Elle Macpherson: ‘I avoid the mirror’

The Australian Next Top Model guest judge gets candid as she speaks to WHO exclusively.
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Legendary looker Elle Macpherson, 52, returned home to Sydney in early May for a whirlwind week of press interviews and one very important job. For the first time, the TK-year-old model—who has hosted Britain and Ireland’s Top Model franchises and appeared on the American version—appears as a mentor on the Sept. 27 instalment of FOX8’s Australian Next Top Model.

You met young models all the time now. What have they figured out that you hadn’t when you were getting started?

The girls are really camera-savvy. I guess because they’re more adept with social media. They’re used to doing selfies. They understand the light, they know what works for them. And that’s cool. You need to be in this business.

Speaking of social media, you built your brand years before it changed everything. Are you grateful for that?

Look, maybe I would have built my business in half the time with [access to] social media. I don’t know. But part of me feels really happy I was able to kind of survive the 1980s without too much documentation!

Did you really say you didn’t start taking care of yourself until you were 40?

I really started to notice the correlation between health and beauty around that age. Like all young people, I thought I was invincible. I lit the candle at both ends. I tried so many fad diets. I stayed up all night … a lot of things I don’t choose to do today.

Is it true you hate going to the gym?

There’s definitely an argument for the gym. I just prefer to be outdoors. And I don’t like standing in front of mirrors for an hour looking at myself. If I have a choice between that and a landscape, I’m going to look at the landscape!

Elle Macpherson on Australia’s next top model alongside Cheyenne Tozzi on the set. (FOX8 AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL: Ben Symons)

You have two biological sons, two stepdaughters and a stepson. Talk about raising boys, raising girls and what you find is different.

My stepchildren have their own parents—and they’re wonderful parents. So I hope to be a sounding board, a friend, and a guide. It would be a big mistake if I tried to “raise” them. But look, my 18-year-old son gets a lot more freedom than my 18-year-old stepdaughter. Because I kind of figure he can look after himself. We wouldn’t have [her] do some of the things he does… he’s a cheeky monkey! But the one thing I have done with all five children is talk to them about understanding and knowing their bodies—recognising if they’re not well, knowing how the food they eat affects their moods … if that’s a gift I can give them, that’s good.

For more of our interview with Elle Macpherson, pick up this week’s copy of WHO on stands now.

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