Candice Swanepoel says being signed up to a modelling agency felt like the perfect "revenge" for being teased at school.
The 23-year-old South African model had a tough time growing up. She felt like an outsider when she was studying, before she was discovered at a Durban flea market aged 15 in 2003.
Swanepoel always knew she had what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry and is glad to have proved herself to those who doubted her.
"A year before I got scouted, I would watch a lot of FashionTV. At school, I got teased because I was so thin and awkward-looking. But the girls on TV looked similar to me," she told the May issue of GQ.
"I would say to my mom, 'The girls at school are teasing me, but I look like those girls on TV.'
"A year later, someone took me to an agency and that's it. Revenge is always... [laughs] I know it sounds terrible, but it does feel good to show those people."
The fashion industry is notoriously cutthroat, and Swanepoel has developed a thick skin to cope with criticism.
However, she still has her tough days and turns to social networking to boost her spirits.
"Whenever you feel down, you can check on Twitter and feel better about yourself, because it's only people who like you," she explained.
The blonde beauty has developed firm friendships with her fellow Victoria's Secret models such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Swanepoel explains that other catwalk stars can empathise with what she is going through.
"It's so nice," she smiled. "We live a very different life that not many other people can understand."
- Cover Media
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