Now an international sex symbol, it wasn't always easy for Christina Hendricks, especially growing up being bullied like crazy in high school, where she was part of the goth and theater crowds.

My school days were pretty unhappy, Hendricks told UK's The Mirror. I had the worst high school experience ever. I went to a very mean school and was bullied like crazy.

According to Hendricks, she was bullied because of the way she dressed and who she hung out with.

I was a bit of a goth with purple hair and I was also part of the drama group, so my friends and I were all weird theatre people and everyone just hated us, she said, presenting a photo to The Mirror of 14-year-old goth Christina Hendricks.

Moving from her birthplace in Knoxville, Tenn. To Fairfax, Vir. When she was a teen, Hendricks rebelled and dyed her hair all sorts of colors to express herself.

Moving as a teenager is never easy. So I tried to set myself apart and it ended up with multi-coloured hair. It was how I was expressing myself, she said. I was a goth kid. I dyed my hair about 42 different colours, shaved it at the back and wore black make-up. Kids can be pretty judgmental about people who are different.

Hendricks said that people would physically bully her, not just tease or pick on her.

There was a long corridor with lockers on either side and kids would sit on top of them and spit on you. It was like something out of Lord of the Flies.

And it wasn't just her peers at school poking fun of the way she looked; her mother, Jackie Sue, frequently chimed in, too.

My mother was mortified and kept telling me how horrible and ugly I looked. Strangers would walk by with a look of shock on their face, so I never felt pretty. I just always felt awkward, she told The Mirror.

Hendricks prevailed though and finally found herself when fate came her way.

Instead of breaking down and conforming, I stood firm. That is also probably why I was unhappy, she said.

Hendricks entered a magazine contest to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine and although she didn't win, she won in terms of confidence.

When I got the pictures back my mum and I started crying because I had no idea I could be pretty, she said. I'd always felt awkward. It was the first time I really felt pretty. It just sort of changed my perspective of myself.

Hendricks then moved to New York to model but back then she wasn't the Marilyn Monroe-esque bombshell she is now; 19-year-old Christina was a size four and about 112 pounds. Her body since has changed to her statuesque 5'8, 154 lbs. and size 12 frame at 38DD-32-38, according to The Mirror.

As you get older your body changes. I've tried to embrace how I look at every stage, she said.

Everyone else is embracing her figure as well. Catching the eye of designers like Vivienne Westwood since she was cast as Joan Holloway in Mad Men, Hendricks has become an icon inspiring women everywhere to look like her and men to be with her (though she is taken by husband Geoffrey Arend), much to her pleasure in response to being bullied as a teen.

If I could go back and tell my 14-year-old self anything it would be, 'Don't worry. You're going to be doing exactly what you want to be doing and those people who are a--holes now are still going to be a--holes in 20 years. So let it go!'

View the slideshow to see photos of Christina Hendricks.