Heidi Klum Interview with Der Spiegel

SPIEGEL Interview with Heidi Klum : “I Didn’t Think the Girl was Too Fat”

Heidi Klum celebrate Germany's Next Top Model
Heidi Klum celebrate ‘Germany’s Next Top Model” show

German supermodel Heidi Klum talking to Der Spiegel, defending herself from accusations from German media about her being supposedly propagating on her show “Germany’s Next Top Model” a beauty ideal, which can lead to anorexia.

Spiegel: You’ve gone from being the darling of the Germans to the villian who leads others astray!

Heidi Klum: How so?

Spiegel: Don’t you read the Bild (Germany’s popular boulevard) newspaper?

Heidi Klum: You shouldn’t read everything that’s in the papers.

Spiegel: It’s not only the press which is after you but now the politicians are also getting involved. Christian Democratic member of parliament Julia Klöckner described your show as irresponsible saying that young girls are being put under pressure with an exaggerated obsession to be thin.

Heidi Klum: I don’t understand this criticism.

Spiegel: Why is someone too fat when they’re 1.76 meters (5′9″) tall and weigh 52 kilos (115 lbs)?

Heidi Klum: Who said that?

Spiegel: You did.

Heidi Klum: I didn’t say that. Peyman Amin, director of the world’s biggest model agency, said that.

Spiegel: And he chooses the models with you in the program.

Heidi Klum: The jury is made up of four, sometimes five, professionals and each one has their own different opinion. I still always have the final say and I didn’t say that. But I can’t tape his mouth over. Personally, I didn’t think the girl was too fat. I prefer the curvier ones but everyone has a different opinion. There were several reasons why the jury decided against her.

Spiegel: And what about the accusation that your show leads to anorexia?

Heidi Klum: In this job an illusion of beauty is sold which doesn’t really exist like that. It’s like a work of art, an act. I cry in front of the camera but am not really sad. I’ve just come from a job, am made-up and made to look beautiful with fantastic clothes and hair and nails all done.

Spiegel: So you don’t really exist.

Heidi Klum: No normal person on the streets looks like this. In this job models tend to be thinner than the average person on the streets, that’s true. Who makes the rules? I don’t make them. It’s the fashion world which makes these rules and they always see 90-60-90 (centimeters) as the ideal measurements. I don’t have these measurements, hardly anyone does. I didn’t even have them at the beginning of my career and hardly anyone in “Germany’s Next Top Model” has them.

Spiegel: You wouldn’t make it through your own casting show?

Heidi Klum: There are girls with the most different body measurements who are super, super thin and girls who are a bit bigger – all sorts. We even had girls who had to go because they were too thin.

Heidi Klum conducting Germany's Next Top Model show
Heidi Klum at Germany’s Next Top Model final round

Spiegel: Do you have more fun or more trouble with the show?

Heidi Klum: Fun. I’m proud of the show, it shows what it’s like and it’s entertainment. The photo shoots which are done are like that in reality, it’s all very professional.

Spiegel: But you run the risk of all those who get voted out possibly ending up on the couch with Stefan Raab (a German talk show host) or somewhere else where they will voice their anger about you.

Heidi Klum: What can you do? That’s just the way it is. At the moment, I’m the bad guy everyone is after.

Spiegel: Do you already know who the winner will be?

Heidi Klum: We filmed seven episodes last year and we still have three to go. We’re down to four girls.

Spiegel: Will there be any surprises in the next episodes?

Heidi Klum: Of course. What is probably interesting for someone who isn’t in this business, is to see how these photo shoots are done. You always think, ’she’s so cool and so beautiful, she doesn’t give a damn about what others say.’ But these girls also have many fears and they’re not stuck-up. It’s sometimes such young girls who are really scared.

Spiegel: And these young girls are then ripped apart in front of millions of viewers – isn’t that gruesome?

Heidi Klum: It’s an entertainment show. These girls applied and wanted to take part instead of presenting themselves to a model agency. But that’s all part of it. That’s the documentary part of it. I can’t beat about the bush and only say: ‘You’re all great, you’ll all be okay, you’ll all become top models.’ There are, how shall I put it, guidelines and we don’t set these, they’re decided by the fashion world.

Spiegel: You obviously need really thick skin if you want to make it in the model world.

Heidi Klum: Also because weight is, of course, an issue. Despite this, I often tell the girls in the program that it’s not about losing weight at all costs and not eating anything. They need to train a bit. Sport is so important. It’s about toning, the body has to be firm and they need to have good skin and fit in the clothes which the designers have made. That’s just the way it is.

Spiegel: Some have real breakdowns when they’re voted out.

