Supermodel’s New Hosting Gig Is a Trip

Ovation on Jan. 17 debuted its new original unscripted series Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty, which follows supermodel Rachel Hunter as she seeks out indigenous beauty secrets from diverse cultures and looks at how beauty is embraced, celebrated and defined in different countries around the world.

Hunter recently sat down with Multichannel News programming editor R. Thomas Umstead to discuss her new show, as well as how technology is changing the modeling industry in particular and how we perceive beauty in general.

An edited version of the interview appears below.

MCN:What should viewers expect to see fromRachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty?

Rachel Hunter: It takes a very diverse look at beauty around the world — it’s not about what eyeliner or what mascara is good, but it’s beauty that’s very indigenous to each country and culture. We find out about super-foods, gurus and different medicines, and travel to countries like Brazil and Mexico to look at various aspects of inner beauty and outer beauty.

MCN:There is a lot of video content in the marketplace that discusses beauty, or tries to define what beauty is. Do you see those shows as true portrayals of all aspects of beauty?

RH: How do you define beauty? You really can’t. It’s impossible, because if we could, then we all become the same. I think we have to look at it individually. I realized through this show that individuality, belonging and sense of community were really relative. So for us to say this is what’s “in” really doesn’t work.

I think social media is shattering those myths of what both inner and outer beauty are. I think trying to define beauty is a dangerous place to get into.

MCN:Anything on your tour surprise you with regards to how people see beauty and look to achieve it?

RH: We go to France, which is where some of the leading people in terms of fashion, perfumes, makeup come from. Yet to go there and to meet someone whose self-acceptance and sense of peace of who she is as she ages, and to be so beautiful, is the best example of longevity and well-being. It was an integral and pivotal moment for me in the series.

MCN:You’re a veteran of the modeling industry. Has the industry changed over the years and has that change been for better or worse?

RH: It has changed. There are Instagram models now, and some of them have more followers than the actual supermodels. I think we’re seeing [models] from all over the world and backgrounds — Muslim, African-American, Chinese, Japanese, Indian — wherever you want to find it you can find it, and I think that’s awesome for the industry because I think everything and everyone needs to be respected.

MCN:You’ve now gone from international model to television personality. What’s next for you?

RH: For me, I would actually love to get more content out there that’s more diverse, empathetic and compassionate [and] that’s still fun and entertaining. It’ll have serious moments, but also funny moments. I’d like to do something that is a little more socially engaging and has a lot more diversity.