• Germany edition
 
German of the Week
Heidi Klum: supermodel, supermum, media mogul
Photo: DPA

Heidi Klum: supermodel, supermum, media mogul

Published: 31 May 2013 06:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 May 2013 06:42 GMT+02:00

Born in the Rhineland town of Bergisch Gladbach in 1973, Klum had a normal, German upbringing from her hairdresser mother and cosmetics-boss dad. It wasn't until 1992, when she won a television show not unlike Germany's version of The Next Top Model franchise she now presents, that this began to change.

Klum wiped the floor with 25,000 other girls and was offered a modelling contract. Yet it was not until 1998 when her big break came. She was the first German to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition magazine.

This sparked the beginning of Klum's world domination, and she went on to become one of the most sought after supermodels in the world and, like with Sports Illustrated, was the first German to become a Victoria's Secret “Angel”. Almost every fashion magazine has featured her on its cover, from Vogue and Elle, to Marie Claire.

All this put the now mother-of-four into the top earning bracket of models, but for Klum, there was business beyond the catwalk and she soon branched into acting, television hosting and later, producing.

She has been hosting the prime time talent-scouting show Germany's Next Top Model since 2006; Thursday coincidentally marked the end of this year's season. Yet the ever-shrinking size of the (mostly teenage) contestants, who have to be able to fit into a US size two, has not escaped the country's notice, and the audience is starting to diminish.

While filming the show, Die Welt newspaper reported a scene in which the girls all had to slide a finger into Klum's birthday cake and lick the cream off their fingers for the camera, which when turned off caused “facial expressions that looked like Amnesty International had saved them from starvation at the last minute”, according to the reporter watching.

Klum lives in America, where the public largely love her. But to fall back into the arms of Germany it could be that she needs to cultivate a “nicer” outward imagine, the newspaper said.

This could mean taking a different attitude when the next series of Germany's Next Top Model rolls around. After all, she said this week that she could imagine hosting it for ten years, giving her space to claw back some of her birth country's audience.

Until then Klum, who was previously married to British singer Seal, will be celebrating her big 4-0 in LA with a party. Known for her love of fancy dress bashes (each year she throws one on Halloween) the theme will be “big hats”, an idea she said she got off a friend.

Newly loved-up and a doting mother to her children – once saving them from a rip tide herself – Klum is without a doubt one of the most famous Germans in the world today. She has, we think, steered stereotypes away from a beer-swilling, lederhosen-wearing Germany towards a more glamourous one.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
Eight expat groups to save you in Germany
Photo: Jan Perlich/Munich RFC

Eight expat groups to save you in Germany

Think you're the only English speaker in your town or region? Think again! The Local List this week runs through eight of the best expat groups and clubs in Germany. READ  

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost
Former GDR political prisoners Hartmut (l) and Gerda Stachowitz in a East Berlin prison which has stood empty for 20 years. Photo: DPA

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost

Benefit payments to former political prisoners of ex-communist East Germany (GDR) will be raised to send an "important message" 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government said on Wednesday. READ  

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises
Apartments in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises

Germany's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to cap ballooning property rents in high-demand urban neighbourhoods in a law set to come into force early next year. READ  

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find
Passengers are delayed at Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find

UPDATE: The discovery of a US World War II bomb disrupted flights at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Wednesday afternoon, with no flights taking off or landing for 30 minutes. The bomb has now been defused but later flights are still delayed. READ  

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'
A photo allegedly showing guards abusing one refugee. Photo: DPA/Police

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'

A group of guards who allegedly abused refugees in an asylum centre in western Germany were nicknamed “the SS” after Hitler's stormtroopers, according to one of their colleagues. Photos of guards abusing refugees have sparked a backlash in Germany against security firms. READ  

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants
First prize went to Nestle for its sugary baby food. Photo: Foodwatch

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants

A food watchdog presented Nestle with a prize to avoid on Wednesday for the cheekiest false advertising of the year. The runner-up was a chicken soup with no chicken in a vote of almost 160,000 Germans. READ  

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home
One of the two A340 planes which are reserved for the Chancellor and government leaders. Photo: DPA

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home

One of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s VIP jets is set to be used to ferry soldiers home who are stuck in Afghanistan, due to ongoing problems with the German military’s transport planes. READ  

German firms top EU lobbying list
Siemens was the highest ranked German company when it came to spending on EU lobbying, according to the register. Photo: DPA

German firms top EU lobbying list

Germany companies are among the biggest spenders when it comes to EU lobbying to influence decision makers in Brussels. There are more German lobbying organizations registered than from any other country in Europe but Belgium. READ  

City starts beer for alcoholics project
Photo: DPA

City starts beer for alcoholics project

A city in western Germany will start a controversial project on Wednesday to employ alcohol and drug addicts to clean the streets in return for beer, tobacco, food and small amounts of cash. READ  

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters
A German Eurofighter. Photo: DPA

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters

A manufacturing fault has been discovered in the troubled Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes, Germany's defence ministry said on Tuesday, announcing it was suspending deliveries of the sophisticated jets. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,169
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd