The longtime face of Estée Lauder opens about the American standard of beauty

By Sarah Kinonen
Updated April 04, 2016 12:00 PM

Iconic supermodel and former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover star Carolyn Murphy proves the “age is just a number” philosophy to be very true. The 41-year-old beauty covers Town and Country‘s May issue and continues to nab bikini-clad roles, which, she says, are a continuous pattern in her career.

Credit: Terry Richardson/Town and Country

Terry Richardson/Town and Country

“I’ve been cast as every blonde icon, you name it: Grace Kelly, Romy Schneider,” Murphy confessed to
Town and Country
while dressed down in a sexy, black lacy two-piece Etro bra and underwear set. “But what’s interesting to me now is what lies behind the façade of the photo — this idea of being American, and what that means, how that defines you.”

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The model continues, explaining that she and fellow supermodels are constantly placed in a bubble of an industry-wide, stereotypical ideal of beauty.

“So often the American woman has been typified by a standard of outward beauty: blonde hair, blue eyes, healthy build,” she explained to the glossy. “I see the evolution of the real American woman as being more about her spirit.”

Carolyn Murphy Town and Country

Terry Richardson/Town and Country

But Murphy hopes that the one day, judging someone by their appearance will be a thing of the past.

“She can roll up her sleeves and get dirty. She can do it all — she is classy and she is casual,” she said of her hopes for the new ideal for the American female. “Neither holds more importance than the other, and the beauty is in her effortlessness.”

What do you think of Carolyn’s sexy lingerie-clad spread for Town and Country? Sound off in the comment section below!

–Sarah Kinonen