Heidi Klum: The program is 45 minutes long and so you can’t include every sentence which is said. I talk to the girls before and after the show, that is the most important thing. I tell the girls who has got through and who hasn’t.

Spiegel: What will happen next week?

Heidi Klum: We’ll have animals – spiders and snakes.

Spiegel: The model show becomes a horror show?

Heidi Klum: They’re not going to eat the spiders! No, it will all still be very aesthetic. As a model I also did lots of photos with animals. I was photographed with a six-meter long python and there have also been elephants and monkeys. As a model you need to be able to do the craziest things. I had to ride (horses) and I can’t ride. Once I married twelve times in one day — you have to do thousands of different things. I had to walk up and down the street on Sunset Boulevard in a bikini, which makes you feel a bit stupid. If people watch then you might be embarrassed. You’re not used to it but you have to bite the bullet. It’s a job. You play the role of another person.

Spiegel: What have you got what the others haven’t? Why is now the time for Heidi-Klum? You advertise everything from Katjes candies to Birkenstock shoes.

Heidi Klum: It’s difficult for me to explain it myself, no idea. I certainly like working in Germany.

Spiegel: Can you remember how it was for you in the beginning? Can you remember the nervousness and the tears?

Heidi Klum: Of course. Today I can do it all at the push of a button. I stand in front of the camera and that’s it. If I have to start dancing, then I start dancing.

Spiegel: Is it tougher for the girls than for the boys?

Heidi Klum: Yes, I think so. If you want to make a career out of it and want to be up there at the top then it’s harder.

Spiegel: Around 11,000 girls applied. All want to get in front of the camera, no one wants to become a veterinarian anymore. What’s going on? How did you get into modeling?

Heidi Klum: I actually wanted to be a fashion designer. I did a lot with the sewing machine at home — for Barbie or for carnival or just for fun. Then I saw this ad in the newspaper. And as young girls sometimes do some stupid things, I filled in the coupon and sent in my photos. I didn’t hear from them for five months and I didn’t think that something would come. You don’t think that you’ll be taken seriously and that someone will actually call you and say that you have been chosen.

Heidi Klum runway call at Germany's Next Top Model
Heidi Klum at Germany’s Next Top Model show

Spiegel: It was the Claudia Schiffer and Linda Evangelista era. Were they your idols?

Heidi Klum: I never thought about it. I didn’t know any photographers and I also never looked at “Vogue,” more the “Freundin” magazine or what was lying around at home, at the hairdressers or the dentist.

Spiegel: German photo models are really doing well in the business, better than many others. Why is that?

Heidi Klum: Why is that? Because of our cows.

Spiegel: Because of the cows?

Heidi Klum: Yes, because of the happy German cows with the happy German milk, which happy children drink. So much happiness makes you beautiful! (laughs).

Spiegel: Are the German women the most beautiful in the world?

Heidi Klum: Yes, of course. All German women are beautiful. It’s not for nothing that we talk of the German “Fräuleinwunder.” You don’t get this word in any other language.

Spiegel: Now you have two jobs — that of a mother and model.

Heidi Klum: A sense of duty — you only really get this feeling when you have a child. You always only used to be responsible for yourself and then there is also a child. I’ll never feel like I did before. But I don’t want that either.

Spiegel: All women want to know how you managed to appear on the catwalk, without an ounce of fat, only two months after the birth of your son.

Heidi Klum: Well, I’m hardly without an once of fat. But I wasn’t really fat when I was pregnant and so I also lost the baby fat quicker. Of course if you spend the whole pregnancy on the couch watching television then it will be harder to lose weight. It’s also to do with your disposition.

Spiegel: Can you cook a German meal?

Heidi Klum: Yes.

Spiegel: What?

Heidi Klum: It doesn’t matter, I can cook it.

Spiegel: Roast pork with dumplings, can you do that?

Heidi Klum: Dumplings are a bit harder but I’ll manage it — with the towel and spinning round and all the trimmings.

Spiegel: Have you ever taken drugs?

Heidi Klum: Yes!

Spiegel: What?

Heidi Klum: Beer, wine, cigarettes — the harder stuff isn’t really my thing.

Spiegel: Have you ever been anorexic?

Heidi Klum: No.

Spiegel: How have you managed to stay so healthy in this job?

Heidi Klum: It’s not difficult for me to stay healthy. I like healthy food. It’s also become a lifestyle for me and I need a certain fitness level to be able to travel and have good skin and nails. If I ate worse then it would be difficult for me to keep up and it also wouldn’t be so good for my looks either.

Spiegel: The question was more regarding your mental stability. How do you manage all the madness?

