We all know Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, the guy with electrical cars, solar batteries for homes, Hyperloop, dreams of moving all of us on Mars… he’s the eccentric scientist of the modern tech world who somehow manages to deliver what he envisions. A man of such will and vision couldn’t have come from a family with little ambitions. His mom, as I recently found out, has been a model – gasp – for the last five decades!
Her busy career as a model at 67 years old didn’t surprise me as much as the interference of fashion in a world of tech and business – her other sons are in the restaurating and filmmaking business. After I read more about her, things clicked: she is a licensed nutritionist with 2 MSc in Dietetic and Nutritional Science. So, yes – mama Musk is a brainiac, too.
Her ads for Revlon, Clinique and dozens of magazines are beautiful, as you can imagine. Maye Musk is graceful, refined and vibrant. But what got to me when I discovered her and what compelled me to write this post was her sheer will of not just surviving this world, but thriving in it against all odds.
Now, you see her thin as a stick, but in the ’80s she was a plus-size model. It was easy to lose herself in food after a divorce and subsequent move – she gained 40 pounds despite the fact that she was a dietitian. Maybe she was afraid to stop, knowing how much she had to fight to get back at a pleasant size six. Or maybe there were other things at play but it certainly didn’t help knowing exactly the damage she inflicting on her body day by day.
Yet, she pulled herself together with one goal: to eat perfectly for 1 year. Yep, 12 months, roughly 360 days of no junk food, no fried stuff. This is what I’m talking about – ambition, ambition to nurture your body, respect it and give yourself back the energy and the ability to climb mountains – literally. Her secret: “planning everyday”. Nothing was taken for granted, no last-minute snacks, no chips when she forgot her almond or granola back at home.
As physical exercise was concerned, the BFF of diets and nutritional meals, Maye never took it seriously but she didn’t run away from it either:
‘I’ll do 30 minutes on a stationary bike so I can read at the same time. Or I’ll do the treadmill if there’s a good program. I’ll do some weights and stretches watching TV because I find it boring, but I always feel better after.’
That’s kind of genius! I’m easily bored too on a bike and treadmill and while music helps I still find it hard not to look at the clock and cut my exercise time to half. But a book would clearly draw me in and time would fly – thanks, Maye!
So what is she up to today? Modelling in New York and L.A., squeezing in four sizes for editorials but never losing weight for a job. Basically, leaving life as if it had just begun – embracing the times (“To celebrate my 60th birthday I stopped coloring my hair, cut it short and let my natural silver color shine”), laughing and enjoying food but never looking for the easy way out – in anything.
It’s refreshing to find role models where you least expect it, right? Not amidst celebrities under 30, but at an age when it’s easy to let yourself go, stop caring for your appearance and shutting away the world instead of growing with it. This is when the worthy ones show themselves – the ones that never cease to grasp life by its tail, like Maye Musk.