11 Things to Know About Stunning 69-Year-Old Model Maye Musk
From her striking, silvery-white hair to her sophisticated smile, Maye Musk is proof that glamour only improves with age. The 69-year-old is proudly CoverGirl's oldest spokesmodel—but she also happens to be an educated nutritionist and a mother to billionaire inventor Elon Musk.
Here's what you need to know about this fabulous and powerful woman in her prime.
1. SHE INHERITED HER AMBITION FROM HER PARENTS.
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, on April 19, 1948, Musk has a twin sister named Kaye and is one of five children to parents Joshua and Wyn Haldeman, who had a successful chiropractic business and a strong sense of adventure. While the family traveled often, their home was in South Africa. In 1952, when Musk was only four years old, her adventurous parents flew the family 22,000 miles around the world in a plane her father had brought in pieces from Canada, according to The New York Times.
Growing up, Musk and her family would roam the Kalahari Desert in search of a fabled Lost City. She and her siblings would sleep with sleeping bags pulled over their heads "so the hyenas wouldn’t eat our faces." From these map-making, adventuring parents, Musk found her confidence to pursue a career in the world of fashion.
2. SHE BEGAN HER MODELING CAREER IN SOUTH AFRICA AT THE AGE OF 15.
#1964 #16yearsold My second pose with my hand on my hip. #testshoot #contactsheet Swipe left for my first pose at 15, for the finale at the modeling school of my Mom‘s best friend. I made my own suit, and had my hair done for the first time. Could I have been any more dorky? Yet, after this, I was asked to model in runway shows. Very confusing. It just shows, you CAN improve with age. #nearly70 #justgettingstarted
Musk began her modeling career at the age of 15 in Pretoria and Johannesburg, blossoming into a successful model who worked on weekends and took part in runway shoots and catalogs, according to The New York Times. The teenager was also a finalist in the 1969 Miss South Africa beauty competition and became a popular model in the 1960s.
3. SHE MET HER HUSBAND ERROL MUSK IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THEY WERE MARRIED FOR NINE YEARS.
In high school, Musk met an engineer named Errol Musk, who would later become her husband. The couple
4. SHE ONCE HAD FIVE JOBS TO RAISE HER THREE CHILDREN AS A SINGLE MOTHER.
Despite her successful modeling career in high school, Musk struggled to make ends meet as a single mother. "After divorcing, I left South Africa to live in Toronto," Musk told Vogue. "They were tough years, on my own with three young children and no income. I’d cry when they
Musk worked five jobs to support her children, including modeling and working as a research officer for the University of Toronto. She also attended university to earn a Masters degree, all while running a modeling school in the evenings, according to her personal website. "[Children] grow up knowing you work hard, and the harder you work, the better you do and the luckier you get," Musk told Vanity Fair in 2015.
Her children did their part to support the family too. Tosca worked at an upscale grocery store while attending school and Musk helped Elon get a job at Microsoft. "They also had to be responsible for themselves, because they had to help me," Musk added in her interview with Vanity Fair.
5. SHE CALLS HER SONS' CAREERS HER "BEST INVESTMENT."
Though she struggled to make ends meet, Musk still invested in her children's future. "The first thing we did, after the first salary I got, [was] we got an inexpensive carpet put down because we didn’t have chairs or anything,” she told Business Insider. “And the second thing we got was a computer for Elon. And so he would sit on the floor at his computer.”
She later encouraged both of her sons when they started a software company called Zip2 for media companies and e-commerce clients. The brothers' small business took off and eventually sold for $300 million.
Today, her daughter Tosca is a filmmaker in Los Angeles; her son, Kimbal is the founder of The Kitchen Community, a nonprofit that builds gardens in schools; and her son, Elon Musk, is a billionaire technology mogul, the CEO of Tesla, and one of the most well-known names in the business industry.
6. SHE HAS A DEGREE IN NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES, FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.
