Irina Shayk: ‘I love to eat, and I don’t believe in diets. I’m lucky with my genes’

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The Glamour UK cover is too oversaturated and I didn’t even recognize Irina Shayk at first. I thought she might be Natalia Vodianova for a second. I guess I never realized that Irina is a little bit of a shape-shifter too – she can look wildly different depending on lighting, styling, hair and makeup. Anyway, Irina has many thoughts, and she shared them all with Glamour UK’s digital issue. She comes across as very Russian, but pleasant-Russian. Like, matter-of-fact and not really down with the whole hyper-self-aware look-at-me culture. Some highlights from the interview:

She’ll wear whatever she wants: “In this modern world, in the 21st century, I really believe that if you have a baby, it doesn’t mean that you have to wear a longer dress. One of my friends said, ‘Oh, you just posted a sexy picture. You’re a mum now!’ And I just said, ‘So what!’ I think it’s really about who you are, who you wanna be and I really feel you just have to stick to your thing. I don’t believe anyone should have to change just because you’re a mother! No, I’m still me!”

She doesn’t want to talk about or show off her private life: “I have a lot of friends who share a lot of their personal life on Instagram or social media, very publicly. I admire it and I think it’s great – but I think it’s all about personal choice. Because my work requires me to be out there, I just decided my personal life will be quiet. That’s why it’s called personal, because it’s something for you and your family, and I feel happy with it.”

She loves to eat: “I’ve been very lucky. I love to eat, and I don’t believe in diets. I’m lucky with my genes. I never had a problem getting too skinny or too big. I never fit size zero and when people try to squeeze me into sample size, I have said, ‘I’m sorry guys, I have my assets – like, I cannot be in this!’ I think that the designers who I work with really celebrate and appreciate a woman’s body. I have a curvy body and people want to use me in their shows, and for their brands, knowing I’m not a skinny girl. I have had agencies who have told me I have to lose weight. But I just stick to myself, my personality and my decisions – I’m a human being as well as a model. I love to eat, I love to enjoy my life and when I’m off duty, I’m not wearing high heels or makeup and trying to fit into a size zero dress. I’m just regular person.”

She was never an Instamodel: “I remember going to castings with just a subway map to show my book. Now it’s a social media world, clients look at your Instagram and they’re like, ‘Oh, she has this following!’ Back then it was no Instagram, barely Facebook, I think there was Myspace. It was a fun time, I loved it.” Now as a bonafide supermodel, she jokes to me that, “The only thing I collect is money.”

Irina off-duty: “Irina off-duty is a scary horror movie. It’s sweatpants, hair bun, no makeup – I literally never wear makeup. I kind of hate to wear it, because for work I have to wear a lot. I just stay in bed, watching Russian TV – I have three Russian channels in New York and I really love to keep up with my Russian soap operas!”

[From Glamour UK]

I think she sounds sort of cool, and like someone who might be a lot of fun to hang out with, go get some wings and some French fries and listen to her early-modeling-days stories. What strikes me though is that I can’t really see her private, regular vibe going along with Bradley Cooper. He just seems so “managed” and high-strung and she’s like “let’s go get some nuggets and watch Russian soap operas.” How do they even work together as a couple?

Jean Paul Gaultier fashion show - arrivals

Cover courtesy of Glamour UK, additional photo courtesy of Avalon Red.

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39 Responses to “Irina Shayk: ‘I love to eat, and I don’t believe in diets. I’m lucky with my genes’”

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  1. Kitten says:

    “I have a curvy body and people want to use me in their shows, and for their brands, knowing I’m not a skinny girl.”

    Ah yes, the blight of a thin woman with an hourglass figure.

    But seriously, she seems fine. She sounds like a lot of other models with the *lucky-genes-I-eat-whatever-I-want* shit. I mean, she was asked the question and I believe her answer but it’s just annoying AF to listen to.

    I wonder what she sees in Cooper. He seems like a huge, high-maintenance pain in the ass.
    Hopefully the sex is great. *shrugs*

    • BeanieBean says:

      Oh, yes, the ‘curvy’ model. Giselle was always described that way. These are skinny women with a bustline. And sure, it’s genes, but it’s also youth. I could eat whatever I wanted in my 20s as well, 30s, too. It all started to go haywire after mid-40s.

