The Barbarella star told You magazine that she suffered from periods of bulimia and anorexia as a result of comments made about her body while growing up, issues that she was not able to conquer until later in life.
Fonda recalled: "I was brought up to feel fat, though my father wouldn't tell me directly - he'd get one of his wives to tell me that I shouldn't wear a bikini. One day, I overheard him talking about me and I can't even tell you what he said because it traumatised me and I can't pretend I'll ever get over it.
"So I was the product of objectifying parents and also a product of the '50s, when the way a woman looked was so important. It's why I pay attention to my appearance now. I believed that to be loved you had to be perfect, and even though I've got over that now, it took a long time."
Fonda also spoke about the effect that her low self-esteem had on her relationships with men, adding: "I went through phases of bingeing and purging and it was many years before I could sit at a table without feeling any anxiety. Bulimia is very easy to hide, but you can't be intimate with people if you're an addict."
The 73-year-old recently slammed shopping network QVC for cancelling a scheduled appearance following pressure from political activists.
However, the network later denied Fonda's claims, insisting that it is "not unusual to have a schedule change with our shows and guests with little or no notice."