(UK’S DAILY MAIL).-A Naomi Campbell lookalike who was bullied at school for being ‘too tall and nerdy’ says she can’t walk down the road without being pestered for autographs.
Lystra Adams was constantly teased while at school in Montserrat for being taller than everyone else in her school and looking like a geek.
The name calling and snide whispering was so vicious that the young Lystra used to suffer panic attacks before going to class.
Now the 37-year-old stunner has conquered the bullies and has carved out a successful career in modelling and being the supermodel’s lookalike.
Striking Lystra said: ‘I was constantly bullied at school – I was always tall and used to tower above most of the older boys, let alone girls my age, and I worse these thick glasses.
‘This one girl – who thought she was a top dog – was always calling me names like ‘freak’ and ‘nerd’ and she used to lead everyone in whispering behind my back.
‘It doesn’t sound much, but when you’re younger and just want to fit in the constant whispering and teasing caused me to have panic attacks every day before school.
‘It was horrible and really knocked my confidence at the time but looking back it has made me a stronger person – all I think now is look at me now!’
Astonishingly when Lystra arrived from Montserrat in 1997 – the height of the supermodel’s catwalk fame – she had no idea who Naomi Campbell was.
The then 20-year-old, originally from Guyana, found herself in Halifax, Yorkshire – a far cry from the runways of Paris, Milan and New York – but was still stared at in the street.
Lystra, who now lives in Staffordshire, joked: ‘When all these people stared at me I thought there was something wrong with me!
‘I had no clue until one day, about a year after I’d arrived, this woman came up to me and told me I looked like Naomi Campbell.
‘I just said “Who?!” but when I looked it up I was flattered and started doing lookalike work.
‘I signed up with the Model Bank modelling agency in Birmingham, and I have been in work ever since.
‘She’s been a bit less of a diva recently though – I need her to throw some more phones so the calls start coming back in!’
For the last 15 years she has been turning up at functions and events in stretch limos and being ‘papped’ on the red carpet.
She laughs when describing one event where she was surrounded by bodyguards, who took their role so seriously they even followed her into the toilet.
As the supermodel – the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue in 1988 – has calmed down and shied away from the press, lookalike work has slowed for Lystra.
However she is still stopped in the street wherever she goes – even if she is just out shopping with her partner and her daughter Jasmine, 13.
Lystra said: ‘Still there isn’t a day goes by where I’m not told I look like her – if I had a pound for every time that happened I’d have as much money as her!
‘Whenever we go on holiday I’m always stopped for autographs – it probably doesn’t help that I’m wearing sunglasses which makes me look more of a diva!
‘I had one woman stop me in the airport and ask for my autograph for her daughter as she was a big fan – even after I told her I wasn’t Naomi.
‘On the other hand, another woman shouted at me at the races the other day because she didn’t believe I wasn’t Naomi and said I was lying and being a bitch and a diva!
‘Sometimes I just can’t win, but I try not to complain – there are worse people to look like!’