Kate Upton hated the attention she received after appearing on the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue at the tender age of 19.
The model opened up about the experience on the Skimm'd from The Couch podcast, revealing that while the publicity surrounding her cover started out as "amazing", she quickly became affected by the very public discussion about her body.
"It was not great. A lot of (the attention) was negative, and even the positive stuff was really creepy," she explained to co-hosts Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, before confessing that she began to feel very insecure about her body.
"I took (all the criticism) in, and it was all around me. It got to me so much. I was in a very dark and twisted place. I hated myself. I was really wondering why I would expose myself to this kind of criticism. I don't want to be exposed to stuff like this," The Other Woman actress candidly shared.
And because she was only a teenager when she landed her first SI Swimsuit cover, Kate was "really scared" being objectified by much older men, and recalled being on the receiving end of some unwanted attention at a pool party.
"Everybody was oohing and ahhing and taking secret photos of me and being like, 'You love this attention, don't you?' That was my last pool party. I never would get in any kind of bikini in front of people (again) because it was just too overwhelming," she confessed.
Now, the mother-of-one is focusing on empowering other women and models to love their bodies, no matter what shape or size.
"I feel like sharing my experiences and learning from my mistakes and being an example for a better life is the path I want to continue doing," Kate added.
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