Tyra Banks used to get letters saying she was ''too fat'' when she was a US size six.
The 'America's Next Top Model' host has spoken out in support of Vogue magazine's anti-eating disorders initiative and she has slammed fashion designers for only hiring skinny models.
She said: ''When I was a model I was a four and then I started to become curvy and became a six and I got so many letters saying I was way too big and fashion designers were telling me I was fat. My mom got letters from designers saying they are not going to hire me anymore.''
The 38-year-old supermodel recalls being shocked at seeing models so skinny they had developed lanugo, a fur that can appear when a person is malnourished, and she is grateful to the publication's campaign for highlighting some of the issues in the fashion industry.
She added: ''This is a really big deal as it's been an unspoken rule in my opinion that the fashion industry says it's OK to be as skinny as you can just as long as you can walk and you don't faint.
''I would see girls that had lanugo on their skin, a duck-like fur that comes on your body when you're anorexic when you're body is screaming out for warmth.''
Tyra also believes there is a pressure on young girls to be thin when they read magazines featuring skinny models, while young boys who idolise famous basketball players do not feel like they have to go to the same lengths to copy their icons.
Speaking on 'Good Morning America', she explained: ''That little boy is not crying himself to sleep because he doesn't look like Lebron or can't slam the ball like Lebron. He doesn't have the pressure to be that guy, or to be his hero.
''But when a girl is looking at a magazine with her mother, there are all these subliminal images saying that if you're not a size zero of if you don't look like this, then you're not good enough. So the fact that Vogue is making that mandate is the beginning of something huge.''