Karolina Kurkova Reveals Shocking Modeling Industry Weight Pressure

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Feb. 8 2012, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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By Leah Ornstein - Style & Beauty Editor

She ended up being one of the most successful and highest paid supermodels of all times, but when Karolina Kurkova first started strutting down the catwalk, she was told that she wasn’t thin enough!

The Czech beauty, along with fellow model Elettra Wiedemann, revealed shocking details about the pressures of modeling during the Council of Fashion Designers of America moderated panel discussion on Tuesday – and has the details.

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Skinnier than most girls growing up, Kurkova admits in a Huffington Post report that she stood out – and not in a good way.  Self conscious of everything from her long, skinny legs to her height and even her teeth, it wasn’t until she landed the cover of Vogue at the age of 16 that she realized that “being different is okay.”

But it wasn’t long before she felt the pressures of the modeling industry. She remembers being told that her athletic body wasn’t thin enough!

She also revealed during the panel that she suffered from a thyroid problem a few years ago that resulted in a 30-pound weight gain.

“I was 24 and going through menopause,” she explained. “That was one of my side effects. I thought I was going crazy. I was having panic attacks every minute and I didn’t know what was happening, because I’ve been a healthy person. I’ve exercised all my life. I’ve always eaten well and taken care of myself.”

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Wiedemann, who is the daughter of actress and model Isabella Rossellini, claims that she was told that she needed to have a breast reduction or a nose job.

The panel, which is part of the CFDA’s educational program to encourage healthy body weight in the industry, also included Arianna Huffington, and jewelry designer Monique Pean.


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