Jourdan Dunn used to feel ''physically sick'' about her own appearance.

The 24-year-old model, who is the new face of Maybelline New York, says she was bullied so severely because of her striking looks, she could barely bring herself to look in the mirror.

The London-born star explained: ''I didn't want to leave the house.

''I didn't want to look in the mirror. I would feel physically sick. I hated being me.

''I hated going to school. I already didn't like the way I looked and now people were making me feel bad.''

Jourdan, who started skipping school altogether until she was home-schooled, also hit out at the fashion industry for the lack of black models.

She told The Times newspaper: ''It's hard for black girls.

''A lot do give up, because if you don't have an agency who is going to push you, you are just there doing nothing and having to deal with all the rejection.''

Jourdan admits she's faced prejudice within the industry, but was determined to pursue her ambitions.

She reflected: ''I feel like, I owe it to other little black girls and other ethnic-looking girls to carry this on. You know what? It is hard but I had to, like, get over it.''