Victoria Secret and Prada model Lyndsey Scott is determined to buck the stereotype of being “just a pretty face.”
When she isn’t on the runway, she’s coding iOS apps. The self-described late-bloomer, called “a mix of Bill Gates and Gisele [Bundchen]” by her brother, studied computer science in college and has several iOS apps under her belt. Her first app, Educate! aims to help young scholars in Uganda become leaders and entrepreneurs. She got involved in the project after learning Uganda is home to the highest youth poverty rate in the world.
Scott’s brother says the supermodel “combines her passion for modeling and passion for coding to help improve our world.” Her work doesn’t stop at charity app-building. Last month, she visited a Harlem, N.Y., middle school to talk to students interested in computer programming. She herself began coding in middle school when she would program games on her TI-89 calculator.
The model-programmer is doing a service to us all by breaking not one, but two stereotypes: the model and the nerd.
“We have this idea of people in technology being and looking a certain way,” she explained in a post on Quora. “That stereotype is destructive, and I think that’s part of the reason why female and minority programmers are so few.”
She said she didn’t start looking like a model until after college, but before that she was bullied relentlessly and that it “got so bad in high school I couldn’t even look people in the face. I would hide out in school so I wouldn’t have to eat lunch in the cafeteria or see people in between classes.”
Scott described the experience of being treated so differently now as “jarring.” “The world is a super shallow place, yes, but it’s pointless to take their snap judgments too seriously because no one deserves to be treated differently based solely on their appearance,” she wrote on Quora.