'Lucky' Reveals Joan Smalls Is Beauty & Brains

Who would’ve guessed that stunning model Joan Smalls started out as a countryside girl who got made fun of by all the boys at school? In their latest cover story on Joan Smalls, Lucky magazine laid down all the deets on how she got her model career going.

Smalls tells Lucky, “I was so awkward-looking — tall, super skinny, gangly. The boys at school made fun of me. But I’d see those girls on TV and I’d think, ‘Oh they have my same body type.’” She started out modeling as a hobby, which her parents entirely supported her. But like most parents, they told Smalls that she had to keep her grades up and eventually graduate from college before she could begin to really pursue modeling as a full-time career.

Smalls was able to graduate from her university in San Juan in two years under psychology. Even under the intensive program, Smalls graduated magna cum laude and headed straight to New York, where she was contracted under Elite.

“New York was quite a shock, but I was so eager and hungry. I’d take the bus to get on the subway to make it to castings,” Smalls then opens up about the intense competition, “You’re competing with 40, 100, 200 other girls. You go to a call, see the casting list and you’re number 202. And you know there are just a couple of open spots.”

But her passion for modeling really pulled her through (not to mention, her insanely good looks). Her modeling career took flight after she, “shot with Coco Rocha for Liz Claiborne and was like, wait, I’m in a picture with her? She’s huge! Maybe I can really do this.” And girl, you definitely can. Check out the full cover story on Lucky.

Image: joansmalls/Instagram