Stars Who Make a Difference: Why & How Model Fabi Saba Is Helping To Change Our World

Stars Who Make a Difference: Why & How Model Fabi Saba Is Helping To Change Our World

Learn to say no. If something is not for you, it’s not the last opportunity in your life. There were many jobs I took because I was afraid of losing opportunities or disappointing people. In hindsight, saying yes to everything led to burnout and missed chances. Trust your instincts, put yourself first, and learn to say no.

Asa part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Fabiana Saba Sutton.

Fabiana Saba Sutton, Fabi Saba, a Brazilian TV host and model who has graced the pages of the world’s top women’s magazines and became the face of major Brazilian Brands. Notably, she fronted the first Maybelline campaign in South America. Her illustrious modeling career saw her strutting the runways in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Milan for prestigious designers. As a television host Fabi made her mark at RedeTV! hosting popular shows such as Interligado and Superpop alongside Otavio Mesquita. Beyond her professional achievements, she is a passionate advocate for women’s rights, continually striving to make a positive impact in the world. Now Fabi is set to share her exciting new projects with us.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us your origin story? The story of how you grew up?

Yes, I grew up in Sao Paulo, which is a very urban city in Brazil and I always wanted to be on television or to be a model, and funny enough, it actually came from being bullied. I was very skinny at a time when it wasn’t yet, but eventually became a fashion standard to be skinny. People called me Carrie from the movie, and then I was like, one day I’m going to be on television or I’m going to be a model and I’m going to show them. That is how I started going after my modeling career and begging my mom for pictures. Once I did my first professional photos, it went really fast from there.

They used to make fun of you, and then you became a beautiful superstar model! Can you share another story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Yes, I believe it begins with the insecurities many of us have, which often drive people toward modeling. Additionally, the allure of travel has always been a strong motivation for me. I wanted a job that allowed me to be creative, free, and explore the world. These factors combined made modeling incredibly appealing to me, especially when I was young and just starting out.

However, as I’ve grown older and reflected on my career, particularly when I transitioned into television, I realized that there’s so much more to it than just being seen. It’s about considering the impact you can have while occupying that space in the public eye. This shift in perspective led me to think more deeply about how modeling and television can be used to create something meaningful and positively impact people’s lives.

I love that. So it has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were starting and can you tell us what lesson you learn from that?

I think the funniest mistakes I’ve made had to do with neglecting self-care. There were times when I showed up to work with my nails undone and my hair styled from the day before because of the various products I had used on another photo shoot. I was getting to places like this and making it impossible to do the job because you have to be like a canvas, ready for the next production. I didn’t realize then that, as a model, I am essentially a product myself. It became clear when I found myself in situations where the team needed extra time just to prepare me for the shoot. A lot of times I was in places and they were like, okay, we’re going to need an extra hour just to figure out what’s happening here and work on her.

I’ve since learned that taking care of myself isn’t selfish; it’s selfless and essential for both my work and personal well-being. Prioritizing things like nails and hair may seem trivial, but it ensures I’m fully prepared and present for the job. It’s a lesson that has not only improved my professional performance but also enhanced my overall sense of readiness and presence in all aspects of life. It means that I am ready, prepared and fully present at work.

That is so true. Is there a person that made a profound impact on your professional life? Can you share a story?

That’s a tough question, as I began my career at such a young age. The first person who truly impacted my life was Xuxa. She was a television personality, and I felt a connection to her because we shared similar features — blond hair and green eyes. Seeing her shine on screen made me realize that I wanted to do the same. However, this realization occurred when I was just 13 years old, which is a pivotal age for anyone.

Later in life, I was deeply inspired by individuals who used their platform for activism. Many models, photographers, and others in the industry have demonstrated that you can leverage your image for a greater cause. Countless women have paved the way, showing models and others that it’s possible to make a significant impact beyond the realm of fashion.

13 is very early you started as a baby.


How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you’re working on right now?

I’ve used my platform in many ways, not always for one specific cause. I try to use it to bring awareness to issues that people don’t talk about much. For instance, I talk about body image because that’s something I struggled with. I wanted to help others the same way I was helped. When I started struggling with body image, I realized I had the power and the space to make a difference, and I wanted to give back.

