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'I have a lot of love': Lauren Hutton on beauty, weight and sex in your 70s

Former supermodel Lauren Hutton, now 74, had a fabulously long and enviable career, appearing on Vogue's cover a whopping 28 times. So it's no wonder the fashionable legend had so much to share when she joined TODAY, waxing poetic on everything from the best breakfast foods (grits, bacon and "good, real bread") to the definition of real beauty. Read the rest of her worldly-wise answers below.

The first thing I do when I wake up is...

Scream. No, that's a joke. I get ready as fast as I can and get to a good breakfast somewhere, and take my paper with me. I subscribe to The New York Times. I used to subscribe to other things, too, but The New York Times is all I can handle now. I whip out to the breakfast joint ... sometimes I make my own, but I like to have a nice, comfortable breakfast joint that I can go to, and they take care of me. It's like your family's taking care of you.

A good breakfast is...

I like my eggs. Sometimes bacon. Some good bread, real bread. Grits if I can get them. They don't have grits anywhere.

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Hutton attends American Ballet Theatre 2014 Opening Night Fall Gala at Lincoln Center in New York City.

When it comes to worrying about my weight...

I'm 10 pounds overweight right now, but I'll take it off. I always do. Real fast. Sometimes I go mental, and then they go off. I eat carefully. I try to eat olive oil, not butter and I cook with olive oil, not butter and I eat fresh. Organic farm stuff.

I never leave the house without ...

I never leave the house without my wallet and ID and my makeup disk.

The last thing I do before I go to sleep is ...

I'm reading. I read every night before I go to sleep.

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Lauren Hutton in 1975 at the 47th Annual Academy Awards rehearsals.

On my bookshelf right now is ...

I'm back to Mark Twain. I'm reading "Life on the Mississippi." I just missed him. I was also reading something called "Daedalus," which was a lot of scientists, six different smart guys, writing about how we handle a population of what is going to be 8 billion any second, and how we feed, how we balance the wilds, nature ... how we keep that along with feeding 8 billion people. And that's heavy stuff. So you need some Mississippi afterwards. (A) little "Huck Finn," or some adventure.

If I could go back and change one thing, it would be ...

The world [laughs] ... I'd put us back to being smarter before we can have children. I'd put us back to children not having children.

People

My thoughts on having children are ...

I think you're damned if you do and damned if you don't with children. Either way, they're gonna be fantastically tough and hard and massively expensive. More all the time. But it's a full-time gig — children, I think — it's a 24-hour job, certainly, for years. And it's great to not have any either. I have a lot of godchildren ... they're wonderful, and some of them are my best friends.

I hope that in 20 years, I am ...

Alive ... It'll be great. I read that we have over 100 people in their hundreds in America now.

To me, happiness is ...

It's so many things. I can't imagine. It's being deep down in the 100-foot deep, someplace great in a reef, seeing a bunch of sharks. And it's seeing a rosy rattlesnake out in Joshua Tree, who's stretched out and I'm looking right in his eyes, because poison things have much more intelligent eyes. That's something I've discovered for myself. That's what I believe and I've seen a lot of them. It's being with someone I love. It's being in the arms of someone I love, and you're gonna sleep the night. It's a lot of things. Happiness is a lot of things.

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Lauren Hutton attends an Armani event in October 2013 in New York City.

Love is ...

I have a lot of love.

To anybody who says "in you 70s, you're not gonna have the sex you had in your 20s and 30s," I say ...

I say you look to yourself for that. You see what's the matter with you, straighten out and fly right. Or get out of town.

To me, beauty is ...

They have a lot of sayings in Charleston (Hutton's hometown), and one of them is, "beauty is as beauty does." And in order to stay alive and make a bunch of money, I had to hopefully do both. But I had to let the beauty thing go. Beauty is as beauty does.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Famous faces: Supermodels then and now

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    Twiggy

    Born Lesley Hornby, Twiggy entered the fashion world as a teenager in the swinging '60s, becoming well-known for her androgynous physique, large eyes and cropped hair. Since being dubbed “the face of 1966” by the Daily Express, she’s gone on to act on screen, stage and television. She also had a stint as a judge on the reality show "America’s Next Top Model."

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    Christy Turlington

    Christy Turlington has graced over 500 magazine covers since she started modeling as a teenager. Now 44, she has earned a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and is married to Ed Burns, with whom she has two children.

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    Claudia Schiffer

    German-born Claudia Schiffer was first spotted in a nightclub at the age of 17, and went on to become one of the world's most highly-photographed models, appearing on over 700 magazine covers throughout her career. Since her modeling heyday Schiffer has performed in films, designed her own fashion collection and acted as a U.K. Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.

