A Definitive Timeline of Chrissy Teigen’s Rise, from ‘Deal or No Deal’ Briefcase Model to Queen of Twitter

We know and love Chrissy Teigen as an arbiter of headbands, a connoisseur of cravings and the best John Legend troll this side of the equator (…OK, both sides of the equator). So, it only seems fitting that we take a look back at how the 33-year-old model, author and mom rose from a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal to our favorite Twitter account to follow. Here, a definitive timeline of Teigen’s personal and professional progression.

Childhood: The Kinda Awkward Years

Once upon a time, Teigen was just a kid waiting to unleash her sass on the world. Her “It’s not easy being cute” tee is all the evidence we need to know the Queen of Twitter was already in there.

Preeteens: A Nacent Modeling Career Begins

Come middle school, Teigen learned how to work her angles and flaunt those stems. The super ’90s skort, choker and Tommy Hilfiger tank were just the icing on the cake.

2004: Discovered

In 2004, Teigen was discovered by a photographer while working in a surf shop in Huntington Beach, California, and became an IGN Babe. What’s that? Basically a girl (a video game site) thinks is attractive. In an interview for the site, the then 19-year-old Teigen said she was interested in pursuing a broadcast journalism degree in college and perhaps appearing on a reality show. Instead, she went full force into modeling and appeared in campaigns for Olay, Nike and Billabong.

chrissy teigen deal or no deal

2007: The ‘deal Or No Deal’ Chapter

Teigen snagged a job as one of the ever-illustrious briefcase models on the game show Deal or No Deal. That’s as high as some rise, but for Teigen (oh, and her co-model Meghan Markle, aka the Duchess of Sussex) it was the first of many stepping stones to greatness.

chrissy teigen and john legend smiling
Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

2007: She Catches The Eye Of A Certain Musician

Teigen and her now-husband John Legend first met on the set of his 2007 “Stereo” music video. She starred as his love interest (duh) and ultimately, one thing led to another. They ate In-N-Out, hooked up and by New Year’s Eve, when this pic was snapped, they were an item.

chrissy teigen getting hair done
Mark Mainz/Getty Images

2008: Guest Hostest With The Mostest

After Deal or No Deal, Teigen served as a recurring guest host on E!, TMZ, MTV and Extra.

chrissy teigen john legend oscars
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

2009: She Becomes An Oscar-goer

After 20 plus years in the industry, Ryan Seacrest still doesn’t get to watch the Oscars IRL. But by 2009, Teigen was already working the Academy Awards red carpet with panache. Take note, Ryan.

chrissy teigen sports illustrated mag
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

2010: Sports Illustrated Rookie Of The Year

Off the suggestion of fellow model Brooklyn Decker, Teigen was named Sports Illustrated Rookie of the Year in 2010. With a larger profile, she began to showcase her humor and we all know how that turned out.

chrissy teigen miami swim week
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

2011: Chrissy Does Miami Swim Fashion Week

Chrissy’s a model, ya know what we mean, and she shook her little toosh on the 2011 Mercedes Benz Miami Fashion Week catwalk. As she so poignantly put it in a recent Instagram post, “Oh, my God. Miami Swim Fashion Week Circa 2008 was my SH*T.” Fact.

chrissy teigen new engagement ring
Ben Hider/Getty Images

2011: John Puts A Ring On It

After four years of dating, Legend made the right decision and popped the question during a trip the Maldives. The only issue? Airport security almost blew his cover.

chrissy teigen face palming john legend
James Devaney/Getty Images

2012: The Public Trolling Begins And Endless Fun For All (except Maybe John) Ensues

There’s no one Teigen would rather poke fun at than Legend, and in 2012 when she face-palmed him at a Rangers game and called him out over Twitter, we fell in love with her for it.

2013: Chrissy & John Tie The Knot

The couple exchanged vows at a private estate in Lake Como, Italy, in 2013 and she’s been a literal living legend ever since. In a single day, she solidified her place as one half of the world’s biggest power couples and locked John in for a lifetime of love trolling.

2015: ‘lip Sync Battle’ Invades Our Living Room

Teigen’s effervescent personality was made for TV, so when L.L. Cool J. needed a co-host for the Lip Sync Battle in 2015, there was no question: Chrissy was his girl.

2016: ‘cravings’ Drops

Teigen released her first cookbook in 2016 after making our mouths water with delicious recipes on Instagram for, like, ever. Not surprisingly, it was the second best selling cookbook of the year. What can we say? Teigen has (pork) chops.

2016: A Little Legend Is Born

In 2016, Teigen and Legend welcomed their daughter Luna to the family. From pregnancy woes to new-mom fails, Teigen documented it all on social media and it was absolutely hysterical. The best part? The costumes she dressed her mini-me in.

2018: Miles’s Grand Debut

With the arrival of her second born, Teigen became even more inclined to get real about mom-shamers and the Asian pear underwear the hospital gives you to wear post-birth.

Today: A Powerhouse (hamster) Mom We’d Like To Share A Bottle Of Vino With

She runs several businesses, captivates us (and Kelly Clarkson) on Twitter on the reg and mans a household with two kids and a rather beguiling hamster. I mean, what a transformation. We tip our hats, or should we say headbands, to you, Chrissy.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.