An article from The Telegraph @ telegraph.co.uk by Tamsin Blanchard :
” She had little interest in how she looked or what she wore when she was growing up. The woman whose thick glossy hair was to become worth millions of dollars to L’Oréal says that as a teenager she barely knew what a hairdryer was. She was born in Friesland, a rural province with a population of less than 650,000 and a lot of cows and windmills, and its own language. Kroes still likes to speak West Frisian, though obviously not when she’s shooting with Mario Testino. Her mother was a nurse, then a teacher, and her father is a psychotherapist. In the 1970s they were both champion speed skaters.
Kroes, 28, and her sister, Ren, 26, a nutritionist, were brought up in typically rustic Dutch style: skating, cycling and eating healthy food.
‘I biked to school every day, about 25km there and back. My mum would say, if you go on your bike it will make you stronger. I think it did. I see a lot of Dutch women on their bikes with their kids and their groceries and it makes me happy to see that it’s how we are, and how I was raised. In the countryside I was always outside, kind of like a tomboy.’
They didn’t have central heating, and their father would spend the summer chopping wood for the fire in the winter. Her mother grew their own vegetables and would always have earth under her fingernails. ‘I never even thought about my looks. We didn’t have social media so we couldn’t look at other girls and pictures from magazines. We didn’t really buy a lot of magazines; my mum and dad would just read papers. It was a different world, I realise now.’
Her world now revolves around her family, her regular work commitments, her fitness regime (Victoria’s Secret requires her to be ‘bikini-ready’ all year round), her work with the charity Dance4Life, and her 635,000 followers on Instagram. When she posted a picture of herself on her husband’s shoulders at the Tomorrowland electronic music festival in Belgium over the summer, she had more than 47,900 ‘likes’ within 48 hours. While she admits that she couldn’t see the point of making snapshots of her life public via social media at first, she now embraces it fully – and enjoys the interaction it gives her with her fans.
‘It’s a tool you have to use. I enjoy reading what people have to say and answering – I can’t answer everything but especially when I’m talking about menus for my son, I have so many people who love what I give him.’ She makes him incredibly healthy meals such as tofu marinated in garlic, turmeric and ginger, and her sister, who also lives in Amsterdam, makes him sugar-free cakes. At some point, there will probably be a cookbook.
Despite her healthy-eating messages, Kroes is aware of the extra pressure Instagram puts on young women. ‘I feel I’m such a big part of that insecurity that some girls might have because of my job, that girls think they have to be that picture. And even boys, they think that that picture exists and it’s so frustrating because I don’t look like that picture – I wake up not looking like that picture.’ Occasionally, she will post a picture of herself on a beach without make-up, but she says that people want the fantasy.
Kroes says she started building her social media to help promote the work she does for Dance4Life, a charity devoted to sex education and teaching safe sex to young people around the world. ‘I think it has something to do with being Dutch [talking about sex in an open way]. I have friends around me who have sex with no condoms and I think it’s crazy.’
She has been to Philadelphia to talk to – and dance with – children in one of the city’s most deprived schools, as well as to Tanzania and Thailand. While children in Tanzania are not aware of who Kroes is, when the teenagers in Philadelphia found out she was a Victoria’s Secret model, they suddenly took a renewed interest in what she was telling them about safe sex. ‘These kids who were looking really bored and falling asleep suddenly became fully engaged. It’s amazing what Victoria’s Secret can do.’
It’s also amazing what a profile Victoria’s Secret has given models such as Kroes and her fellow Angels (who include Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima and Karlie Kloss), who are on contract with the underwear brand which last year recorded sales of more than $6.12 billion.
‘For the show, there is no retouching,’ Kroes said. ‘We can’t escape from the truth. There are millions of people watching – and even people watching live – so it’s really important to work out a lot, which I do, and I definitely change my diet. Diet is 70 per cent of what your body looks like. You can work out all you like but if you don’t eat well… I stop drinking [alcohol] a month before the show and no sugar. I still eat carbs because to have just protein and vegetables for me, it doesn’t work. But I eat one potato with some fish and greens – very basic and happy food.’
Exercise is part of Kroes’ daily routine. She has a personal trainer, the former boxer Michael Olajide (if you want to see them in action, there is a series of videos on YouTube that will inspire you to work on your abs like nothing else) and she is also working with Mary Helen Bowers, the founder of Ballet Beautiful. ‘She comes to my place [in New York] and she does Skype sessions. Ballet is amazing for a woman’s body – you work on the little muscles. I like the combination between both boxing and ballet. It’s very extreme.’
Despite her regime, Kroes is no size zero. And nor does she want to be. ‘I’m not a sample size at all,’ she says. ‘At some shows I know they have been using very young girls who have not gone into the change of the body yet – no hips, no boobs. I’m 28 and I’ve had a baby. I have a woman’s body, and once in a while you run into the fact that things are not fitting the way they should be. But I joke about it and say, “What 13-year-old girl was wearing this?” If they think I’m too fat, I’d rather not do the job – because I am super-healthy and fit and I’m so happy the way I am.’ “
original article : Inside the life of Victoria’s Secret supermodel Doutzen Kroes fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG10283673/Inside-the-life-of-Victorias-Secret-supermodel-Doutzen-Kroes.html
- The Perfect Nude from Collection Privee by Color Riche L’Oreal Paris (thecitizensoffashion.com)
- Inside the life of Victoria’s Secret supermodel Doutzen Kroes (fashion.telegraph.co.uk)
- The first sketches for the Victoria’s Secret Show 2013 (thecitizensoffashion.com)