      • Babadook says:

        Lol. Such curves.

      • Wow says:

        I have noticed lots of “i can eat whatever” people do enjoy some junky or large portioned food, but for the most part have better consistent eating habits.

        I am a firm believer that emotional eating disorders, poor learned habits as a child or cultural lack of nutrition education is a much bigger contribution to the obesity epidemic than genetics. There is absolutely a portion of people more likely to carry weight because of a medical condition or genetics, but it is an incredibly small portion compared the amount of people struggling with their weight.

        Most of the children I see who are overweight and obese have poor eating habits enforced by parents with poor eating habits that want me to treat obesity related issues in their children without addressing the actual obesity because its “genetic”.

        “Good genetics, bad genetics” in relation to body composition and putting on and losing weight is really a myth.

        My only exception to this line of thinking is adult women with PCOS because often their hormones will make their body carry 20 extra pounds of fat as if they are pregnant when they aren’t. Which is a cycle of suck for PCOS because losing weight is a way to reduce some of the symptoms.

        Most people its not genetics. Its their habits and psychological relationship with food. Many many overweight people have untreated eating disorders that spiral out of control because obesity is treated like a personal failure and not a medical condition. Its all a sad cycle.

      • Kitten says:

        Haha yeah I remember people saying that about Giselle.

        “I have noticed lots of “i can eat whatever” people do enjoy some junky or large portioned food, but for the most part have better consistent eating habits”

        @Wow-Agree about the consistent eating habits but I’ve also noticed those people have better control of how much they eat. They tend to be more attuned to when they feel full and usually know when to stop. Like, they might order a hamburger and fries but only eat half of it.

    • SK says:

      She’s talking in the context of being a model. In her industry she is indeed considered curvy and is bigger than sample size. Considering sample size has shrunk to a US 0-2 (on tall women), she wouldn’t fit into a lot if it. Look at Kaia Gerber compared to Cindy Crawford in her modelling heyday. There’s a big difference there.

      So the way modelling works is that the fashion houses have fit models who they use to create their sample sizes. The samples are then worn on the runway. There is usually only one item of each design and that is in sample size. The models on the runway, therefore, have to be roughly the same size and they are all sample size in order to fit into the clothes. Those clothes then get sent out to all of the fashion magazines to shoot – months before the shots are published and the lines became available for sale in different sizes. (For couture there is only ever sample size and clients go to the designers to get things made for them to fit). The fashion magazines only have sample size to work with and if they want to do their job of showcasing the hottest fashion out there, they have to use these clothes. And use models that fit into them. It’s a nasty cycle and it starts with the fashion houses and the fit models.

      I have read the former editors of both British and Australian Vogue complaining about the insanely small size of sample clothes these days. They can only cast models who fit into them. I believe in the UK they had to airbrush weight onto clearly anorexic / underweight models because it looked so bad.

      In Australia, we prefer healthy looking models – models that would be considered swimsuit models elsewhere. That’s the look the public here likes. I have several friends in fashion who say that slim but healthy models will go over to do some fashion months in Europe and will come back skeletal. They call it “Paris thin”. The former editor of Australian vogue talked about booking popular international models for shoots and those models not eating for days, having no energy, etc. Rumours of surgery to be smaller, eating tissues to fill their stomachs, etc. etc. etc. She talked about an Aussie model who was put in an apartment in Paris with a fit model and who said she was by herself a lot because her fit model flatmate was in hospital several times a week. So imagine that: if the fit model that all the sample sizes are based off is so thin that she regularly has to be hospitalised, how does that then bear through?

      Irina is considered more of a swimsuit / lingerie model (although she’s bigger than the current crop of VS girls as they’ve gotten smaller too). There’s no way she’s fit into the majority of high fashion sample sizes. She does indeed have boobs, a waist, hips and a bum – even if they’re still in model proportions and she is overall thin. I have no doubt that she would have faced enormous pressure to lose weight all throughout her career.

