Talent Kate Upton is styled by Jillian Davison in 'Kate', lensed by Carter Smith for Glamour US October 2016./ Hair by Harry Josh; makeup by Christian McCulloch
Read the Kate Upton interview. Kate has very much marched to her own drum, and AOC has been behind her every step of the way. Glamour goes back to the beginning and we loop back on several older Kate stories after her editorial.
GLAMOUR: What was your first gig?
KU: I think it was for a local Miami magazine; we shot at a Crunch gym. We had to be there at three in the morning, and it went until three in the afternoon, and they never fed us. I was like, No wonder models are so skinny!
GLAMOUR: When you first became famous, you were called out for not having a typical model body type. Did anyone ever tell you to lose weight?
KU: All. The. Time. At first I tried to diet to become their image, but eventually I realized that it wasn’t realistic—that this is just the shape of my body. So I had to block them out. I think that the people who are the loudest about wanting to change you are the people with the least amount of vision and creativity.
GLAMOUR: You have to have confidence in yourself to see that. Where does your confidence come from?
KU: Where I grew up, it was considered a great thing to have a curvy body to fill out a bathing suit. For that to be a negative was so confusing to me. And besides, when I started working, I was booked constantly, mostly for catalog work. So when people were saying, “Oh, she doesn’t have the right look for a model,” I thought, Then why am I working every single day? There are so many different directions you can take in the modeling industry, so many ways to be successful.
GLAMOUR: You have been successful in so many ways at the same time; in 2013 you were on the cover of both Vogue and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
KU: That was a really cool moment. The fact that people were having a conversation about whether I should conform to fashion or not gave me a great platform, because I wanted to show that you shouldn’t conform, you should be the best you, the healthiest you. You shouldn’t always try to change yourself, because then how are we going to tell anybody apart? It’s like L.A.—how do I know who’s who? You all look like sisters.