Martha Hunt has a showstopping body, but her headspace is just as enviable. The Maxim Hot 100 model and Victoria's Secret Angel practices transcendental meditation, plays brain games, and writes in her spare time.
Though Hunt is constantly flying from job to job—or perhaps because she is—she makes time to stay still. "I've hardly been home this month, and it just really blocks out the noise," she says of her meditation practice. "I can be in any environment and ground myself and feel more centered."
Staying grounded is increasingly important for the model, whose career hit new heights when she was named an Angel in 2015. "I still pinch myself about doing it," she says. "
When I was first cast for the show, I was screaming and freaking out and calling my entire family to share the news." The gig has made her one of the biggest names in modeling, and new doors have since opened, like starring in the Chainsmokers' music video for "Paris."
Meditation is just one of the ways Hunt sharpens her mind. She also uses Lumosity, a brain training program, when she's on the road. "I think it's really important to work on your mind just as much as you work on your body," Hunt says. "I also like to read when I travel and I write in my free time… Maybe one day I'll write a book, but for now it's relieving stress. It's very cathartic for me." Hunt says she's been writing since she was a kid, and she even dreamed of becoming a writer.
But Hunt, a North Carolina native, could hardly have imagined walking the Victoria's Secret fashion show one day; she grew up watching it on TV, but never thought she would actually strut down its runway with giant wings on her back. Hunt's career has taken some unexpected turns since she was named an Angel, with opportunities like the Chainsmokers music video.
"I had so much fun filming that video, because I really got into that character," she says. "It was about a person living a double life: On the outside everything's okay, but on the inside she's battling demons. So I channeled people I know who gave me that impression—friends of mine I knew personally."
Hunt also sort of made a surprise appearance in the music video for Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" when her name appeared on Swift’s T-shirt. "I didn't know that was coming," she laughs, recalling all the hype she received after the video premiered. "I think everybody and their grandmother and goldfish watched that video."
While Hunt is open to more acting opportunities, her modeling career doesn't allow her much time to send in tapes for auditions. She's had her hands full with a jewelry collaboration with Pluma, called the Inégal Collection, to benefit scoliosis research. As a teen Hunt suffered from scoliosis, a malformation of the spine, and she helped choose several girls with the condition for a photo shoot to promote the jewelry.
"I want them to know that I had my own insecurities with my body and they should embrace these as well and not feel too inhibited by scoliosis," she says. Hunt had an operation to treat her scoliosis when she was 18, and she says her experience gave her more incentive to work out after her surgery, which helped her self-esteem.
Of course, working out goes hand-in-hand with her career now. Being a Victoria's Secret Angel means she always needs to bring her A game. "Year-round, working for the brand, we consistently stay in shape because we have to shoot in lingerie all the time," Hunt says. She says lately she's been alternating different workouts, including isometric body movements, weight training, and cardio. “I’m always doing something different to challenge how my brain connects to my body,” she says.
Hunt says while she does make sure to maintain a healthy diet, she's not a fan of the phrase cheat foods. "It associates guilt with the food, and I think that I personally don't feel guilty if I'm enjoying food," she says. "I think it's all about moderation."
It doesn't hurt that Hunt enjoys staying active in her downtime, either. She plays tennis, walks her half-beagle, half-Pekingese dog, and has tried surfing, in addition to attending concerts, though she says she "cannot sing" herself.
Hunt is also fascinated by artificial intelligence, and she spends time watching TED Talks and reading about tech. "When I was younger I went on a nerdy phase, learning HTML codes and designing my own websites, and later coding came back as a fundamental part of technology evolving into what it is now," she says. "I wish I'd kept up the coding… Some of the old codes I used still work, but it's so different."
She laughs when asked if determined fans could perhaps find an old Angelfire website she designed. "They probably totally could!" she says. "That would be so embarrassing."
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