Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

tg about us  

Dayanara Torres:
The glamorous mom opens up.

The former Miss Universe talks about being healthy, her latest projects, and enjoying motherhood (while laughing a lot).

Written by Jess Duran, Edited by Bonnie Siegler,
Photos by Mark Sullivan


It’s a typical sun-drenched Thursday afternoon in Beverly Hills, California – 90210 residents, topless corvettes, and the city’s golden streets all glowing like polished synthetic wax on a new car. This is, after all, the enclave of the world’s rich and famous, or those who just aspire to lay their pillows near them.

I’m driving around the green oasis heading to meet this month’s CATALINA cover star, Dayanara Torres. I walk into the spacious home where the photo shoot is taking place, to a scene dominated by wardrobe, makeup artists, photographers and other handlers with miniature dogs attached to white-string leashes. I announce my arrival to no big fanfare but am instructed to where Dayanara Torres is being readied for the camera. And there she is, wearing a gorgeous black ball gown, a vision that would take anyone’s breath away. It looks like her blue eyes, sculpted body, and beautiful smile have already been Photoshopped before my eyes.

Of course she is breathtaking. After all, what we have here is a former Miss Universe, crowned in 1993 in front of thousands in Mexico City. “I hate these extensions,” she exclaims to the hairstylist as she munches on diced carrots and ripened red grapes, careful not to ruin her defined lips. “Can we just get rid of them?” Before you can say Shear Genius, the extensions are banished from the scene.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Torres was discovered in her teens while walking at her neighborhood mall. Since then, this savvy and beautiful Latina hasn’t stopped shining in the spotlight. Blessed with a killer voice, natural talent, and striking looks, she has dabbled in almost every field of entertainment.

In 2008, after a rocky marriage to now ex-husband Marc Anthony, she added the title of “author” to her resume when she co-authored a book, Married to Me with her psychologist sister. The book was written in the hopes of helping others cope with relationships and to help other women with self-esteem issues. “Growing up was a bit hard for me,” she says about the first time she actually felt comfortable as a woman.

“Coming from a low income class, studying with the rich, feeling out of place with my braces, headgear and eye glasses … I was an easy target. I was shy and introverted, wouldn’t dare speak in public. It was probably during my preparation to compete that, little by little, I was able to get out of my shell and feel capable of doing things I would only dream of before.”

It’s hard to imagine that this beauty won the Miss Universe title over 15 years ago. She still is a gorgeous vision, standing 5’8” tall with her brunette hair cascading down over slender shoulders. Torres still maintains her figure with regular exercise and healthy eating habits, though she admits, “I’m Latina so I have to concentrate on my lower body.”

As part of her preparation for the 1993 contest, “I was going to the gym every morning Monday to Friday and would train for at least one hour and forty five minutes, alternating between cardio and free weights. But that was then. Now things are much different. I really just watch what I’m eating, try to eat as healthy as possible, but I don’t completely eliminate foods. Once in awhile, I enjoy eating the ‘not so healthy’ stuff. I also do Cardio Barre three times a week.”

Nutritional staples include salads, rice and protein. Yet, to maintain her statuesque body, Torres stays away from carbohydrates as much as possible. “Sweets, too, and anything fried, but only for a short time or just before I know a photo shoot is coming up. I still have three meals a day, plus two or three snacks in between.”

The photo crew connects their iPod to the speaker dock and a Jennifer Lopez song rings out. Torres excuses herself for a second. “We love her music, sweeties,” she kindly says, giggling to the crew, “but can we please change the song?” This, I realize, would be the perfect time to bring up her very public breakup with Lopez’s current husband, Marc Anthony, but it seems a lifetime of gossip magazines ago. It just doesn’t seem right.

I do know that the couple, however, had two sons, Christian and Ryan, who Torres is raising here in Los Angeles. “My parents did a wonderful job raising the four of us. And I’m just hoping I can do the same with my kids.”

On the days that she’s not shooting magazine covers, Torres is busy with many projects. She recently completed a movie, The Nail, which was filmed in Philadelphia, set to hit theaters soon. Prior to that, she was the lead of her own prime-time drama, Watch Over Me. And she spends a good deal of time on her charity involvements with The Ronald McDonald House, March of Dimes and Covenant House of California.

When not filming or doing charity work, Torres says she’s a regular working mom, shuttling her boys between soccer games, guitar lessons, school and everything else working moms do in juggling career and motherhood. “That’s called being a mom and having two kids. The glamour and all that stuff goes away. Usually I’m home taking care of the kids – that’s real life.” Balancing out her physical and emotional sides is a challenge.

“Trying as much as possible to make time for it all … that’s the trick. Exercising, eating healthy, sleeping right and taking time for myself whenever possible, where I can disconnect, read, meditate and pray, but also, making time to be with my friends over a nice glass of wine and dinner. That is so incredibly uplifting.”

Doesn’t leave many moments for personal vanity. “There are tricks you learn with time how to get yourself ready and out the door in ten minutes,” she says. “I’m pretty good at getting ready in 10. A hat or cute ponytail, no make-up but always making sure to put on concealer and lipstick, an easy-flowy type shirt with skinny jeans and my ballet flats. I never leave my house without my lipstick, sunglasses and wallet.”

I ask her what makes her happy. She thinks a moment and replies, “Besides my children and family, it’s vacations, Christmas, Puerto Rico, and my girlfriends. My boys, no doubt, make me laugh all the time.”

Then I ask her for a moment of self-reflection, to describe herself to me. “Loyal, compassionate, and happy.” 



Behind the scenes: Dayanara Torres was shot at a private residence in Beverly Hills, Calif., exclusively for CATALINA by famed celebrity photographer Mark Sullivan. She was styled by Michael Russo, with hair and makeup by Clark Ivor.

On the scene, CATALINA's editorial assistant, Jess Duran (pictured here with the star), interviewed Dayanara and videotaped the 5-hour shoot.

A big thank you from the staff at CATALINA to Alex Spieller and the team at the Anderson Group for helping produce such a fun and lovely photo shoot. ___________________________________________

More, for your reading pleasure:

In My Words : Modern Family's Sofia Vergara talks about being "that Latin girl" in Hollywood, and more. Read more >>

Thoughts: In her opinion piece, CATALINA publisher Cathy Areu discusses the real ABCs of Immigration Reform. Read more >>

Cover Story: Get to know the Today show's very own Natalie Morales. Read more >>


Untitled Document

• Privacy Statement •
© 2010 CATALINA Magazine