I have no intention of ever writing beauty tips on how to make an African-American nose look slimmer or Asian eyes look bigger. That's degrading. Asian eyes are what's beautiful about you and what makes you different.
Intelligence is sexy. Don't play dumb, especially young girls. Don't play dumb. And let people see that you are intelligent.
I was not considered beautiful at all. Really. And this is what all models say. But I'm still not considered that beautiful in my country. I don't know the beauty ideal where I come from – but it's not me.
I was raised to treat my body as a temple, but even as a little girl, I had a major issue with self-esteem. I thought there was something wrong with the temple.
My father… gave me a positive connection with men because he is a gentleman.
When my daughter Zulekha was born, I was at the pinnacle of my working life as a model, and I pulled myself in two trying to cope with being both a mother and a career girl.
I was studying political science; I was adamant that I was going to follow in my father's footsteps.
When I was in high school,we were, like, 4,000 or 5,000 students, and 50 girls – and I didn't have a date for my prom. My father paid my cousin to take me.
I speak five languages besides mine. I went to school in Egypt because girls weren't allowed to go to school in Saudi Arabia. It's very restricting, especially for girls; we're not allowed to go anywhere.
I keep on 5 to 10 pounds above my jeans weight, as the ultimate no-filler-needed refresher, and buy a size up on jeans.
I'm a very political person, and I think things through clearly, even when I was 18 years old.
I have a 15-year-old daughter who thinks that I always had this self confidence that I have now at the age of 60. And I always tell her that what she is going through – the low self-esteem as a teenager – that is a right of passage.
I vowed to myself when I got married that I would cook every night. I find it very therapeutic.
The women I gravitate to are the ones who defy convention and reinvent themselves – hence, they reinvent the world around them.
Looking good is a commitment to yourself and to others. Wigs, killer heels, Pilates, even fillers – whatever works for you, honey.
I was a very nerdy child. I never fit in, so I became laboriously studious.
My mother was an activist; so was my father. They came from a generation of young Somalis who were actively involved in getting independence for Somalia in 1960.
When I lived in Egypt, we always wore kaftans. I had cashmere kaftans from Halston. You put on a kaftan in your backyard, and it's like you're in Ibiza.
I was under 18, and to leave Kenya to come to the United States, to get a passport, you had to be 18. So I lied and said I was 19 to get the passport, because otherwise, I had to have permission from my parents, and my parents would never have let me come.
People get numbed when they see picture after picture, year in and year out, of people starving.
I believe in glamour. I am in favor of a little vanity. I don't rely on just my genes.
As I always said: I fell in with David Jones. I did not fall in love with David Bowie.
Eliminating the things you love is not wellness. Wellness feeds your soul and makes you feel good.
You want a career? Do that first. You don't want to have kids? Then don't. You don't want to get married? Then don't. But once you do something, you've got to know that there is compromise.
I'm lucky in some ways in that I really don't need more than five or so hours of sleep.
I've always said if what I'm going to create doesn't look good on everybody, I'm not going to do it.
We all have friends and loved ones who say 60's the new 30. No. Sixty's the new 60.
Modeling gave me so many experiences, like traveling and being exposed to global cultures, but the most valuable lesson has been working with designers who truly are visionaries in their field.
My given name was Zahra, which is the 'flower of the desert.' I don't look anything like the flower of the desert. My name was changed by my grandfather to Iman, which means 'have faith.' And it meant to have faith that a daughter would come.
I was born in Somalia, which is in East Africa. My parents started with nothing: poor, poor, poor. They eloped, which was unheard of in my country, when my father was 17 and my mother was 14.
I was admittedly comfortable with Iman Cosmetics being identified as a beauty brand that filled the gap for black women because it was deeply personal for me.
I started the cosmetics in 1994 after I stopped modeling, out of my frustration as a woman of color not finding what I needed.
I wasn't a major in political science for nothing, so I understood the politics of beauty and the politics of race when it comes to the fashion industry.
There are highlights when you become irreplaceable as a model, like when you become a muse to designers. They look at you differently; you're not a coat hanger for hire.
One afternoon, on my way to the campus – I was majoring in political science at Nairobi University – a photographer by the name of Peter Beard stopped me in the street and asked me if I'd ever been photographed.
Bowie is just a persona. He's a singer, an entertainer. David Jones is a man I met.
We are very private, so we decided from early on that we will keep the press and editors and everybody out of our house.
We never do Valentine's dinner, because everybody, they look. On Valentine's, imagine me and David going to a restaurant! Like, everybody's going to say, 'Did they talk? Did they hold hands?' Twenty years. We've been married twenty years!
We all want what every girl wants: to look fabulous while we're out there ruling the world.
