Christy Turlington still considers modeling her work—“It’s the only thing that pays me; everything else is school or volunteerism,” the Columbia masters candidate, often described as one of the world’s most beautiful people, tells Vogue. “My face is a dime a dozen in many parts of the world.” Specifically, the developing countries she’s working to improve with an upcoming documentary on maternity risks.
Turlington, 40 and working on a degree in public health, learned about preventable childbirth risks around the world after dealing with a complication in her own pregnancy. She decided to take action, following mothers in Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Guatemala for next year’s documentary No Woman, No Cry. In the process, she impressed many, including one nonprofit director: “How can someone who’s been modeling since she was 14 be such a mensch?”