Kate Upton found it hard to accept criticism about her looks.

The blonde pin-up was famously branded too ''obvious'' to work for Victoria's Secret by model booker Sophia Neophitou in 2012, and now admits she found the harsh comment difficult to handle because she had just begun making a name for herself in the industry at the time.

She confessed in an interview with V magazine: ''I had just gotten my cover of Sports Illustrated that day. I wasn't used to that kind of media swirl. I had never met her, so it really came out of nowhere.

''It was my introduction to being in the spotlight and having people you've never met have an opinion of you.''

Asked whether they would ever use catalogue girl Kate in Victoria's Secret's annual televised runway extravaganza, Sophia said at the time: ''We would never use her. She's like a Page 3 girl. She's like a footballer's wife, with the too-blonde hair and the kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.''

The striking star also joked about her enviable curvy figure and how she came to nickname her breasts ''the ladies''.

Kate laughed: ''Everyone brings them up, so I have to have something to call them.''