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While Tyra Banks may be considered one of the world’s most popular supermodels, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still struggle with her weight like many of us. Interestingly, the “America’s Next Top Model” star says that she has actually experienced weight struggles from both ends of the spectrum.

“I know the pain of somebody who’s too thin and the pain of somebody that people say is too big,” she expressed during a recent interview with People.

As a preteen, Tyra says that she experienced a growth spurt and lost so much weight that many questioned whether or not she was suffering from an eating disorder.

“The summer I turned 11-years-old, I lost 30 pounds and I had a growth spurt,” she revealed. “And it wasn’t even supermodel thin. It was more than that. Some people thought I had an eating disorder.”

It turns out that she did not have an eating disorder, but for some reason she simply couldn’t put on weight.

“There was nothing I could do to gain weight,” she says, “It was in the 1980s during the Ethiopian famine, and I got a lot of comments.”

Her mother later decided to take her to a doctor to see if the root of the problem could be uncovered.

“I was poked with a lot of needles to see what was wrong with me. I was even misdiagnosed with gigantism,” she says.

Her body eventually filled out as she got older and put on weight, but ironically, years later, the supermodel would be slammed by body critics for being too heavy.

“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 40-year-old questioned.

The ability to remain in touch with her 11-year-old self inspired her to launch the T-ZONE Foundation back in 1999, through which she seeks to inspire young girls to move beyond their insecurities.

“That 11-year-old girl always lives inside of me,” says the beauty. “I show them [T-ZONE girls] un-retouched photos of myself. They’re like, ‘Whoa.’ But I tell them the truth. I want every girl to find their own beauty.”

“Flaws are awesome – so, ‘flawsome!’ I love making up a word,” she joked.

It’s great that she found a way to take a negative experience and turn it around into something positive that could help others.

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