Tracy Trinita found fortune and fame as a supermodel – but true happiness somewhere quite different.
At age 14, Tracy Trinita was given a modelling contract in New York.
As Indonesia’s first supermodel Tracy went on to model clothes for top designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gautier, Kenzo, and Benetton on the catwalks of New York, Milan and Paris. In Indonesia, Tracy also starred in movies and TV dramas.
She expected the glamour, celebrity, and riches of her new life to fulfil her desire to be happy and important. Instead, she felt terribly empty. Real happiness eluded Tracy until she realised that people with faith were happier. But which faith? Her family had Muslims, Hindus, Christians – which faith should she consider? So Tracy cried out to God: “Please reveal yourself to me!”
Tracy is in Australia with City Bible Forum, telling her story in events around the country. To hear Tracy speak in your city, visit the events page for more information and to book your tickets.
SIMON SMART: Tracy Trinita was Indonesia’s first supermodel, having left home at 14 to walk the catwalks of New York, Paris and Milan. But despite a successful career and a glamorous lifestyle, Tracy found that something profoundly important was missing in her life. She came in to CPX to talk about what it was she found, as she went on a search for meaning and lasting satisfaction.
Tracy, welcome to CPX.
TRACY TRINITA: Thank you so much.
SIMON SMART: Now you left home when you were 14, heading to New York to enter the fashion world. What was it that drove you to do that?
TRACY TRINITA: I discovered when I entered the modeling world that I felt for the first time the feeling of importance, the feeling of love, and that is a huge drive. I wanted to be happier. I really felt at the age of 14 that happiness comes from wealth and fame. And that was the drive.
SIMON SMART: It’s true, isn’t it? Wealth and fame = happiness?
TRACY TRINITA: That’s what people say.
SIMON SMART: And you didn’t find that though.
TRACY TRINITA: For short times, I did, but in the long run it wasn’t true.
SIMON SMART: Tell me about the world you entered into, what was that like?
TRACY TRINITA: The world is modeling is very interesting. It’s lots of adventures, lots of traveling, and meeting lots of new people. It looks very exciting and very glamorous on the outside, but there’s so much hard work on the inside, and lots of rejection as well, because as models do auditions, there are lots of times clients have to say no to them.
SIMON SMART: Yeah, you say for every hundred you’d do you’d get about 10 acceptances.
TRACY TRINITA: Yeah, that’s the maximum. So 90 people actually rejected me before I got the 10 jobs.
SIMON SMART: What about the lifestyle, was it the things you hoped it would give you?
TRACY TRINITA: The lifestyle is actually, for a young person, extremely exciting, because at any time we can travel to a different city, a different country, and have financial independence. But at the same times, there’s lots of loneliness because you’re far from your family and far from your friends.
SIMON SMART: And you’ve described how over time you became aware of a real emptiness that you felt. Can you describe what that was like?
TRACY TRINITA: After receiving a small scale of success and finance, I really thought “This is the moment I’m supposed to be happy, and I’m not happy.” This emptiness in my heart really started to bother me and I could not enjoy work or parties because of this sense of emptiness in my heart.
SIMON SMART: What made you think that you needed to search for something else then, and what were the sorts of things you’d look for?
TRACY TRINITA: I was searching for how to fill this emptiness. And I asked the world, my friends, and they were giving me this answer that will give, in the long run, a damage to me. So I tried to seek the answer out there. And the answer is – I thought, “Maybe religion is what I need.” Because people who have religion seem to be happier.
SIMON SMART: Yes, and you had an interesting background with religion; your family came from a diverse religious background, but you found yourself in Paris and you were asked to go along to a church – what did you find there?
TRACY TRINITA: At first I didn’t want to go to the church because I believed that Sundays were my sleeping times, I would only wake up when I’m hungry. When I went to church there was something different. I had never seen a glow on people’s faces – this kind of glow. And it’s not because of make-up, not because of lighting, there is like a glow of happiness. And I’m curious, and I wonder “Is it because they know God? Is it because they have a relationship with God that they’re actually happier?” And that brings the question in my heart that you know, maybe I should ask lots of questions, not just to the Christian faith but to different belief systems. Because of my family background of many, many belief systems, I asked the same questions to around 6 belief systems and had them answer me. And whichever one is the most profound one would be the belief system I would like to know deeper.
SIMON SMART: And what did you find when you asked those questions of the different faiths, but particularly, what answer did you get in Christianity?
TRACY TRINITA: The answer to my question from a Christian perspective was really profound, because in any other religion that I’ve studied, God is very distant. God is up there, out there, it’s not really a personal god. The Christian faith describes God as a personal God in Jesus Christ, who came to the world and lived a normal life, a perfect life, and died so that those who believe in Him have eternal life with Him. But the evidence of the answers to my questions is just so clear. And also, for me, He’s the most loving God, because He is such a personal God that comes to the world, and He is the one who is inviting us to be in a relationship with Him. And I found that very unique and different to any other God that the other religions offer.
SIMON SMART: And then you came to follow this faith, follow Christ – what difference did that make to your life?
TRACY TRINITA: It makes lots of difference. God somehow healed my identity. I was so broken in the way I viewed myself and the way I saw other people as well, and that vertical and horizontal reconciliations happened when I started to get to know Him and accepted God as my personal God, not just an idea, but now it’s a personal commitment to believe in Him. And He heals my identity. He also gives me such a freedom to be who I am and pursue my career with a different light – no longer to be famous and no longer to be rich, but just to enjoy and use everything that he’s given me. So I found people say “Oh, religion’s bonded you” but for me, religion’s freed me to be who I am, the person who I’m meant to be.