The 57-year-old recalled the interaction in the new docu-series, The Super Models, which lands on Apple TV+ on Wednesday.
But before the model became the fashion star we know today, she was like many of her peers in the industry, just looking for her big break.
And that moment came in 1986 when she was introduced to American audiences on The Oprah Winfrey Show alongside her Elite Modeling Agency agent John Casablancas.
In footage shown in the doc, the presenter is heard introducing a young Crawford before asking: “Did she always have this body? Stand up just a moment, now this is what I call a BODY.”
The then-20-year-old is then seen smiling nervously as she answered the broadcaster’s request and stood up for all in the studio and at home to see.
Reflecting on how the interaction made her feel, Crawford said: “I was like the chattel or a child, be seen and not heard.
“When you look at it through today’s eyes, Oprah’s like, ‘Stand up and show me your body. Show us why you’re worthy of being here.’
“In the moment I didn’t recognize it and watching it back I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that was so not okay really.’ Especially from Oprah!”
Apple TV+’s new four-part documentary charts the rise of the women in the industry and how they cemented their status of supermodels following their appearance in George Michael’s music video for his track Freedom in 1990.
It’s the first time all four of the surviving icons, Tatjana Patitz died earlier this year of breast cancer, have come together to discuss the phenomenon in depth.
While the series highlights the stars’ successes, it also explores the issues they faced including addiction, domestic abuse and racial inequality.
The Super Models is available to stream on Apple TV+ from Tuesday, September 20