At 69, model Maye Musk aims to inspire women of all ages
Meredith MacLeod, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, November 6, 2017 10:25AM EST
Canadian-born model Maye Musk hopes her history-making role as a CoverGirl spokesperson will inspire women of all ages.
At 69, Musk is the oldest model ever for the beauty brand. On Monday, she told CTV’s Your Morning that she is proud of her age and more confident than ever.
“I’ve only had positive comments and people are just thrilled that someone is representing first of all, my age, around 70, and then young girls have more hope because they say, ‘Oh, we can carry on forever.”
Musk has been a model for more than 50 years, but she’s also a dietitian and nutritionist and the mother of three successful children, including Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX.
Sporting a short cut featuring her natural grey hair, and an oversized green sweater and sequined green pants, Musk says she feels no need to try to hide her age.
“I’m very happy with my age and my mom was happy with her age; a lovely Canadian.”
Musk was born in Regina in 1948, a twin among the five children of Wyn Fletcher and American Joshua Haldeman. Her parents moved the family to South Africa when she was a young child, where Musk began a modelling career at 15.
By 18, she was told her modelling career was over.
But at 21, she was a finalist in the 1969 Miss South Africa pageant and went on to grace the covers of fashion magazines, billboards in Times Square and catwalks around the world, including Milan and New York this year. She signed with prestigious modelling agency IMG in 2015.
She moved to Toronto with her children in 1989, earning her second master’s degree, in nutritional science, at the University of Toronto. She then worked as a research officer at the university. She says she always encouraged hard work and independence in her children, crediting her own parents for setting an adventurous example.
They flew their family around the world in a prop plane in 1952 and roamed the Kalahari desert for 10 years looking for its fabled Lost City.
“I think my parents gave me the basic principles of being kind and considerate, working hard, being honest, respecting people, being polite. And I think that all helps because my children were all well-behaved and good kids and worked hard as well. And working hard now, all three of them.”
Her son Kimbal Musk is a restaurateur and philanthropist, and daughter Tosca Musk is a film producer and director.
Maye Musk, who has 73,000 followers on Instagram and has been in a Beyoncé video, says she only managed to impress her 10 grandchildren when she appeared as a spy in a James Bond video game.
She says, for her, aging well has been about continuing to work, looking after herself and eating well “most of the time.” She does not follow fad diets, but eats from the basic food groups.
“I follow science and common sense. And people are always surprised that I put milk in my coffee, but I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.”
Her advice to women is to make hard choices when life isn’t going well.
“If you’re not in a good situation, just move on and get out of it, even if it means you’re poverty-stricken. It’s best to aim to, in a relationship or in work, to be happy. Do what you love.”