The untold truth of Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell wears the crown when it comes to modeling royalty, as well as the other original supermodels of the '90s — Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, and Claudia Schiffer. However, it was Campbell's gorgeous looks that once inspired U2 front man Bono to proclaim that her body was "handmade by God," and the original supermodel still looks today much like she did when she started her career.  

Indeed, Campbell has stunned the world with her beauty and confidence, forever enshrining herself among the world's most recognizable supermodels. However, there's so much more Campbell than her looks, or what the tabloids have had to say about her over the years, or even the fact that she was one of the richest Victoria's Secret models.

Campbell is anything but one-note, quietly spreading good throughout the world over the duration of her career. Plus, you might be surprised who she considers her best friends, as they're certainly residing in very high places. So, what else is there to know about the woman who arguably changed the modeling industry for the better? And what keeps the supermodel going even on her worst days? Read on to discover the untold truth of Naomi Campbell.

Naomi Campbell broke boundaries in the modeling industry

When Naomi Campbell first started modeling in the late '80s, the racism which ran rampant through the industry wasn't lost on the model. 

However, rather than let said racism deter her from chasing her dreams, Campbell persisted in her pursuit of gigs and shows. "From attending auditions and performing at an early age, I understood what it meant to be black," she penned in an essay for The Guardian. "You had to put in the extra effort. You had to be twice as good."

In spite of the hurdles Campbell faced, it didn't take long for her to break down barriers. One especially momentous occasion for Campbell was when she appeared on the cover of French Vogue in 1988. "I didn't like the cover much, but when the August 1988 issue came out, it made a huge impact: finally, a black model on the cover of French Vogue," Campbell continued in her essay for The Guardian. The supermodel added that had she known during the shoot that she would be the first Black woman on the cover, she would have felt too much pressure. 

Naomi Campbell absolutely adores air travel

Even if you're Naomi Campbell, it's always exciting when you get the chance to take a vacation, perhaps exploring a place that you've never been to before. And while you might not enjoy being crammed into a plane to get there, this supermodel absolutely adores every aspect of the journey. "I love traveling. I was born traveling," she shared in a video on her YouTube channel.  She continued, gushing, "I love being in the air. I love being everywhere yet nowhere at the same time." Well, to be fair, Campbell doesn't fly coach like the rest of us!

Campbell is quite the seasoned traveler, too, as she's been to a host of destinations for both work and play — from Egypt to Burma, Cambodia to Japan, and Italy to Jordan. "Even though I travel so much for work, nothing makes me happier than traveling for pleasure," she told Harper's Bazaar.

Of course, Campbell makes sure to take both hygiene and hydration very seriously when she's on the move, ensuring that she stays as healthy as possible at all times. "Clean everything you touch, anything that you could possibly touch," she revealed in her YouTube video. 

Believe it or not, but Naomi Campbell only started working out in her 40s

Let's face it, Naomi Campbell really does have an extraordinary figure, and is widely considered one of the most beautiful supermodels in the world. But, believe it or not, her lean and lithe frame is something that came to her naturally — as Campbell didn't hit the gym until she was in her 40s. "I got into working out about a year ago," she revealed in a 2018 interview with Vogue Arabia. She continued, explaining, "I don't do machines, I do circuit training — and I like it."

However, that's not to say that Campbell didn't pursue other avenues toward physical fitness. In fact, in 2012, the supermodel took a trip to India with a fitness related purpose in mind. "I wanted to find out more about yoga's origins," Campell told Vogue Arabia. She continued, saying, "It's something I've never done before. Only two people knew I was there."

According to Campbell, she was actually more interested in the spiritual dimensions of the practice, which she now combines with her regular gym regimen. 

Naomi Campbell is a philanthropist and a changemaker

When it comes to charity work, Naomi Campbell is no slouch. Her philanthropic efforts started in earnest when Campbell saw the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and asked herself what she could do to help. The tragedy led to the creation of her organization Fashion for Relief, which organizes fashion shows to raise money for people in crisis. "We have provided relief for disasters such as the Haiti earthquake, hurricane Katrina, the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami," she wrote on Fashion for Relief's website.

Fashion for Relief also shows up when it's time to help and protect animals, too. "I have a place in Kenya, and it's tragic and disgusting to know that people are killing elephants for their ivory, destroying the nature and beauty of this continent," Campbell revealed in an interview with Elle. She continued, saying, "So it wasn't very difficult for me to say yes."

