Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli has been featured on magazine covers, in advertising campaigns, gossip columns and headlines for nearly her entire life. The country’s best-known fashion model, who has also dabbled in television, acting and business, rings in her 30th birthday with pomp and spectacle.
Refaeli has invited 400 friends to her June 6 bash (two days after her birthday – she was born on June 4, 1985) at the upscale Ronit Farm in Israel’s central Sharon region, Channel 2 news reports. Israeli gossip columnists speculate that the birthday event may double as a wedding to her fiancé, Israeli businessman Adi Ezra.
While she’s been photographed and written about the world over, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Bar Refaeli:
- She’s ready to be a mom
Refaeli has been quoted over the years about her worries that she may need postpartum plastic surgery. But her desire to be a mom has outweighed any misgivings. “I’ve basically been ready to be a mother since I was 22. I’ve had names picked out in my head for kids for the last eight years,” she was quoted as saying in March 2015, shortly after her engagement.
- Braces put her career on hold
Refaeli was eight months old on her first modeling shoot. She popped up in ads and commercials for the next 12 years, as her mother, Tzipi Levine, a successful model in the 1970s, took her from audition to audition. From age 12 to 15, Refaeli put her modeling career on hold and donned braces on her teeth.
Her big break came in 2007 with an appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. In 2009, she was already the cover model for the magazine’s sexy swimsuit edition. Since then she’s appeared on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Esquire, Glamour, InTouch Style, Jolie, Maxim, Grazia, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar.
- She was plastered on a plane
A photo of the blonde, blue-eyed, 1.74-meter tall Refaeli lying seductively in a revealing white bikini was plastered along the length of a Boeing 737 as part of an advertising agreement between Sports Illustrated and Southwest Airlines. Passengers were up in arms over the racy image. In a series of American media reports in 2009, passengers were quoted as complaining about having to board an aircraft “covered in pornography” and “offensive to families.”
- She’s a watch collector
Cap: Refaeli was recently named Hublot’s first female brand ambassador. Photo by Skins.BE
“My first watch was a Nike watch,” the woman who makes people turn their heads tells Style.com. “I was 10 years old, and I’d dreamt about it forever until my dad bought it for me.” Since then, the supermodel has added Rolex, Piaget and Hublot luxury timepieces to her collection. In 2015, Refaeli became the first female ambassador of Hublot, joining the Swiss luxury watch brand’s other celebrity-studded brand ambassadors, including Usain Bolt, Pelé, Dwyane Wade and Jay Z.
- She’s a basketball fan
She’s been photographed over the years at NBA and Euroleague basketball games. And it wasn’t just for a snapshot with her famous ex-boyfriend Leonard DiCaprio. “I am a huge basketball fan,” Refaeli, sister to three brothers, told Style.com(http://www.style.com/trends/fashion/2015/bar-refaeli-hublot-watches). “I’ve been a fan since as long as I can remember. I don’t play sports, but I love watching. I’m always the girl that hangs with the men to watch the big games.”
- Her favorite food is hamburgers
Models may be known for eating as little as possible, but this Israeli fashion icon loves a good hamburger, according to a local Israeli report from 2009. Refaeli is related to have said that if her jeans are loose around the waist, she can go get her favorite meal: hamburger and fries.
- She hit back at Roger Waters
Though she controversially evaded the mandatory Israeli army draft by marrying a family acquaintance, whom she subsequently divorced, Refaeli has made an about-face in recent years, vocally supporting the IDF. In 2013, after Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters called on musicians to shun Israel, Refaeli tweeted out in Hebrew that his calls for a cultural boycott should include her: “Roger Waters, you better take my picture off of the video art at your shows. If you’re boycotting — go all the way,” she posted on Twitter.
- She kissed a nerd 65 times
For a GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial, Refaeli intimately kissed career nerd actor Jesse Heiman 65 times before producers of the expensive advertising spot considered it a perfect shot. “In the original breakdown [for casting], they said you have to be ok with kissing Bar Refaeli, a super model, in the Super Bowl,” Heiman told Business Insider. “And I was like, is this a question? If someone’s opposed to that, then he should get out of the business.”
- She invests in the startup nation
A wearer of many hats, Refaeli’s business forays include investments in MyCheck, an application that allows users to pay for services and goods directly from their mobile phone; and the 2013 startup, Mika Look, that tried unsuccessfully to create an iPad app that let users buy items as seen on in-house models. In 2011, Refaeli teamed up with Dudi Balsar, an attorney and former male model, on a designer underwear startup that seems to have folded. But Refaeli does have one unique lingerie item still in her underwear drawers. According to the Zmanim Modernim magazine, she has kept her first (slightly padded) bra from age 12.
10. She’s a model citizen
Philanthropy and volunteer work is an important part of Refaeli’s life. Over the years she has been connected to non-profits that provide free services and programs for children facing life-threatening illnesses; animal-welfare projects; environmental campaigns to reduce the use of plastic bags and educate the public about water conservation; and has made a pitch for electric cars. Refaeli has also spoken out in support of legislation for civil marriages in Israel and LGBT equal rights.