Maye Musk Talks Lipstick, Sunscreen, Modeling and Everything In Between

’81 – Plus-Size Pioneer

“During my 30s, my fiancé had gotten someone else pregnant and moved next door to me. You can imagine I was very sad. I worked my way through all of that and I ate whatever I felt like. I would eat burgers and fries, fried chicken, ice cream and chocolate, and I really loved it. After I gained 65 pounds and my health deteriorated, I thought, I’m either going to have to take painkillers for my knees and my back, or I have to get this under control. It took me eight months to lose it all. It just so happened that plus-size modeling started at the same time that I gained weight. All of a sudden they started needing me in runway shows. They would ask for an older model and a plus-size model, and I was both. I was the only one in South Africa— because you can imagine, this was the ’80s—and all the other agents would book me and pay the commission to my agent to fly me around the country to be in all the runway shows. So, this was really cool. Today, I love seeing how the modeling landscape has changed. I think diversity gives women more confidence. I’m just happy that curvy models are influencing so many women in the world today.”

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