Would Tyra Banks Be Considered 'Too Heavy' to Be a Model Today?

Living 2012/05/17 17:12:16
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Tyra Banks has transformed her modeling success into an impressive career spanning fashion and TV. But if she were getting her start today, looking like she did as a teenager, she says she'd be considered too fat to get hired. Find out what her mom had to say about it at 1:10 in the video below!

In an open letter congratulating Vogue for its recent decision to ban "too skinny" models, Tyra writes in The Daily Beast: "Many of you have graciously said that you want to have the same type of career that I’ve had....But 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."

"In my early 20s I was a size four," she writes. "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." Do you think young Tyra would be considered "too heavy" to be a model today?
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  • Texas Gal 2012/05/19 21:01:57
    Texas Gal
    Oh please! -- I think there are probably a lot more of us women who are a size 12 or above than the ones that are a size 0 - 4. I get catalogs that are supposed to be for size 14, 16, 18, and up -- and the model that they will have on the front looks like she might be a size 6 at the most. Show me how the clothes are going to look on someone my size - a 16. It is after all a plus size catalog. Don't try and make me think that by looking at a model that is a size 6 that if I buy that same shirt - it's going to be the same. Get real! There are plenty of regular women and models who are not skinny that are very attractive -- and smart as well. What kind of message are we sending to our girls and young women. If you aren't a skinny female then you are wrong - you don't fit in? I don't want to be a part of perpetuating that kind of thinking. (Meanwhile, a large portion of the men can have a belly hanging over their pants and that's considered o.k. for them -- while those same men think that a woman should be perfect in appearance - another double standard.)
  • dekecds Texas Gal 2012/05/19 21:07:34
    While I agree that the stereotypical model is way out of line, I have never seen a "belly" on a male model. Those standards are just as bad. Those models workout and excercise much of the time. Time that a normal person just doesn't have.
  • Texas Gal dekecds 2012/05/19 21:14:19
    Texas Gal
    My reference to the males was in reference to an average male - not a male model. I was doing a little venting -- I have seen and heard men who were in less than good physical condition make remarks about women who weren't in any less of a good physical shape than they themselves were - and the men romp on the women because they are less than trim. On top of that, when a woman has gone through childbearing, often it changes our bodies in a way that doesn't come back afterwards.
  • dekecds Texas Gal 2012/05/19 21:28:03
    Yeah, I have experienced that with friends a LOT! I'm like "Really? You couldn't touch her with a ten foot pole, but your saying she's too chubby? Look in the mirror there chunky dunk!"
  • Texas Gal dekecds 2012/05/19 21:48:19
    Texas Gal
  • L K 2012/05/19 20:57:41
    L K
    No, she is a beautiful woman no matter what she weighs.
  • Melody 2012/05/19 20:56:48
    Personally I don't think she's all that attractive, but calling her fat is ridiculous.
    What is fat to that industry is at or below normal/healthy body weight for a woman.
    Women aren't supposed to have flat bellies, perfect/tiny butts, and huge breasts.
    Sure, some are naturally really thin, but that doesn't mean everyone should be or should be told they need to be.
  • Rob Williams 2012/05/19 20:51:43
    Rob Williams
    I'd like to think that 'No' is the right answer but I'm not 100% sure, sadly.

    I know that there's an argument that slimmer models make the clothes look better because they hang more nicely but isn't that a form of misrepresentation? Have a range of models of different sizes so that you can see what the clothes will look like when you wear them!

    Silly me... no one will buy them then!
  • Jay 2012/05/19 20:08:27
    I dont think she should enter the modeling industry again...people are too mean.
  • cheighti g 2012/05/19 19:59:16
    cheighti g
    she's a cheese of alot smaller than me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
  • FromJesus'sPerspective 2012/05/19 19:49:57
    Tyra is smart and beautiful regardless of her size and has the experience to show any garment.

    fat tyra modeling
  • hippietim 2012/05/19 18:54:44
    Probably not, there would be a runway happy 2 host her catwalking feet I have no doubt!

    Tim o' thee

    :o) https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akama...
  • mae 2012/05/19 18:28:42
    Tyra is correct saying that she would be too heavy to model couture--as she did during her modeling career. Now? she would be considered a Plus-size model--a route she seems adverse to taking. Too bad, since over 50% of American women would now be considered Plus-sized if they were to become models.
  • it'skrissie!d:) 2012/05/19 17:06:31
    You know what? Our society is screwed up as hell. Watch Girl Model. Tell me if our society is functional. Beauty does not matter, people. There are beautiful girls and are complete psychos! Now, if you excuse me, I am going to go get a cookie. Peace
  • Rainon 2012/05/19 16:14:18
    I need cushion for the pushin'
  • hippietim Rainon 2012/05/19 18:56:24
    My dearly departed, dearly beloved grandmother Esther would've called it pleasingly plump!


