Jourdan Dunn was born in Brent, London, and grew up in nearby Greenford with her mother. She attended Elthorne Park High School in Hanwell. Jourdan is of Jamaican, Grenadian, and Syrian ancestry. She admitted to being self-conscious as a teenager, due to her height and weight. She stated growing up, people would often tell her she should become a model, but she was apprehensive as she was not really sure what a model did. She commented that shows like America's Next Top Model intrigued her, as they gave her a new perspective of the job.