Maybe you’ve seen by now the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. (Sinners.) A few months after Bar Refaeli, the Israeli ex-pat, graced the cover of Heeb, she landed one of the best gigs in modeling. Coincidence? Unlikely. Another Heeb model, Esti Ginzburg, made the cut.
Here’s an interview Refaeli did with Time about modeling and Israeli politics:
This was your third year in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. The previous two years, were you sitting there with your fingers crossed?
The first year I didn’t expect it at all. Last year, when they came to Israel, I thought, Hmm, they came to my home country — maybe, you know, there’s a reason for it. But I didn’t get the cover, and it’s O.K. because working with Sports Illustrated is such a big compliment anyway that it’s not even a disappointment. Now that I am on the cover, I understand how exciting it is.
Who was the first person you told?
The first person I called was my mom, because she knew already. So I called to shout at her. She’d known for a few days. I’m like, “How can you do that?” She always tells me everything.
Is it true you’ve been modeling since you were 8 months old?
Yes. Since I was 8 months old, till I was 12, I did commercials and ads and cute little stuff for kids. Then I had braces on my teeth. They took them off when I was 16, and then I started modeling more seriously and doing more fashion.
What was your first job?
I don’t remember what the word is in English, but you know those things they put around babies’ necks when they eat? A bib? Those things. But the ad is still on, to this day. It’s really weird. They’re still using that, 23 years later.
You’re Israeli. Are you voting in the elections?
I am in New York, so I can’t.
How do you think they’re going to go?
I actually don’t know who I would vote for. If I knew I was going to, I’d probably research more. I think I’d probably go for [Foreign Minister Tzipi] Livni, but I don’t know.