One of Gigi Hadid’s pet peeves is being told she didn’t work hard to get to where she is. In her March cover story for Elle, the supermodel, 23, got candid about her success, setting the record straight.

The American beauty recognizes she is lucky to have been born into wealth, but she doesn’t credit her career to her family’s connections. “I mean, I understand it. I come from privilege, and I recognize my privilege,” she told the outlet. “But because my mom was on a TV show [Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills], people think that my whole childhood was fame. It absolutely was not. My mom was a model. She moved to the States when she was 16 to send money back to her family in Holland. My dad was a refugee and worked his way up in every way. I work hard to honor my parents.”

Gigi Hadid for Elle
Chris Colls/ ELLE

Gigi began modeling when she was just 24 months old, after she got discovered by Paul Marciano from GUESS. She enjoyed it as a kid because “it was having a snow day [from school] — only you were running around the beach, being a kid with other kids.” However, her mom took her out of modeling before it started to feel like actual work and it wasn’t until after high school that Gigi decided to revisit the hobby and take it more seriously.

“In high school, I was a competitive horseback rider and volleyball player,” she said. “But [college] was the deciding factor: The New School was my favorite school in New York, but I chose to go to New York not to play volleyball or to ride but to be a model.” If she hadn’t gone for modeling, the Victoria Secret angel would have chosen criminal psychology as her area of study.

It’s a good thing she decided to stick with her passion, because it obviously all worked out in the end!