Long before Whitney Houston became the highly awarded pop icon belting out platinum hits we all played religiously, she flexed her muscles in a Seventeen magazine spread for a beach sweat session.
At 16, the young Newark, New Jersey girl began her modeling career with legendary Wilhelmina Models agency, snagging fashion spreads with Cosmo, Glamour and other youth-centric glossies.
In 1983, Houston became one of the first-ever African American models to appear in Seventeen and landed a fitness spread for body-toning and stretching exercises, including swimming techniques that target the legs and back. She later became one of the first women of color to grace the magazine’s cover.
While featured in several publications, her girl-next-door deposition, cheery personality and incomparable vocals caught the attention of music legend Clive Davis. And, as they say, the rest is women’s history.