Apparently, nobody is immune to the pressures of societal beauty standards, not even the fierce Tyra Banks.
Speaking on a recent panel, Tyra recalled a time early in her modeling career when her body was maturing and becoming “more womanly” and brands stopped hiring her.
She cried to her mother and said,
“Mom I’m going to starve. I’ll eat salad all the time and I’ll run around the block constantly!”
Obviously, Tyra’s badass mom was not about to let that happen. Her mom immediately told young Tyra,
“No, you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to go eat pizza… because I’ll be damned if my baby starves because of these bitches!”
After that, the two made a list of every fashion brand “that liked ass” and started calling them for work. Tyra’s career strategy completely changed going forward.
It was this pivotal moment that actually inspired Tyra to start America’s Next Top Model.
She previously told WWD,
“I created Top Model to expand the definition of beauty based on my own pain of being told ‘no’ that I couldn’t do something because I’m curvy or I’m black. My empathy for women in general increased through the experience.”
ANTM currently has 24 cycles under its belt and shows no signs of slowing down.
As for Tyra, she recently came out of modeling retirement to cover the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. At the time of the cover’s release, she wrote on Instagram,
“This is for everybody that has been told that they are not good enough because of their body, their age, their everything. #BanX is here to tell you that you ARE friggin’ fierce no matter what anybody says! Drop mic now!”
In her spare time, Tyra is also working on an attraction called Modelland which will bring modeling to the masses. It’s set to open in late 2019.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.