      As for her comments on diet and exercise, I totally understand them. I myself have never been on a diet and I’ve never gone above a US size 6 (I’m 5’8”). I’m typically a size 4. Why is that? Well, genetics play a part. I have a fast metabolism too which is partially genetics and partially the way it’s been trained all my life. We ate really well growing up – a variety of mostly healthy delicious food. My parents hated fast food and we only ever ate it when other people gave it to us. We didn’t eat sugary cereals or treats. So I do not ever diet but I eat mostly healthy food. I still eat some junk but it is not on the level of a lot of people. I’m not eating cheesy pasta every day either. I do overeat in terms of portion size but when I’m at my healthiest I eat mostly healthy food in smaller portion sizes (actual normal portions) and I exercise pretty much every day. Irina probably eats a mostly healthy diet with portion control and exercises a lot. That’s not dieting. It’s actually what we should all do.

  2. BB says:

    She sounds…fine. She does kind of have RBF, but maybe that’s just a Russian thing.

  3. Andrea says:

    She is outrageously beautiful. That’s all I got.

  4. Lynnie says:

    “I have a curvy body and people want to use me in their shows, and for their brands, knowing I’m not a skinny girl.”

    But she is??? Am I genuinely not seeing something? Does she mean for her industry, because then that’s a really warped viewpoint for the fashion world to have.

    Everything else about her interview was cool though especially what she had to say about personal lives being personal 😂. As for her and Bradley I’m convinced it’s a contractual relationship for whatever reason. That’s how they work out.

    • Kitten says:

      She is, by almost anyone’s standards, very thin. Like, I get that the modeling world has a very skewed perception of what they consider an ideal weight, but she’s beautiful with a bangin body. I find it hard to believe that people would tell her to lose weight. Then again, maybe I’m underestimating the fashion industry.

      • Clare says:

        @Kitten I agree – she is indeed very slim, but I don’t think (from the photos I’ve seen recently) that she is ‘model thin’.

      • Originaltessa says:

        She is thin, but next to Kaia Gerber she’s twice her size. High fashion models, or “skinny” models is what she’s referring to as what she is not, not that she’s not skinny by human standards.

      • Kitten says:

        Ok guys fair enough.
        I briefly browsed her IG and admittedly, it was kind of hard to tell. To me she looked thin but not unnaturally so. But I get what you guys are saying about the fashion industry’s absurd standards and yes, I can completely see how she might look big compared to say, Kaia Gerber or whatever.

    • Rose says:

      She’s not model skinny , she’s probably been told to lose weight for sure . she has an amazing body though . The fashion industry has such crazy standards for models .

    • isabelle says:

      Well….true curvy is an hourglass shape and it isn’t about weight, thin or overweight. Larger hips & shoulders with some boob compared to a thinner waist line. That is it. We have as society have falsely attached the label to women who don’t have that type body. Especially overweight women with no hourglass curvature. Thin women are often falsely labeled if they just have some boob about them or a bigger butt.

    • SK says:

      She’s talking in the context of her job which is modelling. She is not sample size. Sample size in high fashion today is horrifyingly small. Usually a US size zero – on tall girls. It used to be a US 4-6. She absolutely would have faced pressure to lose weight all of her career. She would not fit into sample size. Of course she’s thin but she’s not the current industry standard (which is waaaaay too thin and not healthy for the vast majority).

  5. SarSte says:

    They all say, “Hehe, oh me? I eat everything!” and for some reason, we continue to believe them…

    • Casey says:

      Exactly! It’s such bulls-it. Don’t agree that she’s cool, I think she’s playing cool, and I just don’t buy it. And I also think she’s as high maintenance and managed as BC.

      • Melanie says:

        Casey: I absolutely agree. I think both she and Bradley are guilty of calling the paps and there is nothing “private” about that.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I don’t believe any of them when they say that.

      I’m not sure why, but this woman IRKS me for some reason. and that cover is terrible. she looks like a hybrid of Dakota Johnson and Emily Ratajkowhatever.

      as for the “horror movie” BS…I’ll bet that without make up and in sweats she still looks better than 75% of the female population.

      “oh, I’m so ugly when I’m not made up…oh, I eat a lot…I never diet!” sure, jan.

    • Carmen says:

      She may or may not be lying. I mean, it’s the model business, I’m sure plenty of people are lying, but there are also people out there, who have a naturally smaller appetite or rather who automatically stop eating when they are full as opposed to when they’re emotionally satisfied.

      She still might eat everything she likes and she still might not be on crazy diets. It’s just that her appetite system works better and obviously she’s also exercising and moving around during the day (for her job), so you can’t really compare her to some woman working an office job and never exercising.

