The next time you’ve got a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses ringing your doorbell, you may want to answer*: supermodel Coco Rocha could be among them.
Rocha, who was raised in the faith by her mother and officially baptized in 2009, still regularly goes door-to-door with her congregation despite her fame, telling DuJour her faith is “everything.”
As one might imagine, though, being a Jehovah’s Witness in the fashion industry–as a model, no less–isn’t exactly the easiest thing. “My list [of what I won’t do] compared with any other model’s is insane,” she says of her contract, which includes no nudity, no government or religious artifacts, and no working with other models who are posing in a way that doesn’t jive with Rocha’s values. Which explains why she was so outraged when Elle Brazil airbrushed out the bodysuit she’d worn under her dress when she appeared on the mag’s April 2012 cover.
Rocha feels pressure to stick to her guns. “I always feel like if I do something that I said I wouldn’t do, all those girls who look up to me will go, ‘She fell into being tempted. I’m not going to be able to do it,’” she said.
This commitment to being a role model for younger girls in the industry is partially why Rocha was drawn to her latest job, mentoring on Oxygen’s new reality TV show The Face alongside fellow models Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova. “If I ever had a bio on what Coco did for this industry, I would love it to say that Coco helped protect models and get them rights,” says the model, who is also heavily involved in The Model Alliance. [Ed. note: Does anyone else think it's weird that she talks about herself in the third person?]
Of course, it’s also an opportunity for Rocha, who already boasts an impressive social media following, to broaden her outreach. Rocha told DuJour she thinks her career will last for 10 years, where “usually a model gets two to three seasons, or a year and a half, and that’s it, you’re done.” A TV gig just might stretch her career a bit longer.
*(Oh, and about that door-to-door thing: You don’t actually have to answer the door or anything. “The whole purpose is to inform people,” explains Rocha. “Some people think we’re a pushy religion, but if you’re not interested, just say so.” Noted!)