Tyra Banks Delivers Passionate Speech on the Dark Side of Fashion: 'Don't Get Me Started on the '90s'

"Every single day, I will continue to fight your oppression that makes people feel like crap about themselves," Tyra Banks said

Tyra Banks is getting candid about the dark side of the fashion and beauty industry.

On Wednesday, Banks, 46, delivered a passionate speech — in a video titled the The UpriXing Begins — about her experience as a supermodel in promotion of her new business venture ModelLand — “A place where everyone can live the ultimate modeling fantasy.”

In the clip, Tyra is seen scolding the camera, addressing the industry in a way that resembles an argument between two people in a relationship.

Banks begins, “28 years and now this. It’s always something with you.”

“I was too skinny, then I was too fat, then my a— was too big — oh, but you all about that now, huh?!” Banks says.

“Don’t lie,” Banks continues. “I see who you following on social media. Oh, excuse me? You loved me? In 1991? Oh, you want to talk about the 90s?”

“Okay, let’s talk about the ’90s!” Banks says, clapping her hands vigorously.

“Let’s talk about how you would spend less time with me in the winter because you said my skin looked better on your arm in the summer. Let’s talk about how I had to mix my own makeup colors because if I left it up to the people you chose for me, I’d look like an ashy clown.”

“Oh and don’t get me started on the hair. Do not get me started on the hair. Oh, you changed? Yeah, you changed because you had to because if you didn’t, no one would want your a—.”

Banks then goes on to reveal that she has overcome those setbacks yelling, “It’s too late because today, I am wise enough to know my beauty is not defined by you.”

“Beauty is all shapes and sizes. All colors and genders. Young and old. Tall and short. Thin and thick. Real beauty lives in the land of and. Yeah, I said it. And while you may spend the rest of your life trying to convince people otherwise, you will never succeed.”

“Every single day, I will continue to fight your oppression that makes people feel like crap about themselves. Oh, get ready ’cause it’s payback time,” Banks adds, concluding the moving PSA.

Banks also invited fans to post their own video “shouting out to a person that hurt you.”

“Whether the source of your pain comes from someone you’ve dated, or a job, or a parent, now’s the time to let it out like never before,” the description of the video reads.

“#TheUpRiXing has your back.”

Banks announced the launch of ModelLand in 2019, sharing that she’s creating a brand-new modeling attraction. (Modelland was also the name of her 2010 young adult novel she wrote about her life.)

Tyra Banks

It’s reportedly going to be a multi-level 21,000 sq. ft space in Santa Monica Place (an open air shopping center) that will feature retail shops, dining destinations, interactive entertainment and much, much more.

“I’ve always been insanely inspired by attractions like Disneyland and Universal Studios and have wanted to bring that spirit of adventure and storytelling to the world of modeling,” Banks told Variety about the project which has been in the works for the past 10 years. “But not the exclusive modeling industry. I’m talking about modeling for the masses.”

So what exactly does “modeling for the masses” mean? The details of the attractions are still pretty unclear, but Banks clarified to WWD that it won’t just be a pop-up attraction.

It will include clothing for guests created by Hollywood costume designers and stylists and won’t include daily runway shows. “That’s low hanging fruit,” she said. “This is bursting the door open and redefining what a model is. It’s all about inclusiveness.”

“Modelland is going to be a place where the modeling world meets fantasy, meets entertainment, meets technology, meets retail, meets dining, meets … your fiercest best self you could ever imagine,” she told Variety.

Tyra Banks
John Parra/Getty

She says there will be special social media components but the main focus is celebrating all types of beauty. “Men and women, young and older — are invited to transform into the dream version of themselves. When people leave Modelland, we want them to feel overjoyed and empowered.”

In an interview with WWD, Banks explained that this new project is just an extension of what she’s been promoting her entire career — inclusiveness.

“I created [America’s Next] 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,” she explained. “And now with Modelland, I’m taking it 10 steps forward, giving people the opportunity to engage with the elusive world by opening it up to everyone. Men, women, families, all generations can come and enter this model world for a day, have a fun shopping experience, and an eventful meal. This will be the first of many.”

ModelLand will officially open its doors winter 2020.

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