Molly Sims Says She "Tortured" Herself to Fit Into the '90s Modeling Industry

"I wasn't prepared as a young girl to go through that."

<p>Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Fashion Trust U.S.</p>

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Fashion Trust U.S.

Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated alumna Molly Sims opened up about being told that she was "too fat" and "too blonde" during a recent appearance on Getting Grilled with Curtis Stone — and now, she's opening up about her comments going viral. The model and mother expanded on what she revealed to the celebrity chef, saying that she was simply being honest about her experiences in the modeling industry and that it was a reflection of the times. Sims rose to prominence during the '90s, when the fashion industry was less inclusive, and the prevailing trends leaned towards being super-skinny.

"I was just being honest about the stress I was under during that time in the business and the expectations put on me," Sims told People. "I wasn't prepared as a young girl to go through that."

<p>Michael Buckner/SXSW Conference & Festivals via Getty Images</p>

Michael Buckner/SXSW Conference & Festivals via Getty Images

"I started right at the moment, the height of 'heroin chic,'" she added. "It was Kate Moss in her Calvin Klein ads. I had never really focused on [being that skinny] before, so that mindset was really hard for me." She also explained that she attempted to fall in line with what she was being told: "I tortured myself. I would try so incredibly hard."

Last week, Sims's comments offered a look back at her entry into the modeling world. And like anyone who has seen an episode of America's Next Top Model, she opened up about the dark side of fashion.

"Finally after two weeks of modeling, I'm like, 'Is there something wrong?' They're like, 'Your nose is crooked. You're not symmetrical.' And then, you know, 'Too fat, too big, too blonde, too dark.' I mean, it was definitely a stressful time."

Today, Sims reflected on her upbringing in the American South and its focus on comfort food and community, something that wasn't present in the fashion circles she found herself in.

"I grew up with a very Southern family, and we talked about being smart, not being on a diet. We ate food, and food was community and it felt good and was like home," she told People. "So, when the heroin chic thing was thrown at me, it was almost like being a ballerina or an athlete. I had to be so focused to be so thin. What's sad to me is that when I look at those pictures now, I can't believe I thought I was so heavy."

<p>Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect</p>

Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect

Speaking on the fashion industry's more inclusive positions today, Sims is glad that things have turned away from heroin chic. Of course, she noted that there's more work to be done for body positivity and inclusivity, but added that she can tell that it's a huge shift from the '90s.

"I love the direction that we're going now," she said. "I still think we need to do so much work, but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty is not 6'10" and weighing 47 pounds," she said. "Beauty is inclusive, beauty is tall, skinny fat, red, yellow, brown. Beauty is everything in between. I think that I'm so happy that my little girl, hopefully, will never have to say, 'I grew up in the era of heroin chic.'"

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