Looking at models, male or female, it’s hard to think they come from the same species as average looking humans. Sharp features, beautiful eyes, and impeccably toned bodies all come together to not only make the envy of many men and women, but to also give them one of the best jobs there is.
Being a model is probably hard – they have to worry about what they eat almost always (unless they have crazy fast metabolisms) and usually have insane workout regimens. Luckily they don’t really have to worry about their public spotlight like singers and actors, but they most definitely do have to zealously maintain the way they look to keep themselves employed.
While being a model may not appeal to the masses for multiple reasons, it’s a dream for plenty of little girls and boys and the extremely determined ones usually get a big break. However, there are some models who are just discovered for simply going to the grocery store or working a mundane job at a fast food restaurant. While they may seem superhuman or like they’re part of a next-level species, models are humans just like us. Before they got famous, they were even more like us than we could ever imagine. Some lived very simple lives, and their good looks catapulted them into a world they never thought they’d be a part of. Here are 15 stunning models and what their lives looked like before fame.
15. Gisele Bundchen
Gisele Bundchen made the number one slot for highest paid model in 2015. She’s also married to NFL star Tom Brady, who she had a son with last year, so her life isn’t so bad. Prior to all the glitz and glamor, Bundchen was a normal teenager just like anybody else. Bundchen is actually a twin, which makes you wonder why her sister isn’t picking up some of the demand for Bundchen’s stunning looks. Bundchen was working at a fast food restaurant when a modeling agent spotted her, and coerced her into trying her hand at modeling. She debuted at the 1996 New York Fashion Week, and was soon picked up by Alexander McQueen. The rest is history.
14. Jasmine Tookes
Huntington Beach, California native Jasmine Tookes got her start in modelling by doing commercial jobs. She started with Gap and UGG in 2010, and eventually made her way up to working for DKNY and then getting into Italian Vogue. Before she was lining up jobs from some of the hottest fashion designers in the world, she was a regular California girl. She played volleyball, softball, and was a gymnast for ten years. Tookes also got a late start to playing the big sister role – she and her sister are 19 years apart, making her little sister only 7 years old. Ultimately, Tookes’ goal is to start her own cosmetics line and be happily married with children.
13. Hailey Baldwin
Hailey Baldwin is no stranger to fame – her uncle is famous actor Alec Baldwin, and her father is Stephen Baldwin. In a way, Baldwin’s rise to fame might be considered unfair due to the family she grew up in. Baldwin also had a fling with international popstar Justin Bieber in 2015, and is friends to the ever-famous Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Baldwin officially started modelling in 2012, and has walked the Topshop Unique Show in London, and also worked the Sherri Hill fashion show for prom season. She might be more famous for who she hooks up with than the work she does, but all publicity is good publicity, right?
12. Hilary Rhoda
Hilary Rhoda is a stunning beauty with striking blue eyes and dark hair to make anybody want to stop and stare. She was once on a traditional path to college – she grew up a Catholic school girl and was working towards getting into a good school. Her interests in modelling didn’t begin until sometime in high school. Previous to that, she was partial to sports like lacrosse, field hockey, and even swimming. Once she became interested in modelling, Rhoda started doing it part-time and once she graduated high school, moved to New York to get herself to where she is now.
11. Candice Swanepoel
Candice Swanepoel is another Victoria’s Secret beauty who has dominated the modelling industry. She works for more than just the lingerie giant and her face is one that’s very familiar. Swanepoel is from South Africa, and is of Dutch origin. Swanepoel was attending an all-girls boarding school and had no intentions of becoming a model. When she was 15, she was at a flea market which is where she was spotted by a modelling agent – from there, she was almost instantly famous, gracing Italian Vogue and Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana fashion shows at the very beginning of her career.
10. Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid is quite often in the news for being Joe Jonas’ arm candy and for being a part of Taylor Swift’s squad. Hadid seemed to break into every scene in 2015, and it’s no surprise that she’s ended up where she is with her background. Hadid has known Paul Marciano, the man behind the brand Guess, since she was a baby. Marciano told Glamour Fashion that he’s been “shooting her since she was a baby” and has always known she’d model for him one day. Hadid broke into the industry with his help, as did her sister, Bella Hadid (who’s currently dating The Weeknd).
9. Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne is known for her bold brows and her quirky attitude – a beautiful girl who is unapologetically herself. Before becoming a model, she actually was going through some dark days. She doesn’t hide the fact that she’s dealt with depression, and before she started modeling, she was suicidal. She has said that she considered killing herself throughout high school and decided to leave school a year early to pursue a modeling career. Delevingne’s sister was already a model when she embarked on her journey and knew the owner of Storm Management (the same company that discovered Kate Moss), so breaking into the industry wasn’t hard for her to do. Since a wild first year of success, Delevingne has since taken a break from her career because of her depression.
