CHRISSY TEIGEN SEEMS TO HAVE IT ALL. MODEL, MEDIA PERSONALITY, AUTHOR, ‘MOM’ AND WIFE AND LOVER TO SINGER/SONGWRITER AND PEOPLE MAGAZINE’S SEXIEST MAN ALIVE, JOHN LEGEND, SHE ADMITS SHE NEVER DREAMT OF SUCH FAR-REACHING SUCCESS OR SUCH A HIGH PROFILE.
“I always wanted to be a teacher or wanted to do something with food,” she said in an interview with DailyBeast. Despite her admirable yet modest ambitions, the mixed-race beauty was discovered aged 18 while working at a surf shop in California.
Born in Delta, Utah in 1985, Christine Diane Teigen is the daughter of a Thai mother, Vilailuck and American father, Ron. She recalls rejecting much of the Thai customs and cuisine of her mum’s culture, preferring the meat and potatoes of her father’s Norwegian ancestry.
“I remember being really embarrassed by it when I was young and had friends over. It was weird to pull shrimp heads off and discard the body and eat the head. There were moments when as a kid you cringe.
Her modelling career took off when she landed the cover of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated in 2010. During her stellar rise, she appeared on covers and editorials within international titles such as Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Vogue, as well as ad campaigns for brands as diverse as Olay and Ugg.
She became an in-demand television personality, serving as host of the reality show Model Employee before joining as co-host of hit TV show, Lip Sync Battle.
In 2016, she released the cookbook “Cravings” followed by “Cravings, Hungry for More” in 2018. The model-turned-food-blogger-turned-cookbook-author is a massive fan of food, sharing her fool-proof recipes for wonders like chicken pot pie soup, lemony spaghetti cacio e pepe, fried chicken wings with honey butter, mac and cheese with garlicky breadcrumbs and Armadillo Cheesy Garlic Bread – complemented by raw honesty and child-rearing and being a working mum of two.
Teigen credits meeting and marrying John Legend (real name John Roger Stephens) for breaking her from the shackles of boring fare. As she recounts to her followers on social media, when she and Legend first started seeing each other, she didn’t have enough cash to split the bill at fancy
restaurants, so she honed her cooking skills instead.
Teigen and Legend met in 2007 on the set of Legend’s music video for “Stereo” in which she starred as his love interest. “On one of our earliest dates, I took him to Daniel (four dollar signs on Yelp, ahhh!). I drank a $40 margarita,
ate salmon rillettes (fancy salmon spread), and prayed my card wouldn’t be declined,” she said. “I couldn’t afford to take him out to more dinners like that, so I started cooking more and more at home for us. I started with my own version of that salmon spread, then roasted whole branzino, osso buco, chipotle barbeque chicken.”
Fast forward to 2013, and the couple celebrated their union in the fairytale surrounds of a villa on the shores of Lake Como, footage of which features in Legend’s ballad, “All of Me”, a romantic tribute to his wife. The loved-up couple made no secret of their eagerness to start a family, and after several rounds of IVF, daughter Luna Simone was born in 2016. The sleepless nights and actual physical changes were shock enough, but Teigen endured postpartum depression which she says “came out of nowhere”.
In Australia, postpartum (or postnatal) depression affects one in every seven women who give birth each year according to HealthDirect.gov.au. As she recalls “Getting out of bed was painful. I didn’t have an appetite. One thing that really got me was just how short I was with people. I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy. When I wasn’t in the studio, I never left the house. I had every shade closed.
“Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed. John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. I started keeping robes and comfy clothes in the pantry so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs when John went to work. There was a lot of spontaneous crying.” Eventually, the pain, lack of energy and confusion became too much and she consulted her GP who she days “pulled out a book and started listing
symptoms”. “And I was like, ‘Yep, yep, yep’. I got my diagnosis: postpartum depression and anxiety.”
With treatment and therapy came a return to full-blown health and a semblance of normalcy, but Teigen says she has to stay vigilant to the symptoms. “Postpartum depression does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. That’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling.”
Luna was followed by a boy, Miles Theodore, in 2018. Sadly, the family was preparing to welcome baby number three, as revealed in Legend’s new music video for “Wild”, a celebration of the couple’s love story. But nature took a different course.
Conceived naturally, number three, named Jack, was a total surprise. “I didn’t think I could get pregnant naturally,” Teigen explained on Twitter. “IVF was an amazing choice for us to be able to make. So hard, but we got two beautiful monsters out of it. I promise you, I never ever, ever, ever, ever thought I could.” Caught unawares by the pregnancy, she had actually undergone surgery to remove her breast implants. The routine pre-surgery test had come back negative. It wasn’t until the morning of Legend’s new album release, which meant a 3am start for an appearance on the Good Morning America program, that she discovered she was pregnant.
Jubilant, euphoric, amazed at their luck and the prospect of adding to their family, they were devasted weeks later when Teigen was rushed to hospital suffering from excessive bleeding. She suffered a miscarriage, writing in a statement on social media: “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. “We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough,” she wrote. Their baby did not survive. “Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever…To our Jack — I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you…Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers.”
More at cravingsbychrissyteigen.com
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