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Model Citizen: Jenna Pietersen

Beautiful mother of one, Jenna Pietersen, is no stranger to ELLE South Africa, having shot her first editorial for ELLE almost fifteen years ago at the age of 16. This month, Pietersen joins us again in The Body Issue wearing some of the season’s most coveted swimwear looks. In this interview, she talks about motherhood, loving her body, keeping fit and more!

What’s your favourite part of your body?

My hair, I had an impulsive moment and cut my hair short and since then been Googling “what to eat for quick hair-growth”, so basically eating a shit load of avocado.

Gym or outdoor workout, which do you prefer?

Yoga and hiking.

At what point do you start loving yourself and become comfortable with your body as a woman?

When you start accepting who you are and stop comparing yourself to others. If you eat healthy nourishing food, exercise, meditate, and help others, it’s difficult not to love yourself.

What’s the best part of being a mum? 

How kids do everything 100 percent. And introducing her to new things and seeing her eyes light up, it brings me a lot of happiness.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

A glass of red and the 2nd one isn’t legal yet.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

The bush (Timbavati/Botswana/Kruger).

What do you listen to when you work out?

Currently Kendrick Lamar, Drake, ASAP Rocky and a bit of Kanye.

How do you balance being a mum and a model?

Mentally I separate the two, I have to because the contrast is too big. When I work I give one hundred percent, I don’t feel bad for coming home late, it’s my job and I’m lucky to do this. But the next day when I’m free I spend time with Ruby, whatever she wants to do, then I’m difficult to reach. The high season is challenging because you work most days and usually until sunset, you have to fit in exercise and school runs, making healthy meals, and attend castings in between, for me, that’s the tiring part. It’s a lot of rushing and I don’t like rushing anything, it gives me anxiety. But I have a strong support system, it really takes a village.

What would you describe as your perfect summer playlist?

Indie rock

What’s your favourite summer skin care?

Aesop

What would you describe as the perfect diet? 

Plant-based, organic, and seasonal.

How do you stay fit and healthy? 

I do power yoga 4 times a week and I take my dog hiking. I also train once a week with my trainer from Switch.

What did you love most about working on the November shoot for ELLE?

The team’s energy and intention, we were all just there wanting the same thing and making it happen together.

Can you remember your first shoot for ELLE SA? When was it?

I think I was 16, not sure. With Damon Fourie in Durban. Sharon Becker did the styling, it was a lot of fun.

What was the last book you read? 

‘You’ll grow out of it” by Jessi Klein (If you want to end up in tears laughing, you should read it).

What was the last movie you saw?

Lion by Garth Davis.

Pick up the November 2017 issue of ELLE on shelves to see Jenna’s full beach editorial.