Heidi Klum: I spend a lot of time with my family. I go to bed early, don’t watch too much television, don’t read everything that’s written about me whether positive or negative.

Spiegel: What does it mean for you to be German?

Heidi Klum: It’s the only identity I know. I’m not an American, I only know who I am, that’s why I have, for example, a German nanny.

Spiegel: What is a typical German characteristic?

Heidi Klum: What I often hear is that I’m always punctual even though I’m actually always late. But only a little bit!

Spiegel: Which countries do you like apart from Germany?

Heidi Klum: Africa, and not only because my husband’s parents come from Nigeria. I went on safari in Africa and there were incredibly nice people there.

Spiegel: Your husband, Seal, is English.

Heidi Klum: Yes, through and through. With the English, their house can fall down and they don’t mind. At five in the afternoon they’ll resolutely drink tea and then everything is okay again.

Spiegel: Do you think it’s great that Germany is being governed by a woman?

Heidi Klum: I don’t mind whether it’s a man or a woman. It is, of course, difficult to identify politics with just one person since there is a whole system revolving around them.

Spiegel: Do you tend towards patriotic feelings?

Heidi Klum: I don’t know. We Germans aren’t really patriotic, it’s different for Americans. Why?

Spiegel: You’re in a PR film of the Foreign Ministry with Michael Ballhaus and Anne-Sophie Mutter and others in which you say: “I travel around the whole world but my heart belongs to Germany.” Is it possible to advertise for a country like for a product?

Heidi Klum: No.

Spiegel: Now you have two jobs — that of a mother and model.

Heidi Klum: A sense of duty — you only really get this feeling when you have a child. You always only used to be responsible for yourself and then there is also a child. I’ll never feel like I did before. But I don’t want that either.

Spiegel: All women want to know how you managed to appear on the catwalk, without an ounce of fat, only two months after the birth of your son.

Heidi Klum: Well, I’m hardly without an once of fat. But I wasn’t really fat when I was pregnant and so I also lost the baby fat quicker. Of course if you spend the whole pregnancy on the couch watching television then it will be harder to lose weight. It’s also to do with your disposition.

Spiegel: Can you cook a German meal?

Heidi Klum: Yes.

Spiegel: What?

Heidi Klum: It doesn’t matter, I can cook it.

Spiegel: Roast pork with dumplings, can you do that?

Heidi Klum: Dumplings are a bit harder but I’ll manage it — with the towel and spinning round and all the trimmings.

Spiegel: Have you ever taken drugs?

Heidi Klum: Yes!

Spiegel: What?

Heidi Klum: Beer, wine, cigarettes — the harder stuff isn’t really my thing.

Spiegel: Have you ever been anorexic?

Heidi Klum: No.

Spiegel: How have you managed to stay so healthy in this job?

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Heidi Klum: It’s not difficult for me to stay healthy. I like healthy food. It’s also become a lifestyle for me and I need a certain fitness level to be able to travel and have good skin and nails. If I ate worse then it would be difficult for me to keep up and it also wouldn’t be so good for my looks either.

Spiegel: The question was more regarding your mental stability. How do you manage all the madness?

Heidi Klum: I spend a lot of time with my family. I go to bed early, don’t watch too much television, don’t read everything that’s written about me whether positive or negative.

Spiegel: What does it mean for you to be German?

Heidi Klum: It’s the only identity I know. I’m not an American, I only know who I am, that’s why I have, for example, a German nanny.

Spiegel: What is a typical German characteristic?

Heidi Klum: What I often hear is that I’m always punctual even though I’m actually always late. But only a little bit!

Spiegel: Which countries do you like apart from Germany?

Heidi Klum: Africa, and not only because my husband’s parents come from Nigeria. I went on safari in Africa and there were incredibly nice people there.

Spiegel: Your husband, Seal, is English.

Heidi Klum: Yes, through and through. With the English, their house can fall down and they don’t mind. At five in the afternoon they’ll resolutely drink tea and then everything is okay again.

Spiegel: Do you think it’s great that Germany is being governed by a woman?

Heidi Klum: I don’t mind whether it’s a man or a woman. It is, of course, difficult to identify politics with just one person since there is a whole system revolving around them.

Heidi Klum-with Germany's Next Topmodel winner Stefanie Giesinger
Winner model Stefanie Giesinger poses together with German Supermodel Heidi Klum after being chosen as Germany’s Next Topmodel 2014. At Lanxess Arena on May 8, 2014 in Cologne, Germany. she was voted as winner of the famous TV show.

Spiegel: Do you tend towards patriotic feelings?

Heidi Klum: I don’t know. We Germans aren’t really patriotic, it’s different for Americans. Why?

