She may sing about accepting people for who they are in "Born This Way," but Lady Gaga wasn't always so comfortable in her own skin.
In a press conference supporting her involvement in the "It's Our Turn" women's conference in California, the 25-year-old pop star reveals she struggled with bulimia during her high school years.
"I used to throw up all the time in high school," said Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta). "So I'm not that confident. I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina, but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night. I used to come home and say, 'Dad, why do you always give us this food? I need to be thin.' And he'd say, 'Eat your spaghetti."
She claims that the disorder threatened her life and her career -- she risked damaging her vocal cords with the forced vomiting.
"It's really hard, but you've got to talk to somebody about it." she said. "It made my voice bad, so I had to stop. The acid on your vocal cords -- it's very bad."
Gaga added, "Weight is still a struggle. Every video I'm in, every magazine cover, they stretch you -- they make you perfect. It's not real life. I'm gonna say this about girls: The dieting has got to stop. Everyone just knock it off. Because at the end of the day, it's affecting kids your age -- and it's making girls sick."