Martha Stewart says she’s never felt sexy, even as a model: ‘I’m waiting for that day’

Martha Stewart

  • Martha Stewart recently opened up about her first career as a teen model. 
  • Stewart told People magazine that she began modeling when she was 16 after the parents of her "beautiful ballerina" neighbor encouraged her.
  • She signed with Ford Models and was very successful, but Stewart said she never felt sexy in front of the camera.
  • "I didn't know that I was beautiful. That was my only problem," she told People. "I was not sexy, and I was not provocative. That feeling never came. It still hasn't come."
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Martha Stewart is known for her cooking skills, her hosting expertise, and her sweet friendship with Snoop Dogg. 

But before she became one of the world's most famous lifestyle experts, Stewart was a successful model. 

Stewart opened up about her first career during a recent interview with People magazine, revealing that she got started when she was just 16 years old. 

Martha Stewart on the grounds of her home in Westport, Connecticut, in August 1976.
Susuan Wood/Getty Images

"My neighbor, a beautiful ballerina, was modeling for Stuart Models, and she had a contract," Stewart told People's Ana Calderone. "Her parents said to me, 'Martha, you're so pretty. You should be modeling also.' So I did." 

Stewart signed with the legendary agency Ford Models, where she said she was "immediately signed up for TV commercials." 

"I was the all-American girl," she continued. "I played married parts when I was 16 years old. I was so skinny and so perfect for modeling, but I didn't know that I was beautiful. That was my only problem." 

Despite her early success, Stewart said she never felt sexy in front of the camera. 

Martha Stewart was named one of Glamour's 10 best-dressed college girls in 1961.
Frank Horvat/Condé Nast via Getty Images

"I knew that I could model, I knew I could pose for pictures, but I was not sexy, and I was not provocative," she added. "That feeling never came. It still hasn't come. I'm waiting for that day." 

But that would be just the first of many careers for Stewart, who went on to become a stockbroker in an all-male firm before building her lifestyle empire.

Stewart told People magazine that her work uniform was very different at the time, recalling the hot pants that she'd wear to the office with "high heels, bare legs, or tights." 

"Elegant but also crazy," she said. "Like, how can you go to work in short-shorts? But I didn't think twice about it. I was totally respected."

Stewart gave up that career to raise her daughter Alexis, then started the catering business that would eventually turn her into a household name.

"I was the first self-made female billionaire," she said. " I think I helped so many other women believe in their own ideas and their own business plans and their own paths to glory." 

While Stewart's modeling days are behind her, she's still going viral for her photos.

And the lifestyle expert revealed that her sultry pool selfie — which became an internet sensation back in July — was actually a photo she took by mistake.

"I was trying to take a picture of the beautiful turquoise planter at the end of the pool, but the camera was on me, so I just snapped it," she told People. "It looked so good, so I posted it." 

Once a natural, always a natural.

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