But that could have been the sad reality according to Tyra, who penned an open letter to "models around the world," mothers of models and women everywhere struggling with body image issues.
"If I was just starting to model at age 17 in 2012, I could not have had the career that I did. I would’ve been considered too heavy. In my time, the average model’s size was a four or six. Today you are expected to be a size zero. When I started out, I didn’t know such a size even existed," Tyra writes in her letter posted on The Daily Beast.
In the letter, Tyra talks about her tales of working with unhealthy looking models who often subscribed to the motto “there’s no such thing as being too thin, as long as you don’t pass out" and taking late-night calls to console girls that are literally starving themselves to fit into sample size clothing.
But thanks to the major announcement that all 19 editors of Vogue have vowed not to work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder, progress is being made.
"This calls for a toast over some barbecue and burgers!" Tyra writes. She goes on to say: "Vogue is stepping up, doing the right thing, and protecting that girl. Perhaps that girl is you!"
The letter is written in the wake of tons of news surrounding ideals of beauty and how they are marketed.There's been a crackdown on thinspo websites and a 13-year-old taking up the charge against airbrushing in Seventeen magazine.
The model-turned-mogul also opens up in the letter about being banned by a list of designers once she started developing the voluptuous body she flaunts so fabulously. But being the smart gal that she is -- even before graduating from Harvard -- Tyra and her mom devised a plan (over pizza, of course) how to turn her "curves into a curveball."
Read the entire letter over at The Daily Beast and check out Tyra's most curvaceous style moments in the slideshow below.