It used to be Selena Gomez. Whenever I looked at Selena Gomez’s photos, I felt so old, because she always looked so freakin’ young to me. Nowadays, it’s Kaia Gerber’s babyface that makes me feel old. To be fair, Kaia Gerber IS a baby. She’s only 15 years old, for goodness sake. She should be worrying about trigonometry and PSATs! But here she is, on the cover of Teen Vogue, because we are all so very old now. Kaia has been working as a model steadily for about a year and a half, including a Vogue Paris cover and a modeling gig as the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty. All of which reminds me of that great Absolutely Fabulous line: “If the models get any younger, Pats, they’ll be chucking foetuses down the catwalk!” That’s where we are now. As for the editorial… I’m calling it “Good Genes, Bad Jeans.” Kaia has great genes and horrible jeans. Some highlights from the interview:
She had a grounded childhood: “I think it was only on my eighth birthday, at Disneyland, that I started to understand what was going on. I wanted to take pictures with the princesses, and everyone wanted to take pictures with her!”
She loves chocolate: “It was even my first word!”
Family time: “As my brother and I get older and busier, I really cherish the time we spend together. Every summer we go to our house in Canada; it’s our tradition. It’s on the lake, and we go for four or five weeks. There’s no Wi-Fi, so I stay off social media.”
Social media: “I try to take breaks. Everyone expects you to be on it all the time, but social media is just everyone’s best version of themselves. I try and give people a truer depiction of who I am,” she says.
Her close-knit group of friends: “My parents have always taught me to be myself and to follow my instincts. They also say that you should never let what other people do affect what you want to do. It changes everything when you accept who you are and you don’t try to change yourself.”
She feels a responsibility to be a good role model to young girls: “It is so key to me to be a good role model for young girls and someone their mom would want them to look up to. I now reach so many people, and it’s hard for them to know what is real. I don’t take any platform I have lightly. It’s so important to send a good message.”
She loves Karlie Kloss: “I really look up to Karlie. She’s broken all the rules of what a model should be and uses her platform to benefit others. Plus we’ve met a bunch of times, and she’s one of the nicest people ever. All my icons I look up to as people, not just their work. ‘Iconic’ is not a word I use lightly. You have to earn it.”
When I started paying attention to models, the big-shouldered supermodel era was sort of on the down swing and it was the rise of Kate Moss and waif models. Still, I used to enjoy reading about the Amazon Supermodel days, with Cindy, Linda, Christy, Naomi, and I would put Claudia and Stephanie in there too. You know what this reminded me of? That I always sort of disliked Christy because she was so obviously the goody-two-shoes of the group. The other models adored her, of course, but she always seemed so bland compared to the vivacity and drama of the others. Come to think of it, Cindy had some bland moments too, but she made up for it by marrying and divorcing Richard Gere and all of that. Anyway, I bet that Kaia will end up the Christy of the nepotism models: the goody-two-shoes.
Photos courtesy of Teen Vogue.