Supermodel Jourdan Dunn reveals teen bullying got so bad she became physically ill

Looking at Jourdan Dunn, no one would ever think that the 5ft 11in supermodel has ever had confidence issues.

The London-born beauty is the new face of Maybelline New York, she was British Vogue’s February 2015 cover star, and also the first black model to walk for Prada in a decade.

But the 24-year-old has now revealed that as a teenager her life was made a misery by cruel bullies who taunted her for her striking looks to the extent that she felt physically ill.

In an interview with The Times, Jourdan said she was often picked on from primary school until secondary school when the situation was so bad she had to be home-schooled.

‘I didn’t want to leave the house,’ she remembered.

She added: ‘I didn’t want to look in the mirror. I would feel physically sick. I hated being me.

‘I hated going to school. I already didn’t like the way I looked and now people were making me feel bad.’

As a result, the teenager began skipping school, which led to her being home-schooled for a while.

The supermodel was famously scouted at the sunglasses counter of Primark in Hammersmith, at just 15.

In the interview, Dunn revealed that even after she was scouted, she still had to deal with being hurtfully rejected – now because of the colour of her skin.

She has since criticised the fashion industry for the scarcity of black models.

She became the first black model to secure a solo British Vogue cover star this year since Naomi Campbell’s last cover on the fashion bible in 2002 – 13 years ago.

She explained: ‘It’s hard for black girls.

‘A lot do give up, because if you don’t have an agency who is going to push you, you are just there doing nothing and having to deal with all the rejection.’

Despite dealing with prejudice – which extended to being backstage at a show, where make-up artists and hairdressers could not cater to her skin tone – she persevered.

‘I feel like, I owe it to other little black girls and other ethnic-looking girls to carry this on. You know what? It is hard but I had to, like, get over it,’ she said.

The interview with The Times’s Saturday magazine, she revealed that it’s been anything but a straight road.

She was 18 when she got pregnant, with her son, Riley, now five.

Shortly after he was born, Riley’s father was sent to prison for cocaine possession, and Jourdan was left to raise Riley on her own, with the help of her mother, Dee.

While she was pregnant, the model also learned that her son had sickle cell disease – characterised by anaemia and severe pain.

To raise awareness about the disease, she became an ambassador for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America last year.

Speaking out about juggling a modelling career and being a full-time mum and carer, Jourdan is determined.

She said: ‘Becoming a mum, realising that you are responsible for this human being for the rest of your life is daunting.

‘You have to get your s*** together. On top of that, having a sickle cell child has been a lot to deal with… It’s made me grateful for everything that is around me.’

Source: The DailyMail

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