Tyra Banks is no stranger to discussing weight struggles and standing up for positive body image awareness, but now she’s opening up about her insecurities growing up and having a different body than other young girls.

“The summer I turned 11 years old, I lost 30 pounds and I had a growth spurt. And it wasn’t even supermodel thin. It was more than that. Some people thought I had an eating disorder,” the America’s Next Top Model host told People. “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. I was poked with a lot of needles to see what was wrong with me. I was even misdiagnosed with gigantism.”

But that wasn’t the only problem Tyra faced. Her weight tended to fluctuate, drastically going up and down.

“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? I know the pain of somebody who’s too thin and the pain of somebody that people say is too big,” she continued. “That 11-year-old girl always lives inside of me.”

Fans of Tyra are well aware of the fact that she’s an advocate for healthy body image, both on and off ANTM. What’s her one piece of advice for those struggling with how they look? Forget about it!

“Flaws are awesome — so, ‘flawsome!’” the supermodel joked. “I love making up a word.”

What do you think about Tyra’s words of advice and her struggles growing up? Hit the comments and let us know!

Carson Blackwelder is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!