Victoria's Secret model Alexina Graham has just been named as the second British VS Angel, and while she struts down one of the world's most high-profile catwalks oozing confidence, the model has revealed that she was cruelly targeted by classmates during her school days. Talking to HELLO! in an exclusive interview, she said: "I was badly bullied at school as a teenager," explaining how the experience made her tougher. "But it gave me a backbone. I would never cry in front of bullies – it's important to show that you’re stronger than them. Bullying in any form is unacceptable." Alexina adds her voice to HELLO!'s #HelloToKindness campaign, which was started in response to the online abuse aimed at the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex.
Alexina Graham spoke to HELLO!
Alexina, 29, who grew up in Worksop in Nottinghamshire, says she found a way to combat her tormentors. "I was the class clown and I used my humour a lot as a way to ignore the bullies." And this is the approach she still follows today, having suffered some negative experiences online from trolls. "People who don’t even know me will comment on my posts and say I’m boring and have no personality. My mum says: 'They obviously haven’t met you because that’s not you at all,'" says Alexina, who describes herself as "outgoing and a little bit crazy".
Gaining her Victoria's Secret wings has always been a career goal for Alexina, who has been modelling for 12 years. Alexina first walked in the VS Shanghai fashion show in 2017, and she is now a face of the brand and rubbing shoulders with some of the world's top models – including Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Winnie Harlow. "It's such an honour to become an Angel, and I want to use this platform to help people," she said, adding that "making history" as the first Victoria's Secret redhead is the icing on the cake.
To read the full story, pick up the latest copy of HELLO!, out Monday 15 April