Shanina Shaik is a world famous supermodel but she wasn’t always so beloved for her looks.
The 27-year-old Australian talked to Fox News about her rise in the modelling world and how it was a challenge without blonde hair and blue eyes.
“I didn’t look like the typical Australian beachy girl with blonde hair,” she said. “I had to move to New York to get a job. And at times I didn’t fit into a category of a look. I wasn’t Caucasian, I wasn’t black, I wasn’t Asian. But at the same time, that’s what makes my look so unique. And in that sense, it has helped me to be booked for other jobs.”
Shaik, whose father is Pakistani and mother is of Lithuanian descent, also recalled being bullied as a child.
“Growing up I was bullied to the point where I was cutting class and my grades were failing. I just didn’t have the courage to tell my mom,” she said. “When it came to my mental health, I wasn’t in a good place.
“I urge people today that if they are being bullied in any way, tell someone. There is always help out there and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”
As for the fashion industry, Shaik said she has seen things getting better in terms of diversity, though there is still plenty of room to improve.
“It’s become more diverse in terms of editorials, campaigns, and magazine covers. Over time, I do think it’s going to get better and better. I would love to see more mixed girls on the cover like myself because the world is so rich, amazing, and beautiful. But we’re in the right direction. And I’m so grateful because it wasn’t like that seven, eight years ago.”