Body by Tyra Banks: Then & Now
In her first season of modeling, Tyra Banks, 18, walks for Yves Saint Laurent in Paris at this '92 runway show. Says Banks, "I was very thin, naturally. I wasn't aware of any body pressure at this point, oh no."
The first African-American model to land the cover of the coveted Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Banks graces the cover a second time in 1997. During the shoot, "I thought I was big; I remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh, my breasts are getting bigger, my hips,'" recalls Banks. "Then the pictures came out (and were great), and I felt insane."
TAKE A BOW
Banks struts down the catwalk for the last time at the '05 Victoria's Secret fashion show. "My retirement!" says Banks. "I ate differently before then, but I really can't do the dieting. Even backstage at the fashion shows, there would be food. Some models would eat it, some wouldn't – I would always grub on it!"
Addressing for the first time the unflattering tabloid photos taken of her in a one-piece bathing suit in Sydney, Banks says the headlines were "really hurtful." At 161 lbs. today, Banks is 30 lbs. heavier than when she was modeling, but she says it's important to her to tell girls that this photo "is not ugly."
With her mom (and former manager) Carolyn in 1997, Banks says that "with all the self-esteem my mom instilled in me, (the criticism) still hurts."
Transitioning from supermodel to TV host, Banks dresses for the occasion in her version of the power suit at former network UPN's upfront event in '05. But the former model still sees herself with a critical eye: "I don't like the angle of the (photo), it's making me look shorter."
On the set of her hit show America's Next Top Model, Banks dismisses talk that she has to have the right kind of body to give advice to aspiring models on her show. "You have to be thin to be a model – I don't have to live up to that model standard anymore."