Spiegel: You’re in a PR film of the Foreign Ministry with Michael Ballhaus and Anne-Sophie Mutter and others in which you say: “I travel around the whole world but my heart belongs to Germany.” Is it possible to advertise for a country like for a product?

Heidi Klum: No.

Spiegel: Why not?

Heidi Klum: Because it’s too colorful and diverse to simply go over it with a smile on your face. I do things to help but the whole thing is very superficial and I’m quite aware of this. On the other hand, if our government wants to advertise for our country then I think it’s stupid and egotistical to turn it down. Perhaps I can influence the mood in a positive way. Sometimes this is all you need to get things moving forwards a little bit.

Spiegel: Do you lose a bit of your identity when you are photographed?

Heidi Klum: You also gain something new. You give something and you get something back. Then someone is standing in front of you again telling you some sort of gobbledygook and you just have to switch off and go on autopilot.

Spiegel: What does it feel like to know that 90 percent of men from 150 countries who saw you on TV during the World Cup group draw gala would have liked to have slept with you on the spot?

Heidi Klum: They can dream on! They don’t know me. We don’t want to tell them the truth about what I look like at home when I scrape off all the make-up.

Spiegel: Ms Klum, thank you for the interview.

Modeling Career of Heidi Klum

At young age Heidi Klum applied her mind for modelling
Heidi Klum applied her mind towards modelling career

As a young  teenager, Heidi Klum persuaded by her friends, agreed to apply for ‘Model 92’ – the German model contest.  To everybody’s surprise, ‘Petra’, a young women magazine, who hosted the national contest and offered her modelling contract which ultimately offered her $ 300,000.

From that point onwards her modelling career went up high, until today going non-stop.

Other than being a modelling in front of camera and on stage, Klum explored her talent in acting before the camera. She made her presence felt in movies ‘Blow Dry’ as Jasmine and in ‘Ella Enchanted’ as Brumhilda.

Heidi Klum as Jasmine in Blow Dry movie
Heidi Klum acted in Hollywood buff Blow Dry (2001) as Jasmine

She explored her chances in TV shows like How I Met Your Mother’, ‘Yes, Dear’, ‘Spin City’ and ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Germany’s Next Top model’, ‘Project Runway’ and few more.

Ms Heidi Klum had great success in her sitcom Project Runway
Project Runway is Heidi Klum Baby project, after sixteen season she and Tim Gunn left the show

Heidi Klum as a fashion designer, she tested her hands in designing clothing lines for men and women. She also designed footwears for Birkenstock.

Heidi Klum and Gabriel Aubry posing with dress lines designed by Heidi
Heidi Klum and Gabriel Aubry (Halle Berry’s ex partner and her daughters father) posing for dress lines design by Heidi Klum

She also released two signature fragrance  Heidi Klum Surprise, Shine, Shine Blue, Shine My Rose and Summer Shine.

Heidi Klum released Surprise Fragrance in 2011
Among other business ventures, Heidi Klum released her SIgnature Fragrance. It is going well in the market

Klum recently (2017) released a fashion line ‘Heidi & the City’, to sell only in Lidl Grocery Stores, was presented in a show at the New York Fashion Week that year.

Heidi Klum with her friends exhibiting her fashion designs for Heidi and the City  exclusive for Lidl Grocery Stores
For the first time a fashion line only available at Lidl Grocery Stores introduced by Ms Klum. Heidi & the City in 2011

She released her debut single ‘Wonderland’, originally written for a television ads series for a retailer from German ‘Douglas’ in 2006.

The debut singles Wonderland by Heidi Klum in 2006
In 2006, Heidi Klum released her debut single Wonderland.

Model Agencies Heidi Klum work with

Heidi Klum is with top agency ‘IMG’ , New York & Paris and ‘D’ Management Group’ , Milan and ‘Model Management’, Germany.

Heidi Klum Fact Sheet – Bio

Supermodel Heidi Klum in black bikini
Project Runway. producer, Hollywood Actor and supermodel Heidi Klum fact sheet.

Name: Heidi Klum
Nationality: German
Hair colour: Brown
Eye colour: Hazel
Date of Birth: June 1, 1973
Place of Birth: Bergisch Gladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany.
Height: 5′ 9.5″ ; 1′ 77 cm.

Active from: 1991 till present.

Spouse:
Ric Pipino
(married on 1997 – divorced on 2002)
Seal (Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel)
(married on 2005 – divorced on 2014)

Partners:
Tom Kaulitz
(from 2018 till present. Now engaged)

Measurements: 34- 24- 35
Dress size: (Eur) 36-38 : (US) 6-8
Shoe size: (Eur) 44 : (US) 12