According to the Fashion for Relief website, Campbell has also raised money for the children impacted by the Syrian war, as well as the people suffering as a result of the Ebola crisis in Africa.

When The Mail on Sunday went after Naomi Campbell, she fired back

In 2019, Naomi Campbell was delighted to learn that the British Fashion Council planned to present her with a prestigious award for her generous philanthropic work — which should have been nothing but a joyful piece of news. However, some people were quite displeased.

Notably, The Mail on Sunday – sister tabloid to the Daily Mail –  published a rather scathing editorial in which the paper accused Campbell of fraternizing with predators like Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, called her a "drama queen," and questioned why Campbell would receive such recognition.

Not one to sit idly by while someone attempts to assassinate her character, Campbell fired back in a video on her YouTube channel. "I find it extraordinary that of all the hundreds of thousands of people that I've stood next to take a picture at a public event, they go and [choose] these few," she shared. She then called the piece a "distorted piece of journalism," and said people can "read between the lines and know why they keep coming at me." Campbell continued, also defending the work that Fashion For Relief has done around the world.

This is who inspired Naomi Campbell's charitable work

When Naomi Campbell made the decision to focus much of her efforts on charitable outreach, it wasn't in a vacuum. Rather, Campbell cites the late Nelson Mandela for inspiring her to give back, and called the former South African President her "honorary grandfather" as a term of endearment. 

"I am eternally grateful and blessed to have had this amazing man open my eyes," Campbell gushed about Mandela in an interview with Vogue. She continued, saying, "I wasn't even aware when I first met him at 23 years old what he was guiding me to do."

However, that's not all that Campbell learned from the widely beloved leader. She also came to understand the importance of cultivating and nurturing honesty in all things. "[Mandela] taught me, above all else, to be my true, authentic self," she proclaimed in a speech at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival. "He taught me to be true to whatever I commit myself to supporting, and to stick to my integrity." 

In the '90s, Naomi Campbell released an album

While Naomi Campbell is best known for her modeling and her philanthropy, she's also tried her hand at being a singer — making her one of the most unique models in the industry. In fact, she released an album in 1995 called Baby Woman, which was produced by Dublin-based artist Gavin Friday. 

However, that's not to say Campbell thinks she's a fantastic musician — she just wanted to give it a shot. "I think everybody should try something," she revealed in an interview with The Independent. "If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but at least they can say they tried." She added that she's still in regular contact with Friday, and that she thinks the world of him.

Campbell has also done a bit of work on other people's albums, though it's not something she pursues too seriously. "[I've just done] a quick guest appearance, like on Quincy Jones's The Secret Garden ... things like that" she told The Independent. "But I don't know if I have the time to do another album." Fair enough, Naomi!

Was Naomi Campbell really gifted with blood diamonds?

Naomi Campbell found herself in a bit of hot water in 2010, when she was summoned to testify at a war crimes trial at The Hague in the Netherlands. The reason? Campbell was allegedly given blood diamonds by former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor, according to Reuters, while attending a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

In her testimony, Campbell confirmed that she received some "dirty looking" diamonds from two men who she believed worked for Taylor, as noted by ABC News. Campbell then gave them gems to Jeremy Ractliffe, who at the time helmed Mandela's charity for children, in the hopes that he could sell them to benefit the foundation. "I just said take them, do something with them, make sure some children benefit from them," Campbell told the chief prosecutor in the case.

However, because Ratcliffe didn't want to get the charity involved in anything illegal (which he suspected the diamonds might be), he instead turned the gems them over to the police. Campbell was not charged with any crimes, either.

Naomi Campbell embraces her age

Naomi Campbell isn't afraid of getting older — but she's likely one of the celebs who are much older than you might think!

For some people, the very prospect of aging is frightening, and thinking about what happens to your body as it ages can cause a great amount anxiety. However, as Naomi Campbell tells it, she's not losing sleep over major age milestones — in fact, she's ready to have fun. "I'm not afraid of being 50," she told The Guardian. "I'm looking forward to a good old dance, too." Specifically, Campbell envisions herself dancing all night long with her best friends and confidants. Honestly, that sounds pretty amazing!

Perhaps one of the reasons Campbell welcomes the aging process is because she looks especially ageless with her perfect skin and constant glow. So, just how does she maintain such a flawless visage? "I take care of myself, eat well, try to balance what I put in my body," she explained in an interview with W magazine. She continued, revealing, "I stay away from sugar and drink lots of water." 

