While all eyes were on Kim Kardashian walking the Met Gala 2022 Red Carpet this year in Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'JFK birthday' dress, tech giant Elon Musk who recently acquired Twitter, made a quiet and characteristically weird appearance at the same. What caught the world's attention more than Musk's antics was the presence of his gracious mother - Maye Musk, who accompanied him at the event. Following his recent break-up with his singer girlfriend Grimes, Musk chose to take his mommy as his date to the MET gala. The gesture won many hearts and again brought Mrs Musk into the news. Dressed in a resplendent burgundy gown and strings of blingy pearls, Maye looked like a vision in velvet. Photos of Musk and his mother went viral on social media, asking many to wonder who Musk’s mother really is.
For the uninitiated, Maye Musk is no ordinary woman. While she is the mother of one of the most renowned (and richest) men on Earth and the known universe, Maye is more than that. The 74-year-old is a supermodel who has been working in the fashion and modelling industry since the age of 15. Born in Canada, Maye once told Vanity Fair that she was famous even before Elon was. Today, Maye continues to defy ageism and sexism with her successful modelling career. Unlike the more with models, Maye did not stop working when she started ageing and has continued to model for top brands. Upon turning 60, Maye broke stereotypes after she decided to stop colouring her hair and went on taking modelling assignments with a head full of silver hair. Instead of hiding her age as is expected of models and women in the fashion and lifestyle industry, Maye flaunts her age with charm and pizzaz.
Her ad for Virgin America with her trademark white hair won her much praise and popularity. At the age of 69, Maye graced the cover of Ambassador magazine, becoming the oldest face of the publication in 2017. Maye has even featured in a cameo role in a music video with Beyonce for the song ‘Haunted’.
But modelling is not the only career path that Maye has chosen over the years. Armed with two masters’ degrees in dietetics and nutritional science, Maye established herself as a dietician in South Africa where she has spent much of her growing up years as well as schooling. It was in South Africa that Maye met engineer Errol Musk in High School, whom she later married in 1970. However, the wedding did not last long and according to Maye’s claims, was not a happy one and ended in just nine years.
Later in her 40s, when she returned to Canada, she set up her dietician’s career once again. She has also appeared on the covers of several top magazines like Time and Vogue.
Though Errol and Maye divorced in 1979, the wedding gave birth to three kids - Elon and his two siblings Tosca and Kimbal. Apart from being a single mother, Maye is also a champion for domestic abuse survivors. Maye was reportedly the survivor of domestic abuse from Errol and was finally able to get a divorce from him in 1979 when South Africa deemed abuse as cause enough for divorce. In an interview with Huffington Post, Maye had described how tough it was to take care of her three children as a single mother. “After my divorce, I had to house and feed three kids without maintenance,” she said.
Maye has often spoken with affection and pride about her ‘genius’ son. Today, Maye is not only the mother of one of the most successful men today but also a celebrity in her own right.
In her memoir, A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success (2019), Maye wrote, “I don’t worry about age. I’m too busy having fun”.