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Dayle Haddon Models a New Paradigm of Beauty

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Dayle Haddon modeling new beauty paradigm Photo: David Forbes for UNICEF

When I attended and live-blogged the 2012 Women in the World summit, I was surprised to find that Tweets from the handle of @dayleythought belonged to top model of the 1970s and 80s, Dayle Haddon. Ever the curious reporter, I did a quick search to find out what she was up to. I found the story of a personal evolution that is becoming more normative — as women pioneer new ways to self-define and grow.

Haddon was the brunette that broke through the blonde barricades when Cheryl Tiegs reigned as icon of the “All American” look. Hailing from Canada, Haddon’s background in ballet led to modeling and acting. One of her top roles included Nick Nolte’s girlfriend in North Dallas Forty, a look at the underside of professional football.

Becoming a mother in her twenties, Haddon was 38 years old when her husband died unexpectedly. She was left without an economic base or source of income. She went back to the world of fashion and beauty where she had been a star, and was succinctly told that she was “over the hill.” Haddon’s instinctive reaction was, “That’s not true.”

About her experience of that time Haddon told me, “It was climbing up glass walls. My industry didn’t want me, so I worked as a receptionist.

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