Shanina Shaik has been rejected from casting calls in Europe because of her skin colour.
The Australian model – who has Pakistani, Saudi and Lithuanian heritage – has opened up on the prejudice she has faced in the industry
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Shanina said: "I remember going to Europe and getting turned away because of my skin colour.
"That was only six years ago. We’ve come a long way, and we are moving towards a better future.
"But there’s still some jobs I don’t book because I don’t fit into a certain category. I’ve had to bang down so many doors for people to understand and embrace me."
The 28-year-old star left Australia for New York to further her career, but she was still unable to get the jobs she wanted.
Shanina explained: "They said I was never going to be a high-fashion model and that I’d never do runways. Agents, clients… they all told me the same thing.
"I would go to castings and never get the jobs that I wanted, and it really affected me – especially as so much of it because I look so mixed.
"I had to leave Australia to book jobs in New York because I didn’t look like an average Australian girl, but then in New York they told me I was too sexy and I’d never do high fashion."
Shanina revealed that modelling makes her feel "insecure" and she has previously considered walking away from the industry.
She said: "There’s jobs I’d love to get, but I can’t, and that makes me feel really insecure. It’s hard work, it really is.
"And it’s really up and down. There’s been three times – once even last year – where I wanted to just quit. I thought ‘That’s a wrap!’ and my poor mum had to hear it all the way from Australia."