Paulina Porizkova gets real about money and self-worth

Paulina Porizkova poses at an event.
Paulina Porizkova opened up about how money has shaped her life. Pic credit: © Schlein/StarMaxWorldwide

Paulina Porizkova is no stranger to opening up with her social media followers and getting real about beauty and life.

The 58-year-old former supermodel and current social media star was at it again as she sat down with She Knows magazine to discuss the impact money has had on her life over the years.

Going first to her social media platform to tell followers about her recent interview, Paulina addressed the social issues around finances, captioning her post posing questions about how money impacts one’s self-worth and standing in the community.

“Was I worth more as a person when I had more money?” she queried first, adding, “It would certainly seem so, being that money buys you the privileges of our society. As does beauty.”

While she admitted that times of privilege were naturally the preferable option, Paulina said that it was during her times without a lot of money that she was able to truly find her “worth…as a human being.”

Only giving hints at what was to come in her cover story article with She Knows in her Instagram post, Paulina then tagged the magazine and told fans to head over to the publication to get the full story.

Paulina Porizkova opens up about the impact money has had on her life

While it might be easy for fans to assume Paulina has always had it easy, that wasn’t always the case for the model, who discussed her struggles growing up in Sweden with an absent father who once left her and her brother alone for two weeks with only $20.

Paulina said she got through the challenging time by stealing food so she and her brother could eat.

As she grew up, Paulina held all manner of jobs, slinging newspapers at age ten before hitting her teenage years and striving to make more money so she could “fit in” and afford the designer clothes she assumed would increase her popularity.

When she showed up to school for the first day of ninth grade and was still bullied despite wearing posh attire, Paulina said she started to realize that having money didn’t mean her life would automatically be happier.

“I think the good thing that I learned is that money does not have magical properties,” she said of the experience. “Having money does not make you a happier person. It doesn’t buy you love, community, connection — it doesn’t buy you any of that stuff,” she added.

“If you don’t have money and you’re left to steal food, or you don’t have a place to live, obviously you know how very limiting that is. So to me, money always represented freedom, but that did not necessarily equal happiness. And I think a lot of people have that confused.”

Due to her upbringing in poverty, Paulina said she felt a bit lost when she started making big bucks as a budding model in Paris in her late teens and early 20s and resorted to handing over control of her finances to others at times.

Paulina Porizkova opens up about being left out of her husband’s will

After being married to her former husband, Ric Ocasek, for just three years, Paulina said she decided to switch to his accountant and business manager so that she did not have to make too many decisions about how to manage her money herself.

While that decision seemed to work for the duration of the couple’s 25-year marriage, Paulina discovered a downside to having given over her finances to her husband after he passed away in 2019.

Despite their seemingly-strong partnership over more than two decades, Ric failed to put Paulina into his will, leaving her stranded financially.

“I was a woman with assets — I had two mortgaged houses and a pension plan that I can access in 10 years — and zero cash and no way to pay for anything,” she explained.

Paulina made the difficult decision to sell one of her houses, a decision that would be challenging even at the best of times but was made all the more difficult due to the onslaught of COVID-19.

She admitted to feeling “humiliated” when she had to rely on friends for support with buying food but said her friend group was super supportive of her during that time.

While the house eventually sold, Paulina shared that she lost “a lot of money” on it because the pandemic had sent the housing market into a dive.

The model shared that despite the stress Ric’s will omission caused, she still doesn’t classify him as a misogynist.

“My husband was absolutely not a misogynist. He was very respectful towards women. Yet, oddly enough, when it came to money… my money just was diminished. And I think it had to be diminished in order to allow him to feel like he was important.”

Regardless of the hard times she experienced just a few years ago, Paulina successfully regained control of her life, due in no small part to settling with her late husband’s estate to receive the money she believed was rightfully hers.

Paulina shared even more details about her life and the impact Ric’s death had on her in her recent memoir titled No Filter, which can be found for purchase online and at a variety of bookstores across the country.

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