Christy Turlington with husband Ed Burns
Christy Turlington may just have been signed up for the A/W'10 of Louis Vuitton (alongside Karen Elson) but she's oh so much more than just a pretty face.
Previously, Turlington has launched an anti-smoking initiative (after her ex-smoker father died of lung cancer) and is proud campaigner for PETA.
Now at the age of 41, with a two year old son with her husband, director Ed Burns, she is tackling maternal mortality, and has directed a documentary film 'No Woman, No Cry' which you can see below. The doc (the supermodel's directorial debut) shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States.
The 'No Woman No Cry' premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010
The film is interspersed with footage from around the time of Turlington's own birth experience, "like many women, I was excited to become a mother and enjoyed being pregnant. But just after delivering my first child, I suffered a serious complication. While I had a birth team that worked quickly to manage the situation, I was shocked to learn that more than 500,000 women die each year during childbirth—and that 90 percent of these deaths are preventable."
The experience motivated the model to learn more about maternal health, and she has since become the Maternal Health Advocate for the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) and even enrolled in the Masters of Public Health program at Columbia University's Mailman School (okay, she also previously graduated cum laude from NYU in 1999, but still - this woman doesn't mess around!)
But even with all this action, Turlington says "I still felt helpless, frustrated by the reports that maternal mortality numbers were not dropping. I was inspired to make a documentary film that would share the stories of women at risk of becoming a mortality statistic. I hope that by bringing people together through the universal experience of birth, we can help create a mainstream maternal health movement that ensures the lives and well-being of mothers worldwide, for generations to come".