Irina Shayk: Bullying prepared me for fashion
Irina Shayk says being bullied helped prepare her for the modelling world.
The 29-year-old Russian model had a hard time growing up. Her father passed away when she was 14 and so she worked to help with household expenses. On top of that, she didn't always get along that well at school.
"Yes, I was tall with dark skin and hair - not the typical blonde Russian. But I think the bullying and what I went through just made me stronger, and helped me to deal with rejection, which is so common in the modelling world," she told British magazine Hello!
"Sometimes I wake up and think I look horrible. And sometimes I see a strong woman. All women have insecurities and bad times, what counts is how you overcome them."
Irina did painting work at a local hospital during the summers when she was young, and she was paid $20 for 30 days. It all helped her family and it's made her realise how lucky she is to be jetting all over the world and working for the likes of Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated now.
"Nothing is easy and, as far as my modelling career goes, the path to the top has been long and difficult, but that's what makes it special. I always look back to remind myself where I've come from. Money is not important to me. What makes me feel successful is making the people I love happy," she explained.
The model famously dated footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for around five years until their split in January. Neither has spoken about why they parted ways, with Irina continuing to keep quiet on the matter. It probably helps that she's moved on with Hollywood A-lister Bradley Cooper though.
"In a relationship of course - but the right one!" she said when asked if she's happier single or with someone. "Sometimes we waste time hoping a person will change when what you've got to do is focus on yourself and move forward.
"I don't speak about my previous relationships or break-ups. We know what happened, and that is the only thing that matters to me. All I can do is move forward. "