ANTM Mentor Wouldn't Make The Cut Today

Tyra Banks too fat? The famous model and ANTM mentor has a big round of applause for Vogue happening in an open letter to models about weight.

Tyra Banks

It may be hard to believe that Tyra Banks would ever have been considered too fat, but the America's Next Top Model guru insists if she were trying to get a modeling career off the ground today she'd be shut down.

In an open letter posted on The Daily Beast, Tyra Banks shares her thoughts on weight in the industry where image rules all.

Tyra Banks' open letter begins, "To models around the world, I want to celebrate Vogue’s recent groundbreaking announcement. The editors of Vogue’s 19 international editions have pledged to ban models from their pages who 'appear to have an eating disorder,' to create healthy backstage working conditions, as well as several other revolutionary initiatives. This calls for a toast over some barbecue and burgers!"

Why Tyra Banks fired her top team from ANTM >>

The 38-year-old went on to say, "When I started modeling, I used to see models who seemed unhealthy backstage at fashion shows. They appeared to be abusing their bodies to maintain a certain weight. These girls were booked over and over again for countless fashion shows and photo shoots... At times, I feel there’s an unspoken rule that says, 'there’s no such thing as being too thin, as long as you don’t pass out.'"

Referring back to her younger days in the modeling industry Tyra Banks shared, "In my early 20s I was a size four. But then I started to get curvy. My agency gave my mom a list of designers that didn’t want to book me in their fashion shows anymore. In order to continue working, I would’ve had to fight Mother Nature and get used to depriving myself of nutrition."

"As my mom wiped the tears from my face, she said, 'Tyra, you know what we’re going to do about this? We’re going to go eat pizza.' We sat in a tiny pizzeria in Milan and strategized about how to turn my curves into a curveball. In a way, it was my decision not to starve myself that turned me into a supermodel, and later on, a businesswoman."

Spiritual journey leads to love for Tyra Banks >>

On the subject of her own weight Tyra Banks went on to write, "The truth is that if I was just starting to model at age 17 in 2012, I could not have had the career that I did. I would’ve been considered too heavy. In my time, the average model’s size was a four or six. Today you are expected to be a size zero. When I started out, I didn’t know such a size even existed."

So what are we to do? The ANTM creator, who considers herself a mentor to young models, advised, "There needs to be more industrywide protections for models, and we need to be more consistent with what the acting world does: Protect our minors, as well as the health and well-being of models."

Are you surprised to hear Tyra Banks admit she'd be considered too fat to start modeling now?

Image via WENN


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Comments on "Tyra Banks too fat? Chew on this open letter"

Babbs May 17, 2012 | 9:10 AM

As a 50 year old mom, I have lived my life the way others thought I should; and one of those conditions was to always loose weight! I was never thin enough which translated to never being "good" enough! Even after serving my country in the USAF, I still wasn't good enough and CONSTANTLY compared myself to other women (friends, co-workers, moms, etc) instead of accepting myself and saying to hell with everyone else..including fashion industry. What still pisses me off is why is a size 10, 12, 14 considered a "plus" sized model? I admire Tyra...but even on her show, a size 12 is considered "Plus" size! Maybe Tyra should reconsider the "sizing" qualifications on her ANTM show if she wants to see changes in the modeling/fashion industry. And why is it when I go shopping..there are PLENTY of size 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8's but the 10, 12, 14 are all sold out??? Hmmmmm, I wonder....

Marti May 17, 2012 | 5:42 AM

She's wise enough to know that "pushing 40" one either pays for collagen or allows "a few more". Wise is her middle name. Smart and to the point is what I like about her comments and use of her career. Top Model demonstrated an ability, as an ex-teacher I loved. She could level instruction to girls from various backgrounds, little training or experience,on respect, presentation, responsibility, looks, grooming and sense which was priceless for girls like these just starting out. NYC schools should engage her as a consulting advisor!

GeoBabe May 16, 2012 | 10:12 PM

I recently saw her speak in person at a Women's Business Conference, and not only is she incredibly beautiful in person but also intelligent, articulate and inspiring. I, too, thought of her as annoying based on ANTM but I am now a huge fan. Tyra is a woman who empowers other women. No cattiness in her. Love her.

TaylorsMom May 16, 2012 | 2:50 PM

I am so proud of her. I have spent the last 40 years starving myself to be skinny like I thought I had to be. Now I am 55 and absolutely hate myself. Not because I'm getting older but because no matter what I do I cannot get "skinny" enough due to hormones and thyroid. I have spent all these wasted years trying to be what I am told visually everyday that I was suppose to be. Super thin. It is too late for me. My life is over for the most part but maybe a young woman will see this and realize she does not have to be anyway but what makes her happy. You don't have to hate yourself like I do for the simple reason that I carry extra weight now. Learn to love yourself. I never could.

roxie deku May 16, 2012 | 2:32 PM

i have always respected Tyra and her truth is appreciated. Thank God someone has the audacity to speak up. With childhood obesity at an all time high, it is redemptive to hear the truth about the industry that spawns anorexic and bulemic models. The aim is for good health overall regardless of the medium we chose.

Crys May 16, 2012 | 2:27 PM

This just shows how the media supports an unhealthy body image, not only in young women but also in young men. We need to reclaim our media, because the only reason it got so bad was because we chose, and still choose, to buy into the messages it's sending.

annoyed May 16, 2012 | 2:23 PM

Is it really neccessary to say she said she would be 'too fat' when she never een used the word fat in her interview, at least, not in what you had added into your article. She was very cautious to use the word 'heavy'. She is not fat and that is why so many girls have eating disorders, just the word 'fat' is disrespectful to say to anyone now a days. Especially women.

Rayanne May 16, 2012 | 1:30 PM

How can one person be so right and so friggin annoying at the same time?

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