Tyra Banks faced a battle to become a runway success, because of her skin colour and size.
The supermodel-turned-talk show host claims more doors were closed for her than other wannabes, because she didn't fit in with the modelling industry's usual perception of beauty.
She even accuses a number of designers of blacklisting her, telling the New York Times magazine: "My biggest obstacle was that I was black and curvy," adding that her agency had a list of "designers who will not book Tyra because of hips and breasts."
The 34-year-old claims modelling bosses tried to convince her mother to put her on a diet - but she refused: "My mother told me the whole thing as we were walking down the street in Milan.
"She said: 'They say you're too curvy. Let's go order pizza.' We walked into a pizzeria, and we discussed a career change."