Supermodel Iman Gets Candid on Confidence: ‘Worth Is an Inside Job’

The mogul chatted with ‘InStyle’ about her views on self-worth.


Iman may be an iconic supermodel, but she’s also a fountain of wisdom. The Somali-American multi-hyphenate recently spoke with InStyle about what she’s learned about self-worth and confidence throughout the years. 

Iman, 67, stated that knowing your worth can make saying “no” to things that don’t serve you easier, a concept she learned from her mother.

“‘No’ to me was a complete sentence,” she told the publication. “If I knew it wasn’t right for me, it was a no.”

She says the concept of self-worth is one she has instilled in her own daughters, Zulekha and Alexandria, over the years.

“As a girl, if you don’t know your worth, (and I don’t mean monetary worth), what are you willing to walk away from? Regardless of whether it’s a husband, a boyfriend or a friend, what is it that you’re going to walk away from and say no to? You have to learn that,” Iman said. “Girls don’t learn that because we’re told from the beginning, ‘You have to be this to be this. You have to be pretty to be this. You have to be skinny to be this. You have to…’ It is always about the outside. Worth is an inside job.”

Earlier this year, the Iman Cosmetics CEO and founder opened up to British Vogue about her refreshing views on another hot topic: aging.

“I come from Africa, we celebrate getting older,” she told the outlet.

Read more from the interview here.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.