My ritual is cooking. I find it therapeutic. It comes naturally to me. I can read a recipe and won't have to look at it again.
The truth was I felt ugly growing up. I only really started feeling comfortable in myself when I was 40.
On my 50th birthday in 2005, my discount-wielding AARP card came in the mail. I hurled it in the trash, put on something fabulous, and had a decadent meal. Just the thought of putting it in my wallet felt like a concession.
I can enjoy what I'm engaged in and be fully present rather than planning my answers to questions while someone else is speaking or thinking about my next appointment while my current engagement is still in in progress.
At the end of the day, my legacy will not be modelling but my cosmetics line.
Eliminating the things you love is not wellness. Wellness feeds your soul and makes you feel good.
I have been a muse to Mr. Saint-Laurent, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Versace.
People talk about the miracle of birth. No. There's the miracle of conception. I did IVF, but nothing happened. So I began to think of adoption, and then I got pregnant. It was definitely a miracle.
I beg you, don't use the verb, 'discover', I hate it. What does it mean, that I didn't exist before?
I didn't start exercising until the end of my modeling career. When you're young, you eat and drink what you want and stay up all night and still look good.
I did not want to get involved with a rock star. No way. It is not a sane thing to do.
I thought at 46 years old, I've been removed from the fashion industry for 10 years. I couldn't possibly write a model's book. That's for a 20-year-old. But I could say what I want to say without chastising the industry.
I had never seen 'Vogue.' I didn't read fashion magazines, I read 'Time' and 'Newsweek.'
On a Friday night in 1983, I was in a taxi in New York riding home from dinner with friends. A drunk driver ran a red light and hit the cab, and I was thrown toward the glass partition. I tried to duck, but my face hit the glass, and the impact fractured my cheekbone, my eye socket, my collarbone and several ribs.
That is something that my mother instilled in me at a very young age – to know my self-worth. And I have had times again and again in the fashion industry where all of that was tested and I rose to the occasion because I was told that I am worthy and I should be able to walk away from something that is not worthy of me.
I tell all my younger friends, 'Don't be afraid of change. That is when you truly see what your destiny is.'
I would go to cosmetics counters and buy two or three foundations and powders, and then go home and mix them before I came up with something suitable for my undertones.
I believe the universe has great plans for us. When you are young, you don't learn that.
I suffer from low self-esteem. I had horrible self-esteem growing up. You really have to save yourself because the critic within you will eat you up. It's not the outside world – it's your interior life, that critic within you, that you have to silence.
The difference between rearing a child in your 20s and one in your 50s is one of patience.
Change makes you find your calling, your legacy, and God's divine plan for your life. Don't run from it.
When everyone is telling you, 'You're so beautiful, there's nobody like you,' you begin to think it's true. But of course there is nobody like you.
I'm against a signature look, as that can be very outdating. But having said that, I also know my best qualities, so I'm not going to foolhardily give away my power.
I don't do anything by myself. I have a whole crew to get me ready every day.
I'll be truly happy when we're not counting the number of ethnically diverse models on a fashion runway or campaign, when having a representation of the entire human race is the norm and not an exception.
I like to get up around 5:30 or six – that's my favorite time of day. My family is still asleep, and the office is still closed, so I can start my day slowly.
I have a certain manner of speech that is unique to me. I tried once to have my staff tweet for me, and it was a disaster! People knew right away that it wasn't me.
When I started modeling, they tried to pay black models less than they paid Caucasian models. I turned down those jobs because I knew what I was worth.
I'm always criticised by other Somalis and Muslims for what I'm doing as a model and married to a white man and all that.
I am so far more secure and more grounded and more know who I am than when I was in my 20s.
People called me 'Iman the black model'. In my country, we're all black, so nobody called somebody else black. It was foreign to my ears.
It's really not a good idea to forecast or double guess the fates; you will always be fooled.
There are some people who have helped to advance me and other girls, but the fashion industry is always behind popular culture. They think they understand the zeitgeist. They don't know anything about the zeitgeist.
After the bones mended, my left eye was smaller than my right, and my eyebrow never grew back. But you know what? Big deal. I think I became beautiful after the accident. I became kinder, more aware. I gained respect for other people.
There is no age better than another. The commitment to give of yourself and the knowledge that the time is right are what's important.
Granted, I've changed internally as I've gotten older – I take it easy, I know when to stop and take care of myself, I laugh much more and with my belly and soul – but this comes from the confidence and acceptance that comes with maturity.
I am the face of a refugee. I was once a refugee. I was with my family in exile.
There is a lot of noise out there. I don't want to follow the trend – I want to create the trend.
Mrs. Obama is not a great beauty. But she is so interesting-looking – so bright. That will always take you farther.