Cristina Ferrare: Ditching the Fairy Tale
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Cristina was raised in a Catholic home and always dreamed of living a fairy-tale life. In the '70s, when she was 14, a friend asked Cristina if she ever thought of modeling. Soon Cristina signed a contract and she became the Max Factor girl at 16. She signed with the elite Eileen Ford agency by age 20 and graced the covers of all the major fashion magazines. Modeling opened up many doors for her, including acting and television, but despite her enormous success, Cristina says that she was desperately searching for the meaning of life.
Cristina met John DeLorean (former president of General Motors Truck and Car Division) at a charity event. After a brief courtship, they married. They lived a fairy-tale life and the press was constantly on the move with them. Cristina says she didn't realize the shallowness of her make-believe marriage and life. Unfortunately, John was arrested for allegedly buying and selling cocaine. He was acquitted after a long trial, but Cristina says her marriage had eroded during that time and she asked for a divorce. "I hit rock bottom," says Cristina. "I remember sitting on the edge of the bed (after the trial) and turned my life over to the Lord." She says that was the beginning of her walk. "It's been a process!" she says.
Commitment to God
In 1979, while still married to John, Cristina met the then-chairman of ABC television, Tony Thomopoulos, in hopes of landing an anchoring job on Good Morning America. (She didn't get the job.) Years later, they ran into each other at a mutual friend's party. After their first date, Cristina knew they would be married. She was concerned because he was raised Greek Orthodox and she had already begun her walk as a Christian. "I told him it wouldn't work if he didn't believed in Jesus," says Cristina. While Tony had attended church and believed in Jesus, he did not have a personal relationship with Christ at the time. "I know today that the Lord brought us together," says Cristina. She says the most important ingredient in their marriage is their commitment to God. That is what has kept them strong in good, bad, and devastating times. After nearly 20 years of marriage, Cristina says the intensity of their commitment has deepened. (Their resolve was put to the test early in their relationship when they blended families. Cristina had her two children and Tony had three of his own. Cristina and Tony had Arianna and Alexandra together.)
Cristina says she wrote her book so that others can relate to her experiences. Over the years, she realized that most people become disappointed or confused about things in their lives - relationships, careers, even their families. They build up certain expectations, and they can't quite get over the fact that their lives take a different turn. "We all go through disappointments, illnesses, and happy times," says Cristina. She reminds us that through our failures we can come out on the other side a stronger person. Cristina says the human side of us gets drawn into the glossy magazine world. We wonder how the beautiful model effortlessly segues from her nonstop career to being a hands-on mom. The photos are so seductive that we believe we will be transformed into a gorgeous model if we buy what they're selling.
Cristina says she has even fallen for the glamour trap. Once she saw an outfit in a fashion magazine. In her mind's eye, Cristina actually thought the dress would fit her like the model. Sadly, Cristina says she bought into the whole image. She wanted to be what she had seen in the magazine. What we see on magazine covers is an illusion. The illusion sells millions of products each year, but it also sets up so many of us for disappointment.
Today Cristina is busy with her jewelry line, which she created with her mother, Renata, and is busy raising her family. Cristina's jewelry is available through Neiman Marcus, Geary's in Beverly Hills, and the Home Shopping Network. In April 2004, she launched "The Cristina Ferrare Home Collection," a line of furniture for the home that is manufactured through Magnusson Home and is available through special retailers in the U.S. and Canada.
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