Write An Article About A Supermodel
As Deputy Features Writer for my university newspaper, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to write on pretty much any topic I feel like as long as it has some sort of relevance. It gives me great freedom and I love it. Over the Christmas holidays I got in touch with Therese Kerr, mother of supermodel Miranda Kerr, simply because I think Miranda is beautiful and I’m a big fan of their website Kora Organics. The result of that was an article that was printed in the February issue of our newspaper and below is the finished piece. It was such fun to write, and Therese put it up on her blog. It received great comments from readers which was really flattering and it’s that which makes writing totally worthwhile.
Under The Skin of A Supermodel
“My New Year’s resolution is to touch someone’s life in a positive way, every day.” Miranda Kerr’s effervescent beauty both inside and out is why she is known the world over. It is what catapulted her to fame at the age of 13, when she won a nationwide model search run by Australian Dolly magazine. Ever since then it has been a seamless rise to the top of the fashion world, peaking with Miranda being chosen as the first ever Australian Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2007. Major campaigns such as Jil Sander and Prada, have sealed her status as a high fashion model. Not to mention the fact that she is married to one of the most gorgeous men in Hollywood, Orlando Bloom, and last year gave birth to a beautiful, baby boy, Flynn. Jealous? Well, actually no. Because Miranda comes across as such a lovely person that you cannot help but imagine that if you were lucky enough to meet her, she might just be an irritatingly gorgeous best friend. One only needs to remember how she helped to save banker David Kiely’s job by signing a petition, after he was caught viewing racy photos of her on his computer in the background of a live television interview. It resulted in a 100% increase in the number of Google searches for Kerr’s name. Enough said.
To talk to the woman that raised Miranda should, then, be a delight. I wasn’t disappointed. Therese Kerr is a woman who looks scarily similar – and close in age – to her daughter. Both have radiant complexions, great cheekbones and exude health from every pore. This is all down to a venture completely separate from the modelling world: their family run business Kora Organics. The name comes from Miranda’s belief in the importance of nurturing your ‘core’ self, and it’s also a form of Buddhist meditation. This is why I wanted to speak to Therese. To find out about a company that is offering people skincare that harnesses the power of botanical extracts, with hundreds of testimonials waxing lyrical about the healing effects of Kora Organics. Up to six testimonials a day claim that everything from severe eczema to scarring has been cured. What makes Kora Organics so very successful is that behind the scenes is a loving, ordinary family who care so much about what they are creating. At the helm of the business is Miranda Kerr: a model with a conscience.
Trying to get hold of Therese Kerr was no mean feat. Ten thousand miles and a lot of Christmas hullabaloo separated us, but when we finally did speak it was worth the wait. Apologies were abundant as she shared with me the reasons for our delay in correspondence. “I have been travelling and am on my way back from Coff’s Harbour, on the coast of New South Wales, after Christmas. Most Christmas’s we spend together as a family and this year was special because Flynn and Miranda’s cousin’s babies were all celebrating with us. We are like this big, Italian family when we get together. It is a cook-fest morning, lunch and dinner with great music, incredible food and amazing company! We all chip in and do what needs to be done so that we all get to enjoy our holiday!” I smiled at hearing of the magical normality of a family Christmas, forgetting momentarily that it involves two of the most talked about people on the planet.
Therese raised her family in the small country town of Gunnedah, about 450km North West of Sydney. She speaks fondly of the place she grew up in. “Gunnedah is interesting and the people are wonderful. I was born there and lived there until I was 8 years old, when my parents bought hotels in varying parts of Australia. In 1981, at 16, I met Miranda’s dad, who is still my husband after 30 years of marriage.” Life in the country sounds pretty sweet. Miranda, too, has stated that her ultimate goal for the future is to move back into the Australian outback and live a simple life with her family, a veggie patch and lots of animals. A nice idea, although one wonders if a ‘simple’ life is ever truly possible once you’ve reached the dizzy heights of stardom that Miranda has.
Life up until the age of 13 was similar to just about every other normal kid growing up in the Australian countryside. What changed the course of the Kerr family forever was the illustrious Dolly competition, which Miranda won after friends sent in photos of her. I ask Therese whether she was at all worried about the kind of lifestyle that winning such a competition may bring to her only daughter. “It is interesting. I had pre-conceived ideas in relation to modelling and in fact when her friends entered her into the competition, I purposely included a couple of photos showing Miranda’s crooked teeth. Yes, like most young people – Miranda needed braces!” Phew! The supermodel did need a little help to look this good. Therese expressed her spiritual outlook on what happened to Miranda, saying “if the universe wanted this path for her, it would happen regardless and our jobs as parents, was and will always be, to guide and be there for her. To support, love and nurture and we have done that”.
You might think that after Dolly came magazine shoots, catwalks, Victoria’s Secret and big campaigns. That did happen, but what most people don’t know is that during that time Miranda studied Nutrition and Psychology externally in Australia and recently became a Registered Natural Therapist in the US. Health and wellbeing was a part of her life before any of the modelling fame came along: Kora Organics didn’t spring from nowhere. What kick started its creation, however, was Therese’s health scare in 2002 when she discovered she had tumours on her spleen. “That was the catalyst for both myself and Miranda to research alternative medicine and to lead an extremely healthy life. Health happens by choice, not by chance and living a healthy, balanced life has become a passion for both of us.”
Ever since then, mother and daughter have pioneered the campaign for skincare that doesn’t contain ‘the nasties’. Therese reels off a whole host of weird sounding chemicals: “TEA’s, DEA’s, Glycols, Parabens, Sulphates, artificial and synthetic flavours and colours, Formaldehyde.” I certainly wouldn’t want to put any of those onto my body – and since Miranda’s mantra is ‘What you put on your skin, soaks in’ – I wouldn’t want them in my body either. The benefits of the toners, cleansers and moisturisers are never-ending. They contain extracts of Tahitian Noni Juice, which Miranda swears by as it is meant to boost the immune system and increase energy levels. “They are certified through Eco-Cert (an organic certification body) and are formulated to be transdermal, which means that they penetrate the different layers of skin to effect and bring about real change. Most traditional skincare is low active, high preservative but Kora Organics products are high active, low preservative yet still have a shelf life of 2 years when unopened” says Therese. A walking encyclopaedia for her company, it is clear she is passionate about Kora Organics.
But Kora Organics is not just a skincare company – it is a lifestyle choice. This can be seen in the blog, which is a great platform for Miranda to share everything she knows with her fans and is extremely popular because it is so personal. Therese tells me that one of Kora Organics key values is “to educate and we do that by bringing specialists in their fields from all over the world to contribute. Leading nutritionists, natural therapists in all modalities, healthy chefs, spiritual leaders such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay and others share their secrets and health recipes in the hope of providing information to enable people to make informed choices as to their health and what they put in and on their bodies.” It’s true. As I scour the blog, I find posts about exercises that will help you get the body of a supermodel, candid shots of Miranda backstage at fashion shows and positive affirmations aplenty to help enforce a positive frame of mind, which seems to be the most important thing to Miranda. One of her favourite affirmations is “I give myself permission to be authentic. I am fully self expressed and never afraid to be who I really am.”
Philanthropy is the name of the game. Especially since the Kerrs set up the ‘Too Many Too Soon Youth Suicide’ initiative, which was created to bring people awareness of ‘Kids Helpline’ in Australia. “Too many young people feel it necessary to take their own lives and most often they don’t know who to turn to for help. Our goal is to show young people that it is ok to ask for help and to take any stigma away from doing so.” All I can do is marvel at Therese Kerr and her husband, son, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who are all pulling the strings of this fantastic, educational, big-hearted puppet. It isn’t just skincare – it’s a wealth of life-changing knowledge with a kind and positive ambassador in Miranda Kerr.
I feel compelled to ask Therese, as a beacon of all things health, what on earth are we university students supposed to do to live a better lifestyle when Costcutters’ chicken dippers and £1 shots at Willow are calling? “Go to the markets and buy fresh, certified organic fruit and vegetables.” Well, York has a great Farmer’s Market so I’m going to try and follow that tip. “If the University provides your food, ask them to buy certified organic and get your friends to ask too as the higher the demand, the more likely you will bring about change.” Well, I’m not so sure the hung-over, eternally exhausted Freshers will want to wage a campaign alongside me for better quality of food, since quite frankly food of any standard will do when you’ve drunk six treble-vodka and Vimtos at The Nag’s Head. But Therese’s last nugget of advice is valuable: “Most of the time at uni, you’re sitting in lectures, so choose low GI foods as opposed to high GI. Drink filtered water and use certified organic body and skincare products. Your body and general health will thank you.”
As the interview with Therese draws to a close, I ask her a personal question, away from Kora Organics. What was her proudest moment in Miranda’s career? It was something as small as reading an interview her daughter did. “The question asked of her was: ‘out of all the people, alive or dead, that you would choose to have dinner with, who would you choose?’ I was expecting the answers Prince William, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, but her answer was ‘my grandma on my mothers side. She died when my mum was 7.5 months pregnant with me and I would give anything to have met her and never did.’ That’s when I knew, even after all of Miranda’s incredible successes in life, I had raised the most beautiful girl in the world – both inside and out.”
Once again, I am touched by the great friendship and love that holds this family together. When you see Miranda’s big blue eyes and mane of dark hair in the magazines, you undoubtedly see something special, but it isn’t until you get under her skin that you realise what it truly is: her family, her beliefs, her spirit. All of which is bottled in Tiffany-blue packaging, and printed with four little letters: Kora. I feel like I’ve been let into the home of a great group of people, famous or not, and I am completely privileged. But just before I finish, I am offered one more moment of honesty.
“By the way, Miranda and I have the same sense of humour. We see the funny side of things. We dance around the house together, sing, laugh and have so much fun when we are together that our cheeks ache from laughing. Neither of us takes life, things, or ourselves too seriously. We are here to live in the moment and be the best we can be now and hopefully make a difference to other people’s lives in the process. Life is for living now and for being continually grateful for everything that befalls us, good or bad. For without every experience, we wouldn’t be who we are.”