Tyra Banks on Being 'Too Thin' and 'Too Big'

(Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

Tyra Banks, who knows the pain of being called "too fat," revealed that she was once teased for being "too thin."

"The summer I turned 11 years old, I lost 30 lbs. and I had a growth spurt," the 40-year-old former supermodel told People. "And it wasn't even supermodel thin. It was more than that. Some people thought I had an eating disorder."

She continued, "There was nothing I could do to gain weight. It was in the 1980s during the Ethiopian famine, and I got a lot of comments."

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Banks went to the doctor repeatedly. "I was poked with a lot of needles to see what was wrong with me. I was even misdiagnosed with gigantism," she told the magazine.

She gradually added pounds as she got older. But the irony of once being too thin is not lost on Banks, who has been attacked by the tabloids in recent years for her fluctuating figure.

"Who would have thought that the girl who was forced to go to the hospital because she's so skinny would one day be called too fat?" the "America's Next Top Model" creator told People.

Tyra Banks Fights Back Against Tabloid Fat Allegations

"I know the pain of somebody who's too thin and the pain of somebody that people say is too big," she said.

Inspired by the "11-year-old girl" who "always lives inside of me," Banks is hosting her second annual Flawsome Ball, sponsored by her TZONE Foundation, which mentors young girls.

"Flaws are awesome - so, 'flawsome!'" she said, explaining the title of the May 6 event. "I love making up a word."