Lady Gaga has revealed she suffered from bulimia as a teenager because she was desperate to have the figure of a "skinny little ballerina."
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The "Born This Way" hitmaker has become a big supporter of anti-bullying campaigns after being victimized for her looks during her youth, but she only recently revealed the extent of her personal troubles during a surprise appearance at a young women's conference in Los Angeles.
Gaga turned up at Brentwood School last weekend for a special interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger's estranged wife, Maria Shriver, for the It's Our Turn event, and the flamboyant star stunned the audience by revealing all about her attempts to slim down in high school.
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She said, "I used to throw up all the time in high school. 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."
The then-aspiring singer eventually overcame her urge to force herself to vomit after eating, admitting, "It made my voice bad, so I had to stop. The acid on your vocal chords -- it's very bad."
But that doesn't mean Gaga is completely at ease with her body image now she's a pop idol: "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."
And Gaga has urged young girls struggling with their self-confidence to reach out for help: "It's really hard, but ... you've got to talk to somebody about it."