Erin O'Connor says she was an ''imperfect supermodel''.

The stunning 35-year-old - who is one of the mentors on new modelling reality show 'The Face' with Naomi Campbell and Caroline Winberg - felt like a ''misfit'' because she was six-foot tall at the age of 13, but being scouted by model agents helped her find acceptance.

She said: ''I didn't want to be six-foot with size seven feet at the age of 13. I felt like a misfit and inclusion was something I coveted fiercely. I couldn't walk into a room without being noticed. It used to crucify me.

''Then, when I was 17, I was scouted on a school trip to the Clothes Show Live. I felt self-conscious but elated that all my differences were suddenly being celebrated. ... I was known as the imperfect supermodel. I was fiercely angular and my features were uncompromising, but somehow I embodied the spirit and ethos of the designers' work.''

The brunette star is now a source of support to young models joining the fashion industry and believes it's important to be honest with them.

She added to the new issue of Marie Claire UK magazine: ''The models who go on to succeed have to recognise that modelling is a profession, not a lifestyle. Even if a girl is beautiful to look at, if she is lacking in charisma or has a negative attitude, then her appeal is instantly reduced.''