How I learned to use fame to help others, by supermodel Naomi Campbell

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Naomi Campbell said her generation of supermodels never thought about being celebrities but she has now learned to use her fame to help others.

Campbell, who is at the forefront of the Fashion for Relief campaign to help Haiti following the devastating earthquake in January, said Nelson Mandela told her in 1992 that she should use her celebrity status to help others but "at 22 years old I didn't really quite understand what that meant".

The model, who admitted she had been through "ups and downs", seemed an unlikely ally for the Prime Minister's wife, Sarah Brown, but Campbell said she was "honoured" to be asked to support the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood which aims to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for women and babies across the world.

The model told BBC News Mrs Brown was "an extremely amazing woman" and she was "blown away" when she heard about the number of women and babies who died every day because of lack of training, medical equipment and medicine.

Fashion for Relief has already raised millions to help Haiti and much of the money will be used to support women and children.

Campbell, who plans to visit Haiti after Easter, said she had "quietly" worked with charities for many years and only supported causes she felt passionate about.

"My whole generation of girls, we never thought about celebrity, didn't enter our vocabulary. We just liked our jobs, liked working, liked travelling the world," she said.

Asked about the pressure on young people to live up to glamorous role models, Campbell said it was now a different era as "reality TV has taken over a lot".

She said she liked shows which taught people skills, like X Factor, but was concerned that other shows simply criticised without giving people anything positive.

She said in careers like modelling people had to learn how to deal with criticism and rejection.

Campbell, who stressed "I'm not perfect" despite her glamorous image, was wearing a Fashion for Relief fundraising T-shirt designed by Vivienne Westwood which features a pair of bare breasts.

Earlier this month Campbell organised a fashion show for the Haiti appeal which featured models and celebrities like Kate Moss, Dame Shirley Bassey, Linda Evangelista and funnymen David Walliams and James Corden on the catwalk.

The designer clothes worn at the show will be sold on http://www.net-a-porter.com from March 15.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

SharePoint Administrator/Developer (C#, VB.NET, VISUAL STUDIO 2

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SharePoi...

European HR Director, London

£80000 - £95000 per annum: Charter Selection: A leading Global organisation Ja...

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players