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Why Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Is the Chicest Lady at the Airport
When Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was a fashion-obsessed 15-year-old living in her rural hometown of Devon, England, aka “the middle of nowhere,” she cold-called her way around London looking for someone, anyone, in the industry to give her an internship as part of a work-study program at school. A small modeling agency in Soho said yes, and she promptly spent a week at its offices emptying ashtrays and making photocopies. And although she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do yet—design, yes; styling, maybe—not once did it occur to her that she had what it takes to make a career in front of the camera.
“I remember the models walking in, and they were like goddesses to me,” says Huntington-Whiteley, now 29 and based in Los Angeles. “They were so stylish and elegant with their beautiful skin and blasé attitude. I just remember being like, ‘Oh my god, these girls are like swans.’”
It wasn’t that Huntington-Whiteley was unattractive (though she claims her fair share of awkward-phase afflictions: a layer of baby fat, spotty skin, and overplucked eyebrows); it was simply a matter of how she was raised. “I don’t remember people saying, ‘You’re so pretty,’ or, ‘You’re gorgeous,’” she says of her childhood. “You were praised for getting good grades or winning the race. Being aware of how you look was never encouraged. I feel lucky for that.”