish an early "Happy Birthday" to Maye Musk, who will turn 70 on April 19. If the name sounds familiar, Elon Musk, a founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors, is one of her three children. But Maye Musk was not suddenly discovered when Elon became rich and famous. She has been modelling for over 50 years, has masters degrees in dietetics and nutritional science and is an author and motivational speaker. Oh yes, she's one of Cover Girl's latest finds and their oldest spokesmodel.

Maye with son Elon Musk

Born in Canada, her family were adventurous nomads who moved to South Africa when Maye was 2. Educated there, she married an engineer and had three children before a divorce in 1979. It was Elon who decided to move to Canada after high school. Maye followed with the other children.

She had been a model since age fifteen, always expecting to be told she was over the hill, but work was steady. She continued modelling in Canada and earned a few more degrees in nutrition-related studies.

Maye's many modelling assignments
Certainly the last few years have been a whirlwind of activity as Maye is being "discovered" all over the world. Besides Cover Girl, she has walked runways, is the inspiration for a collection by Sachin + Babi, appeared in a Beyonce video and on a James Bond video game. She has done campaigns for Target, Virgin Atlantic, Revlon and Kellog's and is now pretty much a celebrity in her own right.

In an interview you can see here (copy then paste the link):
Maye comes across as charming and delighted to be "near her peak." She also rightly considers herself an inspiration for younger models who may think they are getting too old to find work.  She tells a great story that at 42 she was "the oldest model in Canada" and was hired to portray a grandmother. Now she is told "you don't look like a grandmother", and she has ten grandchildren.

Quirky in Barney's spring campaign
Relaxed off set
Like all great models she is quite an actress and can project haughty, sophistcated or blase as well as chic or playful. Her brilliant white hair is a great assest, but like many women she had to decide when to let it happen.

As it was a "mousey brown" (I can relate), she started putting in highlights and was pretty much a blonde by her late '50s. She was tired of the effort and decided to see what was underneath "even if I never work again." She admits the blonde with a growing-out white halo may have looked strange, but she was determined and never resorted to wearing hats. What evolved is a gorgeous white which, when cropped into a modern cut, has been her crowning glory.

At one time she had put on enough weight to qualify as a plus-size model, but used her own knowledge to slim down and now: "I know all about the science behind healthy eating, but science does not give you willpower. When you get older, you have to eat better than you used to because if you let yourself go, it’s really hard to get back on track."

Maye's 1996 book on healthful living has long been out of print but a copy is available on Amazon for $1073. I have a feeling she may be writing another soon.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! I'd be interested in what she has to say about healthy eating after one's metabolism begins to slow down. I feel as though I understand the basics – it's not all that tricky, really – but it's still a struggle, and reinforcement always helps.