Bravo Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Cynthia Bailey's Epic Throwback From “Young Model” Days Proves She's Noelle's Twin (OLD PHOTOS)

Back in the '90s and before RHOA, Cynthia's life was filled with modeling, couture, glamour, and invites to the Met Gala.

By Casey Suglia

Long before Cynthia Bailey first held a peach on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and became a mom to daughter, Noelle Robinson, she was a model living in Manhattan.

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta on Peacock and the Bravo App.

The RHOA Season 16 "friend of" has been very vocal about her experiences in the modeling industry. But, it's always fun to get glimpses of Cynthia during this time before the show, especially when they have an epic backstory, like this old photo that she posted to her account over the weekend. 

Cynthia Bailey attended the Met Gala in the '90s

Cynthia took to Instagram, where she posted a close up photo of her serving some serious face while wearing a stunning black dress, standing next to her booker at her modeling agency. "Me as a young model in NYC at the Met Gala in the early '90s with Kevin Jones (my booker [at] Wilhelmina Models NYC) & the fabulous Ann Caruso ([fashion editor at] American VOGUE)!!!" she wrote in the caption of the post.

"Wow! I completely forgot about this!" Cynthia added. "Thank you Ann for sending me these photos! Life before social media just hit different."

In addition to being in awe of the moment, Cynthia was also in awe of the fact that she looks so much like Noelle in the photo. "Do I look like my daughter? That's all I see!!!" she wrote in the caption of the post. She isn't wrong — the resemblance between the mother-daughter duo has been pointed out many times before.

Don’t miss out on the latest Bravo news:

Andy Cohen, Kandi & Marlo Have a Lot of Feelings About the RHOA Season 16 Cast: "So Overdue"

Another Alum is Returning for RHOA Season 16 — See the Complete Cast List

Porsha Williams Shows Off Her Gorgeous Mother's Day Gift from Dennis McKinley

Cynthia Bailey and daughter, Noelle Robinson, pose together.

See More Old Photos of Cynthia Bailey as a model

In case you needed proof that Cynthia has been slaying events for years, we unearthed a handful of more throwback photos of Cynthia from red carpets, galas, and beyond.

Cynthia Bailey smiling next to Jason Williams in formal attire.
Cynthia Bailey speaking on stage at an event.
Cynthia Bailey smiling in a hat and dress on a red carpet.
Cynthia Bailey and Leon Robinson smiling next to each other on a red carpet.
Cynthia Bailey holding Noelle Robinson and posing with Leon Robinson in basketball uniforms.

Cynthia, forever iconic.

How did Cynthia Bailey get her start in modeling?

Although Cynthia has been more focused on her acting career in recent years, she doesn't mind reflecting on her days as a model. In 2019, Cynthia posted a photo from her first modeling shoot, ever, on the rooftop of a photographer's apartment, where she described how she got her start. "I was 19," Cynthia wrote in the caption of the post. "Scared, clueless, and determined to win all at the same time. Wilhelmina models signed me to a 5 year contract the next day. The rest is history."

During a 2021 appearance on The Carlos Watson Show, Cynthia shared how she got her wild start in modeling. "I was homecoming queen at my high school," she said. "I was the first African-American homecoming queen at my high school, I went to a predominantly white high school, and I was invited to participate in a homecoming queen pageant."

Although Cynthia didn't win the title or even place, she was approached by one of the judges afterward, who also happened to be a modeling scout, and the rest was history. "That one action pretty much changed the course of my whole life," she said.


The rest is, as they say, history.

Want the latest Bravo updates? Text us for breaking news and more!