Supermodel Beverly Johnson, 71, recently opened up about her previous drug addiction in the 1970s. To lose weight, she lived off of a diet consisting of two eggs, a bowl of rice, and cocaine per week.
In honor of her 50th anniversary as the first Black woman to feature on the cover of Vogue, she revealed to Page Six that she began using the appetite-suppressing drug after being advised by industry insiders to appear “chiseled to the bone” for photo shoots.
She said, “We were led to believe that cocaine was not addictive. We didn’t know cocaine was addictive. Everyone used drugs back in the day but that particular drug for models was used because we did not eat. I remember eating two eggs and a bowl of brown rice a week. I would be shaking in a cab, and I would say pull over because I have to get a bag of M&Ms.”
“I would just stop and get the shakes. We did not eat, and every time you came to work they would say, ‘Yes! Chisel to the bone girl. Yes,’ like congratulating you. Nobody really told you the truth.”
The trailblazer claimed that she didn’t realize how bad things were until her worried mother forced her to get out of the bathtub and put her in a three-way mirror one day.
“It was the first time I saw my bones looking back at me. It was a major wake up call for me,” she expressed.
Johnson stated that she had been sober for more than 50 years. The supermodel is currently hosting a one-woman show headlined “Beverly Johnson In Vogue,” in which she pays tribute to the great women who have come before and after her and talks about her family, lovers, upbringing in Buffalo, New York, modeling, and acting careers.
Johnson told Vogue, “It’s definitely an American story… in the way that you have a chance at opportunities that you would never have anywhere else in the world…and how it’s possible to stumble upon success. I was a student and I wanted to be a lawyer [when I was scouted at 18]; this never was in my scope. It’s only in America where you can totally redesign your life unintentionally.”
The show is running at the 59E59 Theatre until February 4.