CHRISSY TEIGEN ON FOOD, BABY BLUES AND HOW SEX WITH JOHN ARE WHAT LEGENDS ARE MADE OF
Do you roll your eyes whenever a skinny model swears she loves junk food and never works out? Chrissy Teigen feels your pain.
Cover girl, food writer, TV host and social-media maven, Teigen is the first to admit she diligently exercises and watches her diet, and is sceptical about those who say they do otherwise. “Models notoriously love to say they love eating pizza, and I always thought that was annoying. It’s, like, we’re not stupid.”
But the wife of Grammy-winning musician John Legend and mother to their one-year-old daughter, Luna, is just as scathing when she catches herself unwittingly spouting the same spiel. “When I hear myself say those things, I’m, like, ‘I am that annoying girl that I hate.’”
Reality, of course, is rather less glamorous, reveals Teigen, who was born in Utah to a Norwegian father and Thai mother. “I love eating bad [stuff] but, obviously, I can’t eat like that all the time. And I’m not Instagramming or Snapchatting my workouts so it does seem like I might just eat bad food and never work out.”
It is this sort of truth-telling, of course, that has endeared Teigen to her fan base, which includes an army of 20 million or so followers on Instagram and Twitter. She may have first found fame in the pages of Sports Illustrated, but it was on online networks that Teigen has become something of a cultural phenomenon.
The star is one of the most adept social-media users on the planet, her well-crafted posts combining piercingly witty observations and comebacks with images from her personal and professional life, which run the gamut from glamorous to goofy. In 140 characters or less, she also routinely schools trolls such as British host and gadfly Piers Morgan (her response when the latter implied that boxer Muhammad Ali had said more racist things than President Donald Trump is a masterclass in the art of the subtweet). Underscoring it all is a self-deprecating candour and infectious sense of humour that is pithily captured by her Twitter bio, which reads: “Yes, I agree that I have kind of an odd face.”
In a media landscape dominated by hyper-curated depictions of perfect lives, this 31-year-old model has somehow cultivated an air of authenticity—a quality now deemed so rare, it’s become a marketing buzzword—and expanded this into a career. As one of the key online “influencers” making food fashionable as never before, Teigen parlayed her food blog into a bestselling cookbook last year, but is taking her time to write a second one because she does not want it to seem like “just a celebrity cookbook, or recipes that we don’t really love—I want to make sure if I include a recipe, people have seen me make it for John and my family 10 to 15 times”.
As a model-slash-foodie, Teigen could make a killing if she endorsed a branded diet. Instead, she acknowledges how complex and contested nutritional science is today, and the fact that the same approach may not work for everyone. “Because everybody is different, right? For me, I can eat candy all day and not gain a pound, for some reason. But if I have one sandwich, it goes straight to the belly. So I think you just find what works for you. I don’t want to promote anything because the second you do that, people think it’s going to work for them, and it may not. So that’s why I never really talk about diets or workouts.”
By Alison de Souza
Photographed by Yu Tsai
Styled by Deborah Afshani
Styling assistant: Kirsten Alvarez
Makeup: Fiona Stiles/Starworks Artists
Hair: Laura Polko/The Wall Group
Manicure: Christina Aviles/Opus Beauty
Set design: Alex Bain/Opus Beauty
Producer: Trever Swearingen/88 Phases
Digital Imaging: Luis Jaime/88Phases