Olivia Culpo is the definition of confident. The former Miss USA and Miss Universe always looks stunning whether she’s gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, walking the red carpet, or posing for a selfie. At 28-years-old, it’s easy for Culpo to have confidence in herself, but that wasn’t always the case as she recently admitted on the podcast, “Emergency Contact” in which she appeared with her older sister, Aurora Culpo, that she felt like the “ugly duckling” growing up.
Culpo is originally from Rhode Island and grew up in a big family that consisted of three girls and two boys. The model said she often compared herself to her siblings and parents and felt like the outcast of the family. “Honestly growing up I felt really ugly which is a terrible thing to say,” Culpo said to Simon Huck and Melissa Gray Washington, the hosts of the podcast.
“I was really different looking. My older sister looked like the Barbie doll. I was overweight. I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘Okay, you’re different,’ because I was,” the 28-year-old said.
Culpo went on to reveal that her dad put her on a diet at only 10-years-old. “Our dad is amazing but our dad is like, Type A and has run over a dozen marathons,” she explained. ”When I was 10 years old, yeah, I was put on those diets and I kind of realized, when you put in the work you get the results. It kind of all started from there.”
The older Culpo sister explained that the struggles her younger sister went through at a young age helped make her who she is today. “She knew that she was overweight, so I think that she developed a skill for situating herself in situations where she would get the most attention. And then she got hot and she had that skill. That’s how you get on Sports Illustrated,” she said.
In addition to opening up about her past, the Sports Illustrated model is also open about her struggles with depression. Culpo shared a photo in 2019 that explained her experience with depression. “I hope this helps others who might be going through a hard time and feeling like they need to ‘have it all together.’ Social media can create a crazy amount of pressure to live up to an idealistic standard of ‘perfection’ (which obviously doesn’t exist!),” an excerpt from the long caption Culpo shared to relate and help others going through something similar.