Irina Shayk, the ex-partner of Bradley Cooper, has revealed she grew up feeling like she was supposed to be a boy.
The 34-year-old model, who has a three-year-old daughter, Lea, with Cooper, made the comments during her cover interview for the March issue of British Vogue.
“I always felt like I was born in the wrong body,” she told the publication. “I felt I was supposed to be a boy.”
She added: “I don't know why. Maybe it's because my father always wanted a boy.”
Shayk said she started feeling like this when she was 14, after her father’s sudden death from pneumonia.
“When my father passed away, I thought, ‘Since I'm a guy, now it's my time to take care of the family.’ I said to myself I would never get married.”
While Shayk says she now “love being a woman” after having outgrown her feeling that she was supposed to be born a boy, her words tap in to a prevalent conversation surrounding children and gender confusion.
Earlier this year, 12-year-old Ash Lammin started transitioning to become male. Believed to have been one of Britain’s youngest transgender children, Lammin was questioning her gender from the age of three.
The first signs of gender dysphoria – a feeling of mismatch between a person's gender identity and their biological sex assigned at birth – often begin in early age, according to the NHS website.
In a 2012 survey of 10,000 people undertaken by the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, 1% of the population said they identified as gender variant. This is defined as having an “atypical development in the relationship between the gender identity and the visible sex of an individual”, according to the Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES).