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What Chrissy Teigen Was Like Before The Fame

Before she landed her first highly coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover in 2010; Before she became a source of culinary inspiration for millions; Before she hit it big on the small screen as co-host of Spike's Lip Sync Battle; Before she tied the knot with John Legend, becoming a major inspiration of #couplegoals, Chrissy Teigen was just a small town girl trying to find herself. Read on to discover the eight most surprising facts you likely never knew about this Thai-Norwegian beauty who, by 2017, has become one of the most successful models in the biz.

She spent her childhood moving around the United States

Born in a small town in Utah called Delta (which had a population of 3,329 in 2010) to a Thai mother and Norwegian father, Teigen spent a large part of her childhood moving around the country, following her father, an electrician, who had no qualms about packing up his family and relocating. From Utah, the Teigen fam traveled to Hawaii, Idaho and Washington before eventually settling down in Huntington Beach, California.

Making the move from Seattle to Huntington Beach, the young beauty needed some time to adjust to the change of scenery and lifestyle. As she explained, "Seattle was like a Disney family town. There was no emphasis put on being sexy and people didn't even talk about sex or drugs. I moved to Huntington Beach and everything grew up a lot faster there."

She was discovered at a surf shop

Following her family's move to California, Teigen began working retail at a surf shop on Main Street in Huntington Beach. That's where she had her big break at age 18 when a photographer came into the shop and asked to photograph her. Afraid that the opportunity might end up being a scam, Teigen was accompanied to the set by her father. "My dad was on that first photo shoot with me," she told MTV. "He made sure it was A-OK."

As it turned out, everything was indeed A-OK and those photos soon landed Teigen a contract with a modeling agency in Los Angeles. To this day, the supermodel remains thankful of that chance encounter. As she told MTV back in 2013, "If that didn't happen, I would have nothing that has happened to me today."

She didn't think she could make it as a model

Despite being scouted at a young age and her obvious beauty, Teigen admitted in 2013 that, when she was younger, "Modeling had never crossed my mind. For someone as insecure as I was, it didn't seem possible."

Those insecurities are something she's talked openly about on more than one occasion, telling The Daily Beast in 2014 that she "just never thought I could do it myself really ever. I still have trouble calling myself a model. I just never thought I was tall enough or skinny enough. [When I was starting] it was the time of the very thin, waif-y runway models. So I knew I couldn't do that." Evidently, she seriously underestimated her potential.

She was fired from a Forever 21 shoot for being "too fat"

After landing a modeling gig with Forever 21, Teigen was actually fired by the fast fashion mega retailer for being "too fat!? As she recalled in an interview with DuJour, "they booked me directly when I was much younger, and [when] I showed up on set, they asked me if they could take a photo".

They then sent the snap to Teigen's agency who immediately called the budding model to tell her, "'You need to leave right now; they just said you are fat and you need to come get your measurements taken.'"

Teigen hasn't forgotten about the incident, even tweeting about it in 2014 to let the world know her true feelings toward Forever 21: "They suck and I hate them."

She was once a Deal or No Deal briefcase girl

Before she became one of the most in-demand faces in the industry, Teigen held numerous low profile gigs, including working as a catalog model and, when she was 21 years old, a substitute model on NBC's super popular Deal or No Deal game show for an entire year, running from 2006 to 2007.

It wasn't until she befriended fellow model Brooklyn Decker that she had her big break. Why? Because it was Decker who introduced Teigen to the Sports Illustrated team who then hired her and put her on the fast-track to snagging bigger and bigger shoots. "That changed everything for me," Teigen admitted to Vegas Magazine.

She met her husband on a video shoot

Back in 2006, when she was just 21 years old, Teigen met her future husband, singer John Legend, on the set of a video shoot for his single, Stereo. As the supermodel recalled in an interview with Cosmopolitan, she was immediately drawn to him when she "walked into John's dressing room to meet him and he was ironing in his underwear. I said, 'You do your own ironing!?' He said, 'Of course I do.' I gave him a hug."

The pair went on to spend 14 hours together on set, then ordered In-N-Out burgers to enjoy in Legend's hotel room. "I'm not going to lie. We hooked up," she admitted. The two then parted ways as the crooner went off on tour and Teigen "played it cool for a long time." The couple eventually wed in 2013 in a beautiful Italian ceremony in Lake Como.

Food is her first (and truest) love

In addition to modeling, Teigen is a total foodie who became a best-selling cookbook author when she published Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat. As it turns out, food is her true number one love and was a major part of her life long before she ever posed in front of a camera. "Basically, I was really modeling for fun, but it wasn't ever something that I wanted to do to begin with," she admitted to Marie Claire, reflecting on her chosen career path in 2012. Instead, she hoped she might be able to attend culinary school, but when that didn't happen, Teigen, who says she will "eat anything," found an outlet for her passion by inspiring others to cook, creating amazing meals for her family and constantly documenting all of her kitchen adventures on Snapchat.

She had her most embarrassing moment ever on a plane

Despite her current life in the spotlight, Teigen's most embarrassing moment ever actually happened out of the spotlight. But rather than keeping it a secret, the supermodel, who is anything but shy when it comes to sharing stories from her life, talked about it in great detail during a reddit Ask Me Anything Q&A session.

The whole thing went down in the air when Teigen "proudly yelled at a mom on the plane, telling her to shut her son's video game sound off. It was my phone alarm going off in my purse, for hours." Yikes! What did she do to make the mortifying situation a bit better? "I had to apologize to the entire cabin and bought them drinks."