Modelling hopeful: 'I was never pretty when I was young'
TEENAGER Elaine Nturo says she was never seen as the pretty girl when growing up.
But now the 19-year-old, from Great Lever, is hoping her striking looks will help her follow in the well-heeled footsteps of Naomi Campbell.
The model can currently be seen impressing supermodel mentors Naomi, Erin O’Connor and Caroline Winberg on Sky Living show The Face.
Elaine, who went to went to Hayward School, now Essa Academy, said: “Now it's a good thing but, back then, out of all my friends I've never been the pretty girl.
“Now everyone likes it. That's what everyone's looking for in the modelling industry. It just makes me more confident about myself. I can look in the mirror and like the way I look.”
On the first episode of the show, she was seen winning over the judges with her looks and personality before landing a place on Erin’s team of four wannabe models.
The eventual winner of the show will get a lucrative contract with Max Factor.
Elaine applied to take part after it was suggested by her modelling agency — but was stunned to be chosen.
She said: “I couldn't believe it. I was so surprised, I didn't think I would get that far.”
She has been modelling seriously for about six months, after studying sport at Bolton College.
Elaine, a keen netball player while she was growing up, said: “People just used to say, you could be a model — you're so tall.
“I never thought of it. After college, my mum wanted me to go to university but I just went for modelling. I love taking pictures, I love doing fashion, catwalks, I love it.”
Naomi even said Elaine reminded her of herself, when the 43-year-old started out in the industry.
Elaine, one of six children who was brought up by her single mother, said: “I didn't know what to do, I wanted to scream.
“And when she followed me on Twitter, I couldn't believe it.”
Elaine recently moved to London to pursue her dreams of becoming a successful high fashion model but regularly visits home.
She said: “I'm with an agency in London and everything is going well. Doing the show is an experience I'll never forget. Naomi Campbell is really nice, I liked her.
“Erin is like a mum. She can be hard on you but so nice too.
“I love her, she is amazing. She is like my hero. I'm obsessed with her, my room is full of her pictures.
“I would love to be like Erin, model for Chanel, do catwalks, be on the cover of Vogue.”
Elaine, who is 5ft 11in, admits she was nervous about watching herself on television and the reaction she would get. She said: “I was so scared, all the girls were really excited. I really wanted people to like me.
"My friends were all supportive. People who never spoke to me before are speaking to me. I find it weird.
“They think of models with blonde hair, make-up, big boobs. I'm so glad I did the show, I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for that.”
n The Face is on Sky Living tonight at 9pm.
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