Iman knew her 'worth' before arriving in America

Iman has always stuck by her values credit:Bang Showbiz
Iman has always stuck by her values credit:Bang Showbiz

Iman knew her "worth" before she became a model.

The 68-year-old star was born and raised in Somalia, but Iman had a strong sense of "self-worth" when she moved to the US to begin her modelling career.

She told InStyle: "I came into the industry, although 19, but I was fully formed about my worth before I came in, as an African girl, Somali, coming from where I come from and all that.

"One thing that my parents instilled in me, especially as a girl, was that self-worth is key. And they said it to me: relationships, jobs, it doesn't matter - if it doesn't serve you well, it doesn't treat you well, just walk away from it. And walking away never means you're losing something. So I came in having that, at least, in my pocket."

Iman was initially told that she wouldn't earn as much as her white counterparts.

But the model always remained true to her personal values.

She recalled: "The first thing that was thrown at me was that I wasn't going to be paid the same amount as the caucasian models. And I was like, 'Wait, what? And why?' And they were like, 'Well, that's how it is; that's what the clients say.' And I said, 'Well, I'm not going to do this.' And I walked away, literally.

"I told the agent, 'I'm not interested in the black and white issue. I am more interested in that if I am doing the same service that the white model is doing, I expect the same payment.' And because I was able to walk away, I didn't work for three months, I said no to everything."