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When Candice Swanepoel was younger, she says she was “so thin and awkward looking,” girls at school would tease her. Little did they know she would eventually become one of the most famous (and gorgeous!) supermodels in the world. While growing up in a little farming village in South Africa, Swanepoel was spotted by a model scout in a Durban flea market when she was 15, and by the age of 16, she was already walking the runways in Paris.
After two years of traveling throughout Europe, she took a leap of faith and moved to New York City to try to model full-time. It wasn’t long before Victoria’s Secret took her under their wings in 2007, which would become a hugely lucrative and high-profile gig that launched her into supermodel status. Since then, Swanepoel has amassed an incredible modeling resume filled with covers for the likes of Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and GQ, and fashion campaigns for Nike, Diesel, Guess?, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Prabal Gurung, Swarovski, True Religion, Ralph Lauren, Miu Miu, Juicy Couture, and Versace, to name a few.
Swanepoel was voted #61 on FHM’s annual 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll, #31 on Maxim’s Hot 100 List, and also made her debut at No. 10 on Forbes’ The World’s Top-Earning Models list. Since strutting her stuff clad in skimpy lingerie is all in a day’s work, the South African siren is known to work hard for her runway-worthy bod. She trains religiously with Justin Gelband, focusing on the lower back, hip, butt, balance, and stability with various total-body toning agility exercises. “For me, it’s become a total addiction. With all the traveling and tiresome work, being in shape and healthy helps me deal with everything that’s thrown my way,” she says. “Having a strength from the core makes all the difference.” —Kristen Aldridge
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