      There are plenty of men out there who are quite lanky and slim when they are younger and they even would often prefer to be a bit more substantial or muscular. And nobody ever accuses them of lying about eating everything. This is such a double standard.

  6. Clare says:

    I like her comment about collecting money. I know she is joking – but women are so often shamed for wanting the paycheck. I need more of this. More of women saying it’s OK to want to earn your wealth. Just, like, don’t be evil.

    • BeanieBean says:

      You’re right. Cindy Crawford talked about the money, too. A lot of models are young & know little about money management, and they need to get smart if they want to hang onto it.

    • stormsmama says:


      that’s why despite the controversy I also like Ariana’s 7 rings

      In a world in which most women are still controlled through resources,
      its good to have women saying out loud YES ITS MY MONEY

  7. Monica says:

    “I think that the designers who I work with really celebrate and appreciate a woman’s body. I have a curvy body and people want to use me in their shows, and for their brands, knowing I’m not a skinny girl” – So….. she´s a curvy woman???? eye roll

    • Rose says:

      She is curvy though ?

    • whatWHAT? says:

      by “curvy” she just means she actually has boobs bigger than an A.

      if you google pics of her in a bikini, she IS NOT “curvy” by any stretch of the imagination. she’s skinny with boobs, that’s all.

  8. xdanix says:

    I actually think she seems smart and really nice, and I really like her answers here. I mean, her not considering herself skinny (and more to the point, the fashion industry not considering her skinny) kind of makes me sad, because she IS very slim, and I know someone who saw her once who said she was pretty tiny in real life (and I don’t mean in terms of height.) But that’s not her fault, that’s a reflection of where the industry is still at that she isn’t seen as small.

    It’s funny you say that you can’t see her private regular vibe going with BCoop’s- that answer about keeping her private life just for herself and her close people actually struck me as maybe the thing that might be the most similar-seeming about them, since that seems to be exactly how he operates too.

  9. Winnie Cooper's Mom says:

    I kind of faux-laugh and roll my eyes when these models play the “I’m so chill and eat a lot” card. Same message, different model. I get trying to be relatable and seen as cool and chill, but it’s the shtick they all use… a spin-off version of JLaw from a few years ago. Boring. It would actually be refreshing if one of them would be like “I wish I could eat burgers and pasta, but the thicker version of me wouldn’t get any jobs and I’m trying to stay employed and relevant in this warped industry.”

  10. minx says:

    Please, she watches what she eats. She says “I love to eat” as if that’s something unusual for humans. She enjoys the food she eats which is probably not a lot of burgers and Cheetos.

  11. Tiffany says:

    The more I read interviews from her….the more I wonder why she is still with B Coop.

    I mean…..

  12. Effeff says:

    She’s lying. They all give us this line because it’s cooler to look like you don’t have to try than to admit your whole life pathetically revolves around controlled starvation to keep your shape.

  13. Riley says:

    Anyone else think it’s weird that she never mentions him? Though I do think it’s kind of cool.

  14. Bella Bella says:

    How does she stay in bed all day with a baby? As for some of your questions, I don’t believe she and Cooper actually even live together.

  15. sereneeirene says:

    Talk to the hand. Come on, you don’t look like that without A LOT of effort.

  16. Ash says:

    Former and aging model here with some clarification (hopefully). Sad, but she is stating what is true in fashion. She is not slim for fashion. Fashion is size zero or double zero, even catalogs are shooting 2’s, max size 4. An older, more established model like herself has some leeway when it comes to weight because of her relationships with designers, photographers, etc. However, the newbie just starting out is required to be pretty much a zero.
    I also believe her about eating too. From my experience most models eat, and some a lot. Yes, of course there are the girls with eating disorders and the calorie counters, but for the most part they all eat. Most have been slim all their life and just know how to reign it in for special shoots, what not. After a bikini shoot or lingerie I guarantee they are digging into a burger and fries. That’s why models are called models. They are just different from the average woman, it’s why they’re hired to show the clothes. They are unnaturally tall and very slim, most just born like that. It’s just the job requirements. I can tell you though unless you are well known or a supermodel it is not glamorous and can be extremely scary, especially if you are not firmly grounded, but that’s why they make the big bucks I guess!🤷🏼‍♀️