8. Doutzen Kroes
Doutzen Kroes isn’t a name many people know, but once you see her face, it’s hard not to notice she’s taken the modeling world by storm. Not only is she the face of L’Oreal, but she’s also been a Calvin Klein model, a Victoria’s Secret model, and much more. Kroes was discovered when she was 18 years old – she sent in pictures of herself to Paparazzi Management simply to see if she could pick up a summer shoot or position to earn extra money. Little did she know, it’d kick start her supermodel agenda. Kroes never grew up considering being a model – she wanted to be a speed skater.
7. Joan Smalls
Joan Smalls is probably most recognized for her stunts with Victoria’s Secret, but she’s also worked with big names like Givenchy and Vogue (in multiple countries). Smalls is a girl from Puerto Rico who became interested in modelling at 13. Her small town had modelling competitions and she lost every single one of them. However, Smalls persevered because modelling was her dream. Before she was famous, she was living on a farm with her family where they produced fruit and livestock. Her father was big on education and agreed to send her to New York City if she’d focus on schooling while chasing her dreams. After she went to New York City, a modelling agent spotted her and told her to “fix her front teeth” because they were crooked and then to reapply. She went back to Puerto Rico to have this done, got her psychology degree, and then came back to New York City to sign with Elite Models in 2007.
6. Adriana Lima
Adriana Lima is one of the most recognized models in the world, making both men and women drool over her exquisite appearance. The 34-year-old model is originally from Brazil and made the move to New York City after being discovered in 1996. Lima was a regular Brazilian girl, going to high school and had big dreams of modeling. Ford had a modeling contest in 1995 and she won. In 1996, she entered the contest again and took second place. Three years after is when Lima moved to New York to sign with Elite Model Management. Believe it or not, she was only 15 years old and still in high school when she entered the Ford Supermodel of Brazil contest.
5. Liu Wen
Liu Wen was born in Yangzhou, Hunan and is the first East Asian model to walk to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Not only that, but she was also the first East Asian woman to be a spokesperson for Estee Lauder. In 2012, The New York Times named Wen the first bona fide supermodel from China, and she also made the Forbes top paid model list. She was born into a working class family and is an only child. Wen’s mother encouraged her to be professional, eat well and stay active, and to take part in modelling competitions which is what ultimately led to her discovery.
4. Romee Strijd
Romee Strijd is a twenty year old model from the Netherlands. These blue-eyed blonde-haired beauty got offered a modelling contract at the young age of 14, but didn’t decide to act on it until she turned 16. She is signed with three different agencies – one in New York, one in Paris and London, and one in Amsterdam. Strijd is mostly a runway modelling, walking the catwalk for names like Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent. However, Strijd was introduced as a Victoria’s Secret newcomer in 2014 and then was promoted to an Angel in 2015.
3. Alexis Ren
Alexis Ren dominates social media and is admired by both men and women. Men want her for her beautiful looks and her amazing body, and women want to have her life – what’s better than travelling with a gorgeous boyfriend and doing whatever the hell you want? Not much. She is still mostly just a commercial model, modelling for places like Forever 21, Seventeen Magazine, and more – she hasn’t hit the runway just yet. Ren is from California and is one of five children – she wasn’t looking to be a model, but was discovered by a scout in the store her family owns. At just 14 years old she was signed to Nous Model Management.
2. Miranda Kerr
Miranda Kerr is another model that turns heads – whether it’s during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show or on a Swavorski billboard, you have to look at her when you see her. Kerr was still a very young girl when she was discovered. At only 13 years old when she won the Dolly magazine cover competition, she was still in the stage where all she cared about were her friends and her mom was her hero. Kerr grew up in New South Wales, and when she started her modeling career at age 14, this caused local outrage. Many agreed that she was being sexualized at a young age, making her part of a trend that was becoming more normal. Now, Miranda Kerr has since made millions of dollars, and has even been married and had a child with Orlando Bloom.
1. Taylor Hill
Taylor Hill, although new to the modelling scene, is an all-American beauty. Hill was announced as one of the new Victoria’s Secret Angels in 2015 and has been dominating ever since then. Hill is from Colorado, and is one of the youngest Angels at just 19 years old. Before becoming a model, she was a normal girl going to high school and was dabbling in gymnastics. One weekend while at a ranch to ride horses, a photographer and modelling agent spotted her, which is how she got discovered. Hill was originally just a model for PINK (Victoria’s Secret’s mini brand) and then was promoted to an Angel in 2015.