Chrissy Teigen is the cover girl for People's 2021 Beautiful Issue.
The model and cookbook author, 35, poses alongside her children, Luna, 4, and Miles, 2, on the cover of the magazine's special annual issue. Teigen opens up inside the magazine's pages about how she and her musician husband, John Legend, 42, found hope again after the heartbreak of losing their late baby, Jack, who died last fall when Teigen experienced a devastating pregnancy loss at 20 weeks.
Teigen said she and Legend will rely on a custom from Teigen's Thai heritage to keep Miles and Luna connected to their late brother.
"It’s important in Thai tradition to always embrace the ones that we’ve lost. They’re never, ever gone," she said.
"We have this new home that we’re building, and this tree being planted inside. The whole reason why I wanted it was so Jack’s ashes could be in that soil, and he could be with us all the time and grow through the beautiful leaves," she continued. "The way Miles and Luna talk about him just reminds me of when I was little, talking to my grandpa who was just sitting bed-side next to my mom in a little urn. It’s all beautiful, and I love that the tradition carries down.”
Teigen also shared how her idea of beauty as changed since she first began modeling as a teenager.
"It's really, really nice to be able to come to an age where I can appreciate every little scar and see my body as something that's done incredible, miraculous things. The difference is these two beautiful, wonderful babies, and these scars are the things I’ve been through and the journeys I’ve healed from," she shared.
"When I look in the mirror, I’m so proud of who I’ve become. And I’m happy that John’s happy too!" she added.
The "Lip Sync Battle" host's understanding of wellness has changed, too, as she's gotten older. For starters, she no longer adheres to a strict diet.
“I’ve had ups and downs with dieting and diet culture. At this point, if it’s going to make me happy and make me feel good, then I indulge in it," she shared. "I’ve spent way too many years counting calories and scheduling way too many workouts and trying to figure out what 'wellness' meant to me. Now I know that it’s on the ground playing with my kids or going to an aquarium or a park.”
Teigen also opened up about how she faced racism as a youngster and, later again in the modeling world.
"I grew up in a predominantly white area about 45 minutes north of Seattle. I didn’t experience casual forms of racism, but it’s the big moments that stood out to me — and I was fiercely defended by white or Black friends. It would be the silliest, dumbest things, like someone saying, 'Go eat a bowl of rice.'"
"I experienced more everyday casual racism once I entered the modeling world," she added. "When they needed someone racially ambiguous — that’s what they called it — that was always going to be me."
People's Beautiful Issue hits newsstands on Friday.