The Bigger Picture
Pink Ribbon 1999

interview: Jazz Thwaite

When we asked supermodel-turned-photographer Helena Christensen to shoot our cover she jumped at the chance to be involved with Pink Ribbon - as did Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon. It's the stuff dreams are made of, three of the world's most desirable women giving it their all for a cause close to their hearts.

"Have loads of sex - that'll do it - trust me it works everytime," whispers a cheeky Yasmin Le Bon to a glowing eight-months pregnant Helena Christensen on bringing her labour forward. I'm sitting around a table with two of the most beautiful women I've ever seen - one is a mother of three, the other about to have her first.

(skipped parts of article that deal with Helena and Naomi)

All I can say is that Simon Le Bon - formerly [sic] of '80s mega-pop group Duran Duran - must have had to deal with numerous admirers trying to steal his wife over the years! To say she is gorgeous would be an understatement. If you could bottle what this woman has you've cracked it for life. Having actively supported Breakthrough Breast Cancer since the first "Fashion Targets Breast Cancer" campaign in 1996, Yasmin is very well informed about the issues surrounding breast cancer. "If you have an opportunity to give something of some worth to a lot of people then it's very difficult to say no," she smiles.

"It's so important to be able to see so much being done about it now. For women to be aware and to ask questions and, instead of being martyrs, actually quickly getting checked properly... I mean this is about saving lives!"

But she does acknowledge how hard it can be to stay positive when things aren't going your way. "It's easy to get down about things but you've just got to turn around and say my God, how lucky am I? I could be living in a cardboard box. There's always a positive side to life and you just have to find it and focus on that - forget the negative."

It takes a special type of person to have the sanguine energy that Yasmin exudes. What with three children now, Amber Rose, eleven; Saffron Sahara, nine and Tallulah, four; a demanding career on top of her charity work, it must be lights out at 9 p.m. for the Le Bon household - hardly the rock 'n' roll lifestyle of years past. "Actually," she laughs raucously "I've no idea how we do it but we certainly do our fair share of partying! But then I have so many other days when I'm just flagging hopelessly, it's really sad and pathetic. Forget trying to finish anything, I can't even start anything." And with an exasperated smile adds: "I'm lucky if I get them to school and manage to get them back home again, and then if I get a bit of food shopping done in between that's a result. You know what I've got to do don't you? I've got to learn to go to bed earlier!"

Her vivacious personality is infectious and you find yourself being swept along by her charm. But there is a more serious side to her which she believes only really came to fruition as she's matured. At 18, like most of us, she thought there was no life past the age of 25. But then she realised she'd only just begun. "The good bits are just starting to come your way then, and that's when you want to hold onto life a lot more - that's when you start realising you have a say in the way your life is, your health, your mind and spirituality. And it's up to you to do it - no one else can keep you healthy and focused and positive, you have to actively pursue it."

"Mummy I want the toilet," Yasmin's daughter, Tallulah, who's been busy drawing dragon pictures for everyone, runs into mum's arms and buries her face in the embrace. "Alright darling, let's go," she says while smiling apologetically at me. Later with Tallulah sitting happily on her knee Yasmin, in contemplative mood adds: "Having children puts a whole new light on everything, suddenly it's not just about you and you're [sic] partner, there are more people you're responsible for. It's like you're not responsible for your own life anymore - but at the same time you're completely in control."

And in control she is. Even so, she can surely see the bigger picture. Theirs is one of the more successful show-biz unions that seems to have stood the test of time. She met Simon at the tender age of 19, he an international rock star, she a young, fresh-faced model trying to make her mark. But Yasmin is far from complacent about her 15-year relationship with Simon.

"I don't think anyone should be under any illusions about how there are going to be some really difficult times," she explains. "I think with me and Simon the love is still there but there's the companionship that's really important too. The fact that we so want to grow old together - you learn to compromise and tolerate things and that's not a bad thing. For some people these are derogatory words but I don't think that's bad at all. I think that's what having a peaceful, happy, and contented life is all about."