Is Naomi Campbell still in touch with the other "supers"?

If you were a Naomi Campbell fan in the '90s and paid attention to the fashion world, chances are you remember the star's original supermodel contemporaries — Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and later Helena Christensen and Kate Moss. 

Well, if you've ever wondered if the group of models keep in touch the answer is a resounding yes. "I spoke to Linda this morning," Campbell confirmed in a chat with Vogue. She continued, saying, "You grow up together, you go to the same things, and you confide in each other."

Campbell is especially fond of Turlington and Evangelista, who went to bat for Campbell when she encountered racism in the industry. "I'll always be eternally grateful for the support from Christy and Linda, especially, towards me," Campbell told Vogue. The supermodel continued, explaining, "When we all come together, the connection is still there." Campbell also added that they are all happy to see one another thriving, and that they all support each other's endeavors. We are so here for this!

Naomi Campbell has only good things to say about her ex-fiance, U2's Adam Clayton

While plenty of models have really gorgeous husbands, Naomi Campbell is a 90s bombshell who is single at the time of this writing – though, she did come close to tying the knot back in the early '90s. That's when U2 bassist Adam Clayton Jr. proposed to her, and she said yes. "Adam popped the question on the phone when I was in New York," she explained on an Irish television show (via the Associated Press). Alas, the couple would later break up, and the wedding was never to be.

However, that doesn't mean Campbell harbors any ill will toward Clayton. "I only have very positive things to say about him," she told The Independent. "I am very proud of Adam."

Campbell was able to catch up with her former beau when she caught a U2 show back in 2015. "I went to see the concert in LA, and I'm friends with the whole band," she dished to The Independent. Campbell continued, musing, "Their kids are all grown up!"

Will Naomi Campbell ever have children?

Naomi Campbell has traveled the world, rubbed shoulders with world leaders, and had a stellar career that has won her many accolades and accomplishments. However, there is still one thing on Campbell's bucket list that she's yet to cross off. "I'd love to have kids," she confessed in a chat with Vogue. She continued, saying, "I don't discount anything in life. I love kids and always will." 

Of course, that revelation isn't surprising, given all of the charity work Campbell has done to help children. According to Campbell, part of the reason she hopes to one day start a family is the way that being around children makes her feel. "When I'm around children, I become a child myself," she told Vogue. "That's the little girl I don't ever want to lose."

Campbell later told the Wall Street Journal that she wasn't quite ready to have children, but she's open to whatever the universe may bring to her. Fortunately for Campbell, there are plenty of benefits of having kids when you're older.

Naomi Campbell wants to see more diversity in the modeling industry

When Naomi Campbell first got her start in the modeling world, diversity was a serious issue within the industry — and the supermodel dealt with racism for many years. And while Campbell agrees that things have improved significantly, she hopes that people realize those changes are here to stay. "It's finally sunken in, but now we hope people don't think it's in for a trend, like clothes are in for a season and out for a season," Campbell explained to Reuters. She continued, saying, "That's not going to happen."

Campbell also hopes that people aren't content with where things are, as she would love to see even more diversity in modeling. "I do think there's always more room for improvement," she continued, speaking to Reuters. Added the supermodel, "There's still some ways to go." 

One of those areas, Campbell told Reuters, is equal pay — making the supermodel one of the celebs who have spoken out publicly about sexism in Hollywood.

Naomi Campbell will not be held hostage by her mistakes

Over the years, Naomi Campbell has had her fair share of mishaps, as pretty much everyone does during their lifetime. But, whether it's some legal troubles or conflicts with reporters overstepping their bounds, Campbell knows that she's a work in progress. "I've made my mistakes," she admitted in an interview with Vogue. She continued, saying, "I've owned them, and I've learned from them, so I won't be held hostage by them." Louder again for the people in the back, Naomi!

Additionally, Campbell is determined to keep a sunny outlook on things, erring on the bright side instead of expecting the worst to happen. "I don't live in fear; I try to live in faith," she told Vogue. "I'm an optimistic person and I always want to see the best of a situation."

Chances are, then, that Campbell doesn't have time for the haters. After all, there's so much more to focus on throughout one's life — such as developing habits that will make you happier. Certainly, Campbell is no stranger to these.