Melbourne - Candice Swanepoel has revealed that she was mocked at school for her small frame, but insists that modelling has been the perfect revenge for those bullies.
While posing in a range of beachwear and lingerie for GQ magazine, the 23-year-old said she felt like an outsider growing up in South Africa, until she was discovered at a Durban flea market, aged 15 in 2003.
âA 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,â the Daily Telegraph quoted her as telling the magazine.
âI would say to my mom âThe girls at school are teasing me, but I look like those girls on TVâ. A year later, someone took me to an agency and thatâs it.
âRevenge is alwaysâŚ I know it sounds terrible, but it does feel good to show those people.
âI put all my eggs in one basket when I left South Africa. I put my head down and worked my ass off. And look where it got me,â she said.
The Victoriaâs Secret model, who has been dating Brazilian model Hermann Nicoli since she was 17, said that she takes a look at social networking sites to cheer her up whenever she feels down.
âWhenever you feel down, you can check on Twitter and feel better about yourself, because itâs only people who like you,â she said.
The blond beauty also said that she had developed lasting friendships with fellow Victoriaâs Secret models, who understood what she was going through.
âItâs so nice. We live a very different life that not many other people can understand,â she said.
In one shot for the magazine, Swanepoel can be seen showing off her incredibly long legs in just a pink thong, covering her chest with her arms.
In another, she dons just a white, full-piece swimsuit and an orange and black flower necklace.
The star graces the cover of the magazine, posing seductively with her finger in her mouth, wearing a red and black one-piece.