Karlie Kloss Opens Up About Body Insecurities, Her BB Cream Obsession And How She Gets Those Abs

The 24-year-old model sat down with ELLE to discuss imperfections, the importance of fitness and pushing her limits. You might want to take notes.

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One look at Karlie Kloss and you'll struggle to find an imperfection.

After all, this is a 24-year-old who burst into the fashion industry at the tender age of 14, and has since walked for the likes of Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Victoria's Secret, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen, and graced magazine covers around the world, including ELLE's Tech Trailblazers Issue as a guest editor.

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When she's not walking the runway, or being the face of Swarovski and L'Oréal Paris, the Chicago native is starring in weekly blogs on her YouTube channel, Klossy, fighting in BFF Taylor Swift's music videos, launching Kode With Klossy summer camps to encourage young women to study computer coding, developing dairy-free Karlie's Kookie recipes and studying at New York University.

See what we mean about the 'perfection' thing?

Not to mention the fact that she stunned earlier this week at the 2017 Met Gala in a Carolina Herrera tuxedo dress, debuting a new platinum blonde bob after hitching a ride to the A-list event in a pedicab – yes, a pedicab.

However, when the 5ft 11inch model recently sat down with ELLE after a morning workout with Adidas, perfection, star-studded glamour and multi-million pound fashion campaign deals were the last things on her mind.

'Believe me, the person you think is perfect and has it all, sees many imperfections in themselves,' she admitted.

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Ahead of her appearance at the Met Gala, we sat down with the American model to talk candidly about perfection, her favourite ab workouts and beauty bag must-haves:

ELLE UK: Every woman has parts of their bodies they're proud and insecure of, what are yours?

Karlie: [That's] part of being human, especially for women.

Over the last 10 years, from when I started modeling to today, my body has and will continue to change – that's the natural part of life. It's important to accept that and focus on making sure you nurture yourself to be the healthiest version of yourself you can be.

The person you think is perfect and has it all sees many imperfections in themselves.

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For as long as I can remember, I've been insecure about my height, broad shoulders, wide hips, being tall and long. Those are things I can't change. It still takes effort to remember life is all about self-love and that everyone has insecurities.

Believe me, the person you think is perfect and has it all sees many imperfections in themselves, and looks to others as perfect – that's what makes us human. We're all beautifully flawed and embracing that is really the only source of empowerment and strength.

What is the one piece of advice you'd give women who don't feel confident to workout?

It's an upward spiral. Just take baby steps, whether that's motivating yourself by buying new fitness apparel or enjoying a 10-minute walk.

I never used to be a runner, at all. I think I'd run a maximum of two miles in my life before I decided to run a half marathon [in 2015]. Nothing is impossible.

There are days when I wake up and I'm definitely not in the mood to exercise, but it's important to just get your body moving.

What's the one food that makes you feel more sane?

I love fresh papaya with sea salt and lime, or watermelon. It would have to be something refreshing. It's not super indulgent, I know, but I could eat that for the rest of my life.

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Your abs are incredible – what's your secret to getting them so toned?

Abs are tricky. A big part of fitness in terms of getting results and reaching goals, involves your diet.

To work on my abs, I stick to a circuit of exercises, like crunches on a mat. I try to train every day. If I'm traveling, I'll sometimes take a rest day but I try to do something for at least 20 minutes. I usually aim for at least an hour.

#fitnessfriday at the one & only @dogpound 👊

A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

There's nothing worse than traveling so I don't feel like my abs are that great today. When I get off a plane, I feel really bloated.

Do you find any exercises tricky given your height?

Burpees are the worst, but they really make you sweat. You can actually do cardio without a lot of space.

What makes you feel strong?

It's all about self-love and nurturing my body, mind and soul – it's a holistic approach. I feel strong when I'm learning new things and challenging myself.

Monday motivation: learn the ropes of a new workout @adidas #heretocreate

A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

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Right now, I'm trying to write a 12-page paper for a class I'm taking and I've never written one in my life, so that's challenging me in new ways. I'll feel strong, when I finish that paper [laughs].

...I haven't been this nervous in years! 😁🍎📚✏️ #firstdayofschool

A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

You set yourself so many challenges in life and push yourself mentally and physically quite a lot, do you ever get tired of pushing your limits?

I'm definitely driven to reach goals. I've been learning to code for the last few years and still have a lot to learn, but it feels good to celebrate the small wins.

This summer, we have 15 'Kode With Klossy' camps, while last summer we had three. We're going to be able to offer skills and educate more than 300 girls how to code and, while it might be a small number in grand scheme of things, it's still progress.

Whose advice in the fashion industry has significantly helped you as a model?

I'm lucky I've been able to work with so many great people in the beauty industry, learning from the likes of Pat McGrath, Val Garland and Charlotte Tilbury about make-up and how to act on set during a fashion show.

💆🏼 bon jour #PFW 💜

A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

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There's this moment of transformation that happens in modeling which I love – the look is such apart of that. Pat has taught me so much about angles, light and being on set. [With her help], I've learned how to be a better model.

Which three beauty brands could you not live without?

I love a brand called Kopari which sells coconut oil-based beauty products. I love their balms and cleansers.

L'Oreal also has a great BB cream which I use religiously every day and there's a US brand called Tata Harper [which sells 100% natural, anti-aging skincare] and their products are lovely.

la (Italian) chiquita banana?💃🏼🇮🇹🍒🍌🍓🍋

A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

Adidas ambassador and global superstar Karlie Kloss has kicked off a summer of fitness at the adidas Studio LDN on Brick Lane with a free women's only workout.

To sign up to sessions, click here.

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