A dowdy young farmer teased for being an “ugly duckling” at school has ditched her wellies for stilettos – to become one of Europe’s top models.
Nicole Skinner, 21, spent most of her teenage years in slacks and overalls helping muck out her parents’ farm in Lincoln.
The shy and retiring youngster only had two friends at school – spending most of the time with her horses instead.
She was shunned throughout her school days for her unkempt appearance and only discovered make-up when she was given some lipstick and eyeliner by a pal on her 18th birthday.
After turning the heads of locals in her pub, Nicole decided to take up modelling because she “needed another hobby” – and learned to walk in stilettos for the first time.
She soon went from a shy and retiring teenager with no confidence to modelling swimwear and lingerie in just three months.
And just three years after ditching the farmyard for the catwalk gorgeous Nicole has stunned the modelling world by becoming an international beauty queen almost overnight.
Council administrator Nicole told SWNS: “It’s all been a bit overwhelming because up until a few years ago I had no confidence in myself whatsoever.
“I was called an ugly duckling at school. I was always on the farm in my overalls and slacks.
“I didn’t really discover makeup until I was about 18 when I got some on my birthday – I didn’t even know how to put it on.
“When I went out I suddenly got people noticing me and telling me I looked nice. I realised I liked looking good and it just went from there.
“My friends suggested I had some professional pictures done and the photographer said I was a natural. He made some calls to modelling agencies and it went from there.
“Then I had to learn how to walk in high heels because I was only use to wellies from mucking out the horses.
“I never had any self confidence, I was shy and I only really had two friends at school.
“I got to 18 and I thought I need a new hobby. So I thought sod it, let’s try modelling.”
Nicole has gone on to scoop three prestigious beauty crowns winning Miss Galaxy Lincolnshire in 2011 and United Kingdom’s Perfect Cover Mode the following year.
And last month she was named Europe’s Perfect Cover Model 2013 and will now represent Britain in Orlando, Florida, in the world finals in August.
Nicole also models for the swimwear designer Sandstorm Luxury.
She added: “I felt like the outcast at the first competition. Most of the girls are a little bit different from me.
“But the second time I was much more confident and now I’ve really come out of my shell – I never dreamed I would be modelling swimwear.
“It’s safe to say I’m not as shy and reserved as I used to be. Boys never used to notice me before – but they sure do now.”