For Heidi Klum, there’s no topic too uncomfortable.
From talking to her children about sex to facing critics who called her “too curvy,” there seems to be no subject that scares off the 43-year-old supermodel mom.
“They know how babies are conceived,” the Project Runway host said of her four kids in the December issue of Ocean Drive. “I have never really been a huge fan of beating around the bush. I’m quite direct. I guess that’s how people know me on television: I don’t mince my words.”
Having spent most of her adult life in an industry notorious for not mincing words, the iconic model can still recall the early flack she received for her signature hourglass figure.
“That I’m too curvy. Too feminine. I got that a lot,” she said of her biggest criticism. “That I should be skinnier. And that I’m not edgy enough and a little too happy half of the time. Everyone was always telling me maybe I should skip a meal or I should go on these [diet] pills.”
Fortunately, Klum let the words roll of her back as she climbed the ladder to success. “I just always stuck to my guns and thought either they want me the way I am or this is not the right job for me,” she told the magazine.
Still, the ability to juggle the fame with the flack was not born overnight.
“When you’re a normal girl from a small town and no one really takes note of you, and then all of a sudden you’re walking down a catwalk in your lingerie and on the cover of Sports Illustrated and all these people are turning their heads when you go into a restaurant and pointing their finger at you saying, ‘She’s not as pretty in person as she is in photos,’ you get a little insecure,” the German native told the magazine. “You always get judged, so you have to learn how to handle that.”
Klum may have been a modelling newcomer at the time, but she was also comfortable in her own skin thanks to her European upbringing. “I grew up going to nude beaches with my parents, so I’m a nudist. I have no problems with nudity at all. I’m very free,” she said.
“When I go to the beach, it’s in a very remote place where there are not a lot of people, and I like to go topless.”
However, the intimates designer acknowledges that everyone has their own level of inhibition—and it’s all acceptable.
“Everyone should do what they want to do, [even if it’s] thigh-high stockings and a garter belt that shows a little bit when you sit at the dinner table. I don’t think that’s vulgar,” Klum said. “I feel comfortable and don’t care if someone sees my nipples necessarily—it’s okay to see the nipple! But not everyone feels comfortable with that.”
As the television host made clear during her interview, she is going to live her life regardless of what anyone else says. This philosophy trickles down from her bras to her love life. Currently, she’s dating contemporary art dealer Vito Schnabel, who is 13 years younger than his leading lady.
However, as Klum so appropriately responds to her naysayers, “it’s not about age.”
“We have an amazing connection, we have fun together, and we love each other,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what people say. As long as you know when you close your door in your own home, you have an amazing time together. That’s really all that matters.”