It’s not every day that you get to meet a supermodel! I admit it. I did a double take when I met Tracy Trinita in person. She’s tall, stunningly beautiful, and charming — everything I expected a supermodel to be.
She has appeared regularly in the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks for prestigious labels such as Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gautier, and Kenzo, and was also a part of a global campaign for Italian brand United Colors of Benetton!
Despite all these modelling accolades, it wasn't her outer beauty that captivated me most — her godly confidence and desire to be a light for Christ shone even brighter! I left personally inspired by this supermodel turned apologist who loves Jesus and has a great heart for the lost.
Hi Tracy! You became the first Indonesian supermodel and eventually became an international model. How did you get into the modelling world?
I grew up as a girl who had very low self-esteem. I’m quite tall for an Indonesian and I was nicknamed ‘giraffe’, ‘coconut tree’, and ‘giant’ by the people in my village. My mum thought that if I joined modelling, it would increase my self-confidence. The thing is though, I come from a village in Bali in the middle of a rice field and went to a village school.
All of a sudden, I won a modelling competition in Jakarta and became ‘Cover Girl Of The Year’ for Mode magazine, Indonesia! That same year, I became the first Indonesian model to win the prestigious Elite Model Look International competition in 1995. My world changed drastically. At 14 years old, I moved to New York to become an international model. That was the beginning of my modelling career.
Many girls dream about appearing on the cover of magazines. What was that like?
The first time I appeared on a magazine cover back in 1995, I remember exclaiming, “Oh my gosh, there’s so many of me!” I was so shy, yet happy at the same time. But now that I am a Christian, I look back and think, “That was great but what did that mean?” I would rather be recognised for my faith in Christ than just a model on a magazine cover.
Besides, models really don’t look the way they look on magazines! Even models wish that they look like models. Funny story: once I saw a model on Elle Magazine with super nice hair and I desired to buy all the hair products she was endorsing. It took me three good looks
at the model before realising that... it was actually me! I couldn’t even recognise myself — my hair was thicker and longer, and my face was slimmer. and I was like, “No! I don’t look like this, this is not my hair.” I was fooled by my own photo.
So every time someone tells me “Oh I want to be a model, I want to look like a model” I just tell them, “That’s not real!” And through Instagram, all of us can experience what modelling is like. How many of us use filters? How many of us use all sorts of different apps to edit our photos? How many of us take 30 photos just to upload one perfect photo? It is us, but it’s a perfect photo with the right angles and lighting, but in real life, it’s still just us. We get a glimpse of what the modelling world is like because now we actually become the models on our own page on social media.
You went from being a supermodel to an apologist. How did that happen?
Before I was a model, I was a nobody — my school friends made fun of me, and
my teacher was hard on me because I had learning difficulties. However, when I became a model, I went from a ‘nobody’ to a ‘somebody’ overnight. The attention made me think: in order to be somebody, I have to be a model. So I pushed on in modelling, trying to gain more fame and more wealth in order to be happier. I thought that my family would care more about me, that my teachers would be like, super nice to me. But when I started to work as an international model in New York and Paris, I started to think, “There should be more than this in life.” I just felt emptiness in my heart. It seemed like there was no purpose and no meaning to what I was doing.
Find out how Tracy Trinita became an apologist in Issue 20 here.