She began her modelling career at the age of 13 after winning a contest. She’s been on the catwalk ever since. But there’s more to Schynaider Moura’s life than what’s going on in the fashion world. At home she has three daughters that make her life even richer. Schynaider is a supermum who speaks to us about the challenges of balancing motherhood with career and preparing her girls for today’s world.
By Bárbara Perino
Photography by Erika Verginelli
Beauty and Hair Will Vieira
LEMON Magazine [LEMON] – You’re the mother of three girls. How old are they and how old were you when you became a mother?
Schynaider Moura [S.M.] – Yes, I’m mother to three girls: Anne Marie, who’s 10, Elle-Marie, who’s 6, and Gioe Marie, who’s 5. I was 20 when I first got pregnant. It’s unbelievable how fast you grow up when you become a mother. It’s incredible to follow our children’s growth and see ourselves mirrored in so many of their attitudes and tastes. Being a mother is a magical thing!
LEMON – How does a supermodel manage to be a supermum at the same time? What’s the trick to balancing professional and personal life?
S.M. – There is no trick. The question is how to prioritise each stage of life. When the girls were born, I made a decision to dedicate myself to them. It was important for me to be there in their earliest years, their first experiences, to be present for their first words. I wanted to experience motherhood in all its fullness. Today I am able to be both a mother and to deal with my professional life.
LEMON – What’s your secret to being a supermum?
S.M. – I think the secret is to keep the channel of dialogue permanently open. I want my daughters to see me as a support, a friend they can trust.
LEMON – How do you raise your daughters?
S.M. – I want to raise them with a sense of both freedom and responsibility. I want them to discover their aptitudes and tastes and to know how to respect diversity in others. I want them to know that they can be whatever they want to be, but always with compassion and a sense of civic responsibility.
LEMON – What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a mother?
S.M. – There are many challenges, but perhaps the main one is to prepare the girls for an increasingly changing world. There is no perfect formula for how to be a mother or how to deal with children, but I believe there are some values we can always follow, such as empathy, respect and good citizenship.
LEMON – What’s your routine when you’re with your daughters?
S.M. – When we’re together, I help them in their homework and we have our moment of group reading, when I sit down and read them a story. On the weekends we usually eat ice cream together [laughs].
LEMON – Do they follow your work as a model? How do they react when they see their mother at a fashion show or in a magazine?
S.M. – They love it. They already understand my work because I’ve taken them to photo shoots and shows from an early age. I recently appeared in an episode of a soap opera and they said: “Look, mummy’s on TV!”
We also have a family cooking routine.
LEMON – You are a successful model. Do you feel you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career or do you think there’s still a lot more to achieve?
S.M. – I started at 13 when I won a competition [Elite Model Look, in 2001] and went on the international stage in Nice, France. I knew I wanted to work in fashion since I was a teenager. I’ve travelled the world as a model. Today, at 31, I feel there are still plenty of goals to reach. I want to feel stimulated and driven to go even further, to set new goals and pursue them until they are achieved.
LEMON – When did you feel you had really made it as a model?
S.M. – When I was invited to my first job abroad. It gave me a feeling that things could go well for me. And in the end they have. I can only be thankful for the career I’ve built and for all the support I’ve received from my family.
LEMON – With all the problems in the world, are you afraid for your daughters’ future?
S.M. – I fear intolerance, but at the same time I realise that the younger generations are more open and more empathetic. I want to believe that we are building a better society and a more humane world.
LEMON – Your image is very important to your career. Could you share some of your secrets to keeping in shape after motherhood with us?
S.M. – I have an exercise routine. I like to run and do yoga and meditation. I believe in balancing body and mind. I maintain a balanced diet, I try to eat organic food and eat at set times.
LEMON – Who are your role models?
S.M. – Definitely my parents. They are my base and the reference point I use in raising my daughters.
LEMON – What would you like to have been told before you became a mother?
S.M. – That being a mother is a daily process of self-discovery. That being a mother is a test of our limits in patience, love and dedication, but also of our physical endurance in terms of how few hours of sleep we get.
LEMON – And what advice would you like to give to other women with the same profession as you who are thinking of becoming mothers?
S.M. – Maintain the faith that everything will work out. Everything is possible with a little organisation! Being a mother is an incredible experience that only makes life richer.
LEMON – Finally, do any of your daughters want to follow in your footsteps? How do you feel about that possibility?
S.M. – I don’t know if any of them would like to pursue a modelling career. If so, they’ll have my full support and that of their father. Anne loves taking pictures and she’s a super creative little girl. Who knows?…