This @theeconomist @1843mag photoshoot shows my son @kimbalmusk preparing vegetables. We are fortunate. Kimbal’s nonprofit @biggreen has built over 400 vegetable gardens in schools to give children access to better eating habits. Now he’s raffling his Tesla 3 to raise funds to build 1000 school gardens through omaze.com/tesla ???????????? #goodson See slideshow.
The hardworking mother of three also made time during her busy schedule to earn her BS in dietetics from the University of the Orange Free State in South Africa and a Master's degree in nutritional science from the University of Toronto. Since then, Musk has split her career between being a model and a dietitian. She even serves on the Los Angeles Board of The Kitchen Community, which introduces vegetable gardens to underserved schools around the country to ensure better health in children.
After a brief stint as a plus-sized model in the '90s, Musk lost 50 pounds and has since kept off the weight, maintaining a superfood-rich diet. “Feed the body well and your skin will look good. Eating well combines science with common sense,” Musk told Vogue. At home, Musk eats a vegetarian diet, with some of her favorite foods including pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. But when she dines out, the model will order fish, chicken, or meat.
7. SHE HAS A MASSIVE SWEET TOOTH.
Happy Valentine’s Day!???????? Where’s my Valentine? Oh well, I’ll just look fabulous in this @dior gold suit and @dolcegabbana red shoes???? @prestigehk #coverstory #hongkong Thanks @mikeruizone @kristinekilty @anthonymerante @ozzie__g__ @marciahamilton #IMG #greatteam #ittakesateam #grandmother #Nearly70 #justgettingstarted * #interview http://prestigeonline.com/hk/fashion/-/maye-musk-getting-older-awesome/
Musk's son Kimbal has the culinary skills to satisfy his mother's sweet tooth, particularly when it comes to sticky toffee pudding. "It’s my favorite in the world," she told W Magazine. "[But] I’m a dietitian, so I can’t have it very often,” she added.
8. SHE'S A COVERGIRL.
In September 2017, Maye Musk became CoverGirl's oldest spokesmodel, demonstrating a growing diversity in the modeling world. "I’m living proof that [you can] find work for an older woman...I’ve never worked so much as I do now," Musk told Vanity Fair. But Musk's journey to becoming a CoverGirl was not an easy one.
She attended hundreds of auditions to get to where she is today, working for a large part of her career without an agent. In celebration of her 60th birthday, Musk stopped dyeing her hair, leaving it a natural silver that has since appeared in everything from commercials to music videos. The gray-haired model has been in ad campaigns for Virgin America and Joe Fresh, and posed for Elle Quebec, New York Magazine, L'Officiel Azerbaijan, and advertisements in Times Square, according to her website.
Today, she is busier than ever before, traveling to speak for various organizations and do modeling jobs worldwide.
9. SHE'S EVEN BEEN IN A MUSIC VIDEO WITH BEYONCÉ.
After putting her career aside for a short time to support her family, Musk has reclaimed the spotlight. In recent years, she has participated in New York Fashion Week, attended the Met Gala along with her son, Elon, and appeared in Beyoncé's "Haunted" music video.
10. SHE'S SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY AND LOVES HER INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT.
@prestigehk cover story: miniskirt, complicated boots, and then told to jump?????????? #grandmother #Nearly70 What do you think? * * @mikeruizone @kristinekilty @anthonymerante @ozzie__g__ @marciahamilton #greatteam #dress @giorgioarmani #boots @dior #jacket @tim_ryan_knit * * #coverstory #hongkong @imgmodels #justgettingstarted * http://prestigeonline.com/hk/fashion/-/maye-musk-getting-older-awesome/
The social media-loving model uses Instagram as a platform to connect with her fans. "I put a lot of food on Instagram stories. Instagram is more
11. SHE'S CLOSE WITH HER CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.
Even though they live in different parts of the world, the entire Musk family keeps touch via text, email, Instagram, and Twitter. “I just think everything my kids do is fabulous," Musk told W Magazine. “Pretty much every time we get together I feel like it’s Mother’s Day."
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.