She’s a dietitian, author, model and entrepreneur. With an impressive life story, worthy of a real movie script, the protagonist of the #WhatIDontWantTheWorldToKnowAboutMe interview has dominated New York’s Times Square on giant billboards, but she also was a victim of domestic violence (and, as a single parent, had material shortages).
She changed benchmarks in the fashion industry, mentalities and managed to raise three children, of whom she is very proud. Ladies and gentlemen, it gives us great pleasure to introduce you to none other than Maye Musk.
What does youth mean to you?
Youth is how you feel. I feel energetic and youthful at 75. I meet teenagers who are miserable, sad, and not enjoying their youth. They sound like old people, lose their confidence, and give up too quickly. Focus on doing good things for others, keep working, and mix with kind people.
What should a woman never say about herself?
I’m not good enough. We are told that very often, don’t say it to yourself.
What advice do you have for women who remain in unhappy and abusive relationships?
When you are in a bad relationship, your confidence is beaten out of you, physically and emotionally. You need to make a plan. You have to move away so that you can have a better life. It is very scary, and maybe you will make mistakes, but there is possible hope. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, reach out to your family and friends. You will find different ways.
You can always return to your miserable situation.
The exhortation „to live dangerously, carefully“ came well rooted, on the paternal line. How much has this exposure helped you through the tough times you’ve faced throughout your life?
It’s all in my book. People consider me very brave. I have lived and started my own business in nine cities and three countries. None have been easy. There are always complications that you didn’t expect to happen. You need to be careful if things don’t work out. It’s not that I was in danger, like in the Kalahari Desert with the hyenas, it’s more that I was running away from a bad situation, or moving to improve my life. If I could afford to live with a roof over my head, that is better than sleeping on the ground in the desert.
What was the most challenging moment in being a single mother?
The most challenging moment is when you have very little money, and you have to feed three children. As my nutrition practice and modeling jobs would build up, I could gradually buy something like a chicken for dinner once a week. This is still better than being screamed at and beaten up.
What was behind the decision not to rebuild your life after the divorce?
I did rebuild my life after my divorce. It just took a long time to start feeling less stressful financially, but I had hope.
As a grandmother, you declared that „you don’t spoil your grandchildren with gifts, but with hugs“. Do you impose your point of view on their upbringing and education?
I don’t interfere with my grandchildren’s decisions. I did teach nutrition and public health at one of their schools for a while, but then my speaking engagements and modeling jobs increased, and I had to resign. I will listen to them about what they would like to do, but they make their own decisions.
You are also a nutritionist. Why do you think we’ve come to categorize a balanced diet as a diet and not as a lifestyle?
I think everyone is confused about eating well because of all the fad diets that promise miracles. I base my advice on science and common sense. I like people to enjoy their food and not be scared.
You also made history in modeling and even though you gained weight (after splitting up with your ex-husband), the industry itself reconfigured its standards towards plus-size fashion, taking you as an example. What did this readjustment mean for you?
I was very happy I could still have this extra income while working in my private practice. However, when poor health occurred, I had to then control my eating habits. People think I’m naturally lean, but no, I am a careful eater.
What is the message that everyone resonates with from the book „A Woman Makes a Plan“?
I see many comments from women who are making a plan to change. They say they are happy with their decisions. We need to be happier.
© Credit photo: Susan Bowlus