Every now and then, we get a welcome reminder that what we see on Instagram isn't always a reflection of real life. A glance at Nicole Trunfio's feed suggests the top model and her musician husband, Gary Clark Jr., lead the flashy, A-list life we'd expect, but a candid interview with Gritty Pretty reveals a disarmingly down-to-earth side to Trunfio: that of a doting mother who lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband and 2-year-old son.
"Being a mother is so important because everything you do reflects on your child and who your child will grow up to be," she says. "Yes, I'm a very driven woman. I have companies and so many projects on the horizon, but the things I do won't ever overshadow my greatest role, which is being a good mother."
While Trunfio's career as a top model for labels like Tom Ford and Gucci has placed a strong emphasis on appearance, she says becoming a mom has changed the ways she sees herself. "Going through pregnancy and then birth definitely changes your relationship with your body. … I barely shower or look in the mirror anymore. Yet, I have never felt so beautiful. Loving my son and being present for my family, giving them 100% of me, makes me feel truly, deeply beautiful."
The 31-year-old says giving birth to Zion, now 2, also shifted her priorities. "I think becoming a mother has softened me. It has made me very patient and conscious—I'm now conscious about who I am as a person, as a woman, and as a mother. It's made me conscious of the people who I want to surround my family and myself with. It's also taught me how to prioritize what is truly important in this life—for the sake of my son."
Trunfio took part in the Women's March in January and says the current political climate also influences how she raises her son. "We are very conscious of the time we are up against right now. If Gary and I can teach Zion one thing, it would be compassion. Compassion is such a strong and grounding virtue that doesn't just better you but also the people and world around you."
The young mom also opened up about her choice to have a natural home birth, saying it "was intense and I'll never do [it] again." No doubt it was just one of the challenges of motherhood that changed and shaped her into the person she is today. "I don't expect anything anymore, I'm somewhat content and fulfilled," she says. "I will never stop being creative and working towards by goals, but now I just feel this undertone of ease. I'm just really happy."
Are you a mom? Tell us how motherhood has changed your priorities.