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    Elle Macpherson

    Dubbed “The Body” in the 1980s, Elle Macpherson has made a record five appearances on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue during her career. Post-modeling she started successful lingerie and skin care lines. The 48-year-old is now the host and producer of NBC’s "Fashion Star."

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    Linda Evangelista

    A longtime muse of photographer Steven Meisel, Linda Evangelista has appeared on over 600 magazine covers. Now 47, she has one child with billionaire Frenchman Francois-Henri Pinault. Proving that beauty knows no age, she became the new face of Talbots in June 2010.

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    Heidi Klum

    Heidi Klum became the first German Victoria’s Secret Angel in 1997, at the age of 24. Now 39, she’s still strutting down the runway, appearing most recently as a host and model at the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This busy lady is also a host and executive producer of Project Runway, and a mother to four children.

    “The ultimate beauty secret for a woman getting older is, Don’t be too thin! It is always better to have a little meat on your bones,” she told Self in 2010.

    WireImage / WireImage
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    Marisa Berenson

    Yves Saint Laurent called Marisa Berenson, granddaughter of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, “the girl of the Seventies.” Since her supermodeling days, the 65 year old has broken into the movie industry — most recently appearing in the 2010 film “I Am Love.”

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    Naomi Campbell

    Discovered by a scout at the age of 15, Naomi Campbell was one of the biggest models of the early '90s. Despite stints in rehab for cocaine addiction, she’s continued to grace the catwalk, walking the runway in 2007 for Dior’s 60th anniversary fashion show.

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    Christie Brinkley

    Christie Brinkley, 59, became famous for her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers in the late '70s and spent 25 years as the face of CoverGirl. More recently she’s had guest roles on television shows like Parks and Recreation. “I don’t ever apply makeup without scrubbing my face first,” the mother of three told People in 2011. “And I’m very careful with my makeup. Too much emphasizes your wrinkles.”

    WireImage, Getty Images / WireImage, Getty Images
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    Cindy Crawford

    Cindy Crawford and her signature mole shot to worldwide fame as the supermodel became a household name in the '80s. Now 46, she has two children and several business ventures, including a line of furniture. “As I’ve gotten older I wear less makeup,” she tweeted in 2012. “It can make you look older, and hopefully we get more comfortable in our skin.”

    WireImage, AP / WireImage, AP
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    Helena Christensen

    Helena Christensen has had several titles throughout her career: Beauty queen, Victoria’s Secret Angel, photographer and creative director for Nylon magazine. The mom of one, now 44, even launched her own clothing line in 2006 and has continued modeling in fashion campaigns.

    AP / AP
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    Iman

    Iman spent 14 years as one of the top fashion models in the world. These days she’s married to David Bowie and keeps busy with her successful cosmetics company, Iman Cosmetics, which she started in 1994.

    WireImage, Getty Images / WireImage, Getty Images
  • Famous faces: Supermodels then and now

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    Jerry Hall

    Fashion model and actress Jerry Hall still isn't camera shy, recently posing nude with her 28-year-old daughter Lizzy Jagger in a campaign to raise awareness of overfishing. Hall, 56, also became the face of Invisible Zinc Skincare in 2010.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Famous faces: Supermodels then and now

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    Kate Moss

    Famous for her waifish figure, Kate Moss was discovered at the age of 14 and went on to become the face of Calvin Klein, Burberry, Dior and many other labels. She continues to model today and has designed a collection for Topshop. Moss, 39, married British musician Jamie Hince in 2007.

    AP / AP
  • Famous faces: Supermodels then and now

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    Lauren Hutton

    Lauren Hutton, 69, has graced the cover of Vogue 26 times throughout her glamorous career. Fired by Revlon at 40, she made a comeback as a model in the '90s before posing nude in Big magazine at the age of 61.

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    Tyra Banks

    Tyra Banks started modeling at 15, eventually becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel and the first-ever African American model chosen for the cover of the lingerie company’s catalogue. Now 39, Banks hasn’t shied away from being honest about the aging process. “My butt’s kind of sagging. It doesn’t look as good. My boobs are kind of sagging, too!” she told In Touch in 2012.

    Getty Images / Getty Images

We spoke with Lauren Hutton as part of TODAY's "Supermodels: Where are they now?" series.

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Christie Brinkley on delaying aging, dating John Mellencamp

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Christie Brinkley on delaying aging, dating John Mellencamp

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This story was originally published on Feb. 2, 2016.

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