Amazing Grace! Grace Elizabeth On Life’s Little Moments, Her Big Dreams Of Acting, And Her Role With The NOCC
Grace Elizabeth is in her next act. A mainstay on the runways, magazine covers, and billboards around the world since her debut season in 2016, the Florida-native has a maturity and wisdom that belies her 25 years. Opting to keep her pregnancy private, in April 2021 she revealed to her 1.4million followers that she’d welcomed her first child, a son named Noah. She also quietly wed her longtime love, Nicolas Krause, in March 2020. These formative milestones have been highlights for the supermodel, in what has also been a turbulent personal time as her mom was tragically diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer several years ago. Currently, there is no detection test for the disease, but early action is paramount. As such, Elizabeth has become the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s first global awareness ambassador, and is committed to using her platform to spread awareness and foster a community for caregivers and patients alike. The Daily spoke with her about the partnership, her beloved mom Toni, words of wisdom, and her biggest hopes for the future.
Tell us about your new role with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and why it’s a cause close to your heart.
I’m their first-ever global awareness ambassador. I’m really grateful to be a part of a caring and loving community; they’re a wonderful organization. In 2018, my mom was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. She’s had two major surgeries, countless cycles of chemo, and was recently in a clinical trial that unfortunately didn’t work in her favor. Every day she fights, harder than the last. She was diagnosed with this deadly disease, but she certainly has the strength and courage to defeat it. And I have the ability to raise awareness and educate people on my platform.
What will your role entail?
Spreading awareness, fundraising, educating via media and social media, and sharing awareness about all the wonderful tools that the NOCC has: like peer-to-peer support groups, meal delivery services, and counseling. Also, to spread awareness about the symptoms, because ovarian cancer goes unnoticed until it’s in its late stages, and early detection is key to successful treatment.
What do you wish to tell other families who have a loved one battling the disease?
You can find your community everywhere. The NOCC has wonderful groups and chat [services]. They truly understand your pain and have the support that you need to cope. It’s a rocky road, and the uncertainty is scary. Getting involved and doing my part has really given me peace of mind. I would tell everyone to advocate and support their loved ones, but also understand that it’s traumatizing and hard to be the caregiver, so make sure you are supporting yourself too.
Tell us about your mom, Toni, and what makes her your hero.
My mom has been my hero, long before her diagnosis. She’s always made her way through all the impossible tasks, like
getting me to do my homework. She’s guided me, and taught me that greatness was always in my grasp—all I had to do was reach for it. She always built me up, guided me, and gave me confidence.
How has your own perspective on life changed since being a mom?
I see everything in a new light. Ordinary things are shiny and polished again, because he’s seeing everything for the first time so I’m seeing it all through his eyes. My life is actually more zen, as crazy as it sounds! The dialogue with myself has shifted to a more positive and proactive tone, which has made a massive impact in my life. I speak to myself the way I speak to him and I feel centered. For the first time in along time, I feel so truly happy.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
Simply observing him. Watching him figure out how to do things, even twisting and walking backwards—I forgot we had to learn how to do these things! It’s so beautiful watching him; he’s so spirited and it’s an indescribable feeling looking into his eyes. I’ve never felt it before, and I love that it’ll never change. I’ll do whatever possible to make him laugh and smile!
Aw! You had lots of milestones during the pandemic—getting married, becoming a mom—what has it been like going back to the modeling world after all this change?
It’s been a little difficult, honestly. I’m beyond grateful and the industry has changed a lot, so mostly I’m inspired and proud to see the inclusivity and body positivity and the conversations around mental health. But the spontaneity, which used to be my favorite part…now I want consistency! I want to be the first face he sees in the morning and the one to put him to bed. I find myself very emotional if I have to cancel family plans now.
And you’ve been particularly busy! Cannes, The Met Gala, walking the Chanel Cruise show in Monaco…how do you stay balanced with a hectic schedule?
I think you have to seize the opportunities when they come your way. Especially if it’s groundwork for your longterm goals, and if it’s going to set your entire family up. You have to seize it, even if it doesn’t feel good in the moment. Someone has got to do it, so why not me!
You’ve a new look too! What inspired the hair change? Is it here to stay?
I wanted to change it for a while, probably three of four years. But I wasn’t sure about changing it because of my clientele. I was holding back, but I’m not the same girl I was when I joined the industry at 17. I’ve evolved in all aspects of my life and this is who I am now. I can’t say it’s here to stay; who knows what I’ll feel like in the future. That’s the beauty of aging though, we are always progressing and evolving.
You’ve also spoken out about the pressures on new moms, particularly models, to conform to body ideals. How was the feedback you received from other women?
It was quite difficult. The last six years of my life, I prided myself on staying in shape and having no blemishes, no stretch marks. So it was tough for me to show my imperfections, but also extremely liberating. I almost cried during the video, but I felt so good after it, and so centered and relieved. I didn’t care who saw it, but it was received so well. It helped a lot of people; people said thank you and shared their own stories with me. I really don’t think social media should be anything other than a tool to connect with a larger community. It’s about giving people a voice, and speaking about something a vast majority of people go through to create an open conversation.
Do you have any fun summer plans?
We’re still kicking around some ideas. I’d love to do a family trip to Hawaii, and to Switzerland, so I can finally learn how to ski or something like that. Water and sun only, please!
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
I’m actually in love with reading, as boring as that sounds! I just read two books in one week, which felt like a major feat. I’ve been watching old movies too, and falling back in love with entertainment. I’m also trying to act, and brush up on all of the OGs of the acting world!
Have you always wanted to get in to acting?
I would love it! I love going to work and playing a different role each time. Adding speech into that as another element, and getting to transform and become a new character would be amazing.
What’s your biggest dream for the rest of 2022?
I don’t know how fast I’ll achieve it, but I’ve been dreaming of hosting my own fashion show. It’s an idea I’ve had. I want to create an event with the NOCC based around fashion. Make it into a show, have survivors on the runway, glam sessions, and make everyone feel beautiful and strong and give them their moments. Doing my first runway, I felt unstoppable—I want everyone to feel that.
I can see it happening! What’s the best advice your mom ever gave you?
She still gives me advice today. I would say, ‘Dont go too fast to where you’re going. Because you’ll miss where you’ve been.’
We’re all in such a hurry to grow up and get somewhere, and then you miss all the little things. She wishes she would have slowed down and soaked up the moments, so I’ve been trying to live by those words with my son.