I believe having a voice allows you to help with many things, from raising money for specific causes to addressing issues people shy away from. So, I focus on body image and other topics related to what we see in the media and beyond.

I also use my platform to address issues like racism, discussing topics that extend beyond individual experiences. These conversations are crucial within both the fashion and beauty worlds, as they intersect with larger societal issues. By discussing these topics openly, we can shed light on important issues and work towards positive change.

Having this space allows me to bring attention to interconnected issues and encourages meaningful dialogue among my audience.

That’s beautiful. And I have to say I have been following your work for decades, and now your page on Instagram. I really love what you stand for when it comes to women’s rights and discrimination. And I just love how you use your voice to impact so many, thank you for the work you do, it’s beautiful.

Thank you so much. I appreciate that.

Can you share with us a story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause or causes?

So I think the cause when it comes to self-esteem was because I was struggling with my own self-esteem. And like I said, I was helped by people that were sharing their own story and I realized the power that sharing that story had. All the other causes for me were equally important to talk about such as LGBTQ or racism. I reached a point where I realized that people listen to me and see me, and many of them can relate to my experiences, so they will hear what I have to say.

Exactly. That is powerful, people will listen to you and you can help so many through your voice.

I believe that many white people and those with any type of privilege need to consider this: if you have an image that others will listen to, use your voice. And if you have a platform, even more so.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

I receive many messages on Instagram, especially when I talk about body image. Women often tell me they started wearing shorts or bathing suits again because of my posts, sometimes after years of avoiding them. I shared my struggles, like feeling uncomfortable getting into the pool with my children. By talking about it openly and showing myself in a bathing suit, I inspired others. One mom told me it changed her life and made her feel confident again. She told me that instead of worrying about being judged by others, she could now enjoy time with her kids. This change was significant for her, especially since her children were still very young. Being able to fully participate in their lives made her very happy. It resonated deeply with me because there were many times in my life when I held back due to insecurity and concern about how others perceived me.

That’s amazing. We pay attention to things that are small and we forget about what’s way more important and bigger in our lives.


Can you list three things that individuals, society, or the government can do to support you in this effort?

I believe it’s crucial for individuals to use their platforms, especially if they have a voice, and not shy away because they’re afraid of losing followers. Use your voice for causes you believe in, whatever they may be. It’s important to hold influencers, bloggers, and people in the fashion world accountable for the images they promote. The conversation about diversity often goes back and forth; sometimes we see a wide range of diversity, and then it fades from focus because people forget. We need consistent reinforcement of these values, and companies shouldn’t only promote diversity when it benefits their bottom line.

Photo credit: Felipe Bauer

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?

  1. Pay attention to the money. Yes, you’re young and everything is fun, but remember that this is a career. Many people forget that in this world. It’s crucial to pay attention to who’s taking care of you and your finances because this is a big deal for any profession that you start young.
  2. Focus more on your career than on social life or relationships. When you start young, it’s important to realize that everything else is temporary. By focusing on your work, you create the foundation for everything else later. For example, when I was 17 and at the peak of my career in Paris, I had done almost all the top fashion shows. Agencies were excited because magazines were calling for me. However, I derailed my career by following a boy to Japan, missing crucial opportunities that never came back.
  3. Learn from those with more experience. We often feel that because we know what’s happening now, we know more. However, those with more experience have been through similar situations and can help you avoid mistakes. When you think you know everything, that’s when you’re likely to fall and crash.
  4. Learn to say no. If something is not for you, it’s not the last opportunity in your life. There were many jobs I took because I was afraid of losing opportunities or disappointing people. In hindsight, saying yes to everything led to burnout and missed chances. Trust your instincts, put yourself first, and learn to say no.
  5. The only competition you have is yourself. Focus on your own growth and progress rather than comparing yourself to others. And I think when you compete with other people, it’s a waste of time and energy. Compete with yourself instead, finding ways to grow and be better than you were yesterday. Focus on how you can improve in specific areas. For example, in modeling or television, think about how you can perfect a pose or improve your walk, rather than trying to outdo someone else. If you focus on competing with others, you end up mimicking them. This applies to everything in life. You don’t want to walk like others; you want to perfect your own walk in life. I think that’s important. And that goes to every possible place in your life.

Those are very wise words for any career at any stage in life. It’s crucial for anyone starting a new career or making a switch to remember this. That’s amazing. Thank you very much for that.

