Irina Shayk is opening up about the complicated relationship she had with her body growing up.
As you probably know, Irina is one of the most famous models in the world. Having been discovered by Intimissimi back in 2007, the now-37-year-old later rose to worldwide prominence when she posed on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2011.
Over the years, Irina has been open about her long-running critique of her physique.
Back in 2017, Irina discussed how she didn’t initially feel “comfortable” with her body when she first pursued modeling. The following year, she told People magazine that she’s always been “very critical” of her physique as she reflected on how disconnected she felt to the term “supermodel.”
“I’m just a human being,” she said. “I don’t wake up in hair and makeup and high heels. I literally love to wear the most comfortable clothes ever, and sometimes when my agent sees me, he’s like, ‘Irina, this is not okay.’ And I’m like, ‘This is me.’”
She added, “I don’t wake up and say, ‘Oh my god, I’m so perfect.’ I wake up and say, ‘Maybe it’s time to go to the gym; I have cellulite.’ I’m very critical of myself.”
And now Irina is opening up further about her relationship with her body.
Sitting down with Elle magazine for a brand-new interview this week, Irina recalled having “always” felt that she was “born in the wrong body.”
Reflecting on her father’s death, which occurred when she was 14, Irina said, “My dad had always wanted to have a boy. He loved us, but when he died, I kind of felt like, ‘I have to take care of the family.’”
Irina went on to share that throughout her adolescence, she rejected the idea of femininity.
“I always thought I was born in the wrong body. I hated being a girl. I remember fights with my mom; she wanted to dress me in something flowery. I wanted dark colors and something solid,” she recalled.
“It wasn’t that I wanted to be a boy, but I felt like, ‘I don’t belong to my body,’” she explained.
Irina noted that she felt “completely opposite” to her sister, who absolutely loved hair and makeup, and would often clamp down on her lips while hoping to make them smaller.
By 20, Irina had begun modeling, and as she became accustomed to the industry, she received several critical comments about her appearance from agents.
“I had agents who said, ‘You have to cut your hair, lose 20 pounds, and become blonde,’” she recalled. “And I was like, ‘Absolutely fucking no.’”