Irina Shayk never succumbed to pressure to change her hair or weight in the early days of her career.
The Russian supermodel rose to fame in 2007 when she was tapped as the face of lingerie brand Intimissimi and has since gone on to model for Victoria’s Secret, Givenchy, La Perla and Guess.
Though Irina’s curvy figure meant she struggled to get runway work when she first moved to Paris, she has now shared that she never let casting agents push her into doing anything wasn’t comfortable with.
“I never let any agency tell me, ‘Oh, you need to lose weight’ – and some of them did say that,” she said in an interview with ES magazine. “Or they wanted to cut my hair. But I never did it, because I always knew who I was. I think people felt my energy. Maybe it’s because I am Russian.”
Though the “super-skinny” models Irina lived and worked with teased her about her figure and inability to fit into “small clothes” at the time, she is glad she embraced her natural shape. Even now, she still refuses to go on diets or abide by strict exercise regimes.
“I tried a juice diet once. After six hours I wanted to kill somebody and eat them,” the 32-year-old laughed. “But eating is how I motivate myself to go to the gym. I do the Pilates machine because I call it a lazy workout – you just lie there. And I walk a lot. I hate cardio but I do it because I know I’m going to feel good afterwards.”
During the interview, Irina declined to talk about her home life with her actor partner Bradley Cooper and their 15-month-old daughter Lea De Seine. However, she did divulge that she is a very strict parent.
“I am Russian, so I am very strict,” she asserted. “And I am Capricorn, too, so I am super strict… Family is really important, especially with everything that is going on in the world.”