Thank you.

Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind and heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.

I’m Brazilian, so draining is very important to me “drenagem”. The massage we do helps drain toxins out of your body, benefiting both your body and your overall health. It’s definitely something I think is very important. I like to take long showers for my mental health. During this time, I take care of myself — I do my hair, exfoliate, and enjoy a moment without rushing. That’s very important to me. And for my heart, I try to enjoy the people in my life more and more. Instead of always thinking about what’s important for my career, I make time to sit down, have dinner, and watch a movie with my loved ones — friends and family. That simple act does wonders for you. I always say, it’s great — you wake up prettier and feeling better, and it’s so simple.

I love that! Being Brazilian myself, as you know, I’m also a big fan of the drainage massage. I believe Brazilians have a strong affinity for heart-centered practices. We prioritize caring for our hearts, and that nourishes our souls.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I think it would be a movement of “look at yourself in the mirror.” Instead of trying to change the world, it would focus on how you can change yourself for the better. How can you become a better person and contribute positively to the world? It’s about self-reflection — examining whether you act in ways that align with your values or if there are biases you may not be aware of. I believe this movement, focusing on personal growth and self-awareness, is the first step toward creating meaningful change in the world. Change yourself before you can change the world.

I love that. Now can you tell us about your new project? The launch is May 22nd, right?

Yes. Yes, exactly.

Will it be in Portuguese or English?

At first it’s going to be in Portuguese, but we are considering very fast and very soon to start doing it with subtitles in English.

So it’s going to be global because you’re launching it on Instagram?

Yes, and it’s called ‘WHATZ UPP NY.’ It’s a project with my best friend of 30 years, Tatiana Abraços who is also a model. We explore New York City, but it’s not your typical tour guide experience. We invite you to join us and explore the ins and outs of the city firsthand. We don’t just show you the best restaurants; we take you behind the scenes to see how things are done. Our goal is to uncover interesting, hidden gems of New York that most people don’t know about. We want to bring you along on our adventures rather than just presenting them to you. Our hope is that everyone who visits New York can enjoy and appreciate the city as much as we do.

Awesome.That is so exciting, I can’t wait to see this project live!

Thank you.

This is what we call our “matchmaker question”, and it sometimes works. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a power lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Funny enough, it’s somebody who’s not from my time. It’s not a person that I would have ever thought of because I didn’t know him when he was famous for being an influencer or blogger. I learned about this person when he started talking about politics, and his name is Felipe Neto. He’s Brazilian. One thing that I really admire about him is his fearlessness in evolving and speaking out. He’s unafraid to change, to learn, and to voice opinions that he believes will make a difference. I would like to embody that courage. It’s funny because I could name so many other people, especially in politics, like Bernie, whom I admire and would love to sit down with. However, when I thought about it, having a simple conversation and learning about the courage to change, to speak out, doesn’t mean he’s always right or perfect, but it means that we all could use that courage and learn to use our platform for the better.

Okay, so we’ll tag him and I’m going to follow Felipe Neto now. I admire people who speak the truth and challenge you to think differently or consider new perspectives.

You’re like me, living here in the US, so we didn’t know about him as he lives in Brazil. I only learned about him recently. Once he began addressing uncomfortable topics, I started noticing and appreciating him. Despite his immense popularity with millions of followers, I had never heard of him before. Initially, I thought his target audience was more for teenagers. He’s authentic and speaks his truth, I like that about him.

I already follow your Instagram page, but please give us all your social media handles and how our readers can follow you online?

On Instagram @fabisaba and @whatzuppny. I’m on X (formerly Twitter) also @FabiSaba, and I’m trying to build my page on TikTok, it’s just not done yet. My kids got me into trying to do that to also show New York there but in a different vision, it will probably be @whatzuppny on tiktok.

I think TikTok is a tough one for our generation.

I tried it before and was totally lost. But now with WHATZ UPP NY, everyone’s saying I should give it a shot, especially TikTok. So, let’s jump in and see if we like it!

It will be cool to see you on TikTok too. Thank you so much. This was so informative and we wish you only continued success, Fabi.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And I need to talk to you afterwards to learn how you have this beautiful skin. I want to know everything please share with me.

Thank you. It’s all crunchy products. ;)

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at

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