WHEN I WAS: JO WOOD

In our new se­ries, the stars take us back to a sig­nif­i­cant time in their lives. This week: beauty en­tre­pre­neur JO WOOD on the year she started mod­el­ling

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor's Letter -

ONE TO WATCH This photo was taken when I be­came The Sun’s Face of 1972. It was a big deal and I went on TV. I re­mem­ber be­ing asked what was on trend and say­ing, ‘The nat­u­ral look.’ What­ever that means! I was over the moon to wear this Biba dress. I still col­lect Biba from vin­tage shops.

MY ROLE MODEL I was des­per­ate to be like Twiggy. My mum and dad asked a pho­tog­ra­pher called Robert Hall­mann to take some test shots of me that I could show to an agent. This was one of them, taken near Basil­don, Es­sex, where I grew up. I love that I’m here with a lit­tle squir­rel.

I WASN’T SHY I be­gan mod­el­ling in the sum­mer after leav­ing school and was voted the Face of 1972 just be­fore Christ­mas. I never felt over­whelmed by the at­ten­tion. I jumped at the chance to wear biki­nis and a fur coat with­out a bra.

DAD’S AD­VICE When I told my dad [pic­tured] I wanted to be a model, he said, ‘Model is an­other word for pros­ti­tute!’ But when I be­came one he was proud of me. He was ob­sessed with Lam­bret­tas and asked me to pose on one. I love the hot­pants I’m wear­ing – they’re in again now!

I STARTED YOUNG I be­gan go­ing into Lon­don aged 14 to do a mod­el­ling course. Look­ing back, it was quite brave. I wouldn’t have let my daugh­ter do it but my mum had three younger chil­dren to look after, so she couldn’t take me.

A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME This was taken in Southend, Es­sex. As a model I was go­ing out to restau­rants, clubs and par­ties – it got me used to the life that I’ve ended up liv­ing.

FIND­ING MY OWN STYLE I look a bit like Twiggy in this fash­ion shoot for the Daily Mir­ror, but the more I worked the more I de­vel­oped my own iden­tity and stopped want­ing to ‘be’ her.

Jo is founder of Jo Wood Or­gan­ics and an am­bas­sador for rain­for­est char­ity Cool Earth. Buy Vivi­enne West­wood’s lim­ited-edi­tion Save the Rain­for­est T-shirt, £23, at coolearth.org

IT WAS QUITE BRAVE. I WOULDN’T HAVE LET MY DAUGH­TER DO IT”

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