  • Sew 2012/05/19 16:11:29
    God I hate the world of modeling. Turing what would otherwise be beautiful women into bags of bones in their pursuit of a figure most men don't even find attractive. I like curves, I like something to hold onto, and guess what. So do most other men. Stupid modeling.
  • cheighti g Sew 2012/05/19 20:00:50
    cheighti g
    dude i have ur avatar hanging up in my room!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 creapy.
  • Joanna the Great 2012/05/19 15:59:11 (edited)
    Joanna the Great
    She answered the question in the article. She was a size four and models today are a size 0 - 2.

    will thicker chicks please STOP making nasty jealous comments about skinny chicks? Implying that someone is anorexic and "not a real woman" just because they are slender is hurtful and rude. YOU don't want to be called a big fat cow, right? Don't take your insecurities out on skinny girls. I lost a lot of weight a couple years ago (120+ lbs.) and when I was fat, I was jealous of the thinner girls and (wrongly) thought their lives were perfect just because they were thin, so any teasing I did at their expense was fine. Now I'm a size six, and while complete strangers don't call me a "fat ass" any longer, I do have to deal with being told that "real women have curves", like I'm a fake woman or something, and friends of mine who liked me when I was fat (and they are fat too) all think I have a bitchy pompous attitude and don't talk to me anymore, but the only thing that has changed is that I'm thin now.

    I don't think ANY woman should ever be nasty about ANY woman's weight. If you think you're beautiful, love yourself for it, but DON'T try to justify your body type by calling someone else FAT or ANOREXIC.
  • Adam Joanna ... 2012/05/19 19:04:19 (edited)
    Brilliant. I feel like, as a guy, I'm hardly in a position of authority to comment on what women have to deal with in terms of body image. Sure, I feel a certain amount of pressure lose a couple of pounds, but I know that as a guy, the stakes are not made out by society to be as high. But this obsessive, "Real women have curves" thing is crazy, however well intentioned it is.

    Way I see it, you can have really skinny and really curvy girls, and they can all be beautiful. My nerd may be showing here, but I'm thinking compare Summer Glau and Christina Hendricks. Both are drop dead gorgeous, and are both very different body types. And I also feel like we are ignoring that our sedentary life style leads to us being too heavy, and thats in addition to genetics. If you are overweight, male of female, that's not a good thing: It may be a small thing in comparison to your intelligence, personality, and drive, but still, if you take the effort to lose, well...120 pounds...then you are awesome, you have put a lot of effort and sacrifice into bettering yourself, and that deserves celebrating.

    I think that having these ideals of beauty are fine, as long as they are obtainable, appropriate ideals exist for all women, and are not obsessive and don't replace more important traits. Personally, I see male actors in shows and movies and the like, and it makes me want to commit to my XC running regiment that much more strongly. I think that's a good thing.
  • liz Joanna ... 2012/05/20 00:18:59
    WoW! for someone that should be so happy for losing weight sounds still very uptight, you might want to have a piece of candy Or at least a Cheeseburger " REAL MEN LOVE DANGEROUS CURVES" sorry your missing out :)
  • Joanna ... liz 2012/05/21 05:09:13
    Joanna the Great
    not uptight, just tired of my fellow women always putting each other down because they feel ashamed of their bodies.

    i'm not missing out on anything.
  • Brynn Joanna ... 2012/05/20 10:05:03
    Why did you vote that Tyra is too heavy then?
  • Joanna ... Brynn 2012/05/21 05:11:58
    Joanna the Great
    the question isn't "is Tyra too heavy", the question was "Would Tyra Banks be considered too heavy to be a model today". It said when Tyra started modeling she was a size four, but today models are expected to be a size 0 - 2. Therefore, yes she would have been too heavy to be a MODEL TODAY. I personally don't think she is "too heavy", but the modeling world does.
  • Adam 2012/05/19 14:48:48
    I'm loath to contradict a person with direct experience in something I am barely aware of but...wasn't the mid 90's or so the height of the whole, "Heroine Chic" look, with lots of exposed ribs and anorexia was celebrated? Sure, modern day modeling is hardly a paradise of reasonable body expectations, but we also have had a boom of larger women as sex symbols, and by larger I mean closer to average. What guy doesn't melt into a pool of jelly at the sight of Christina Hendricks, and she is much larger then Banks, albeit most of that weight is concentrated in a...certain area.
    christina hendricks
    I think that Banks would have a better chance today then when she started. Maybe i'm wrong, maybe i'm misreading, maybe the people who choose the models haven't caught up to public's slowly growing more reasonable expectations. One way or another, she's a beautiful girl.
  • Matt Adam 2012/05/19 17:39:16
    lol i think you mean heroin chic...
  • Adam Matt 2012/05/19 18:45:13
    Ha! Yeah, I'm always very self conscious of misspelling Heroine as Heroin, and apparently, I over-corrected.

    If i wanted to try for a slick recovery, I could say that the slow transformation of beauty standards from sickly thin to athletic, healthy builds is, "Going from Heroin Chic to Heroine Chic".
  • Matt Adam 2012/05/20 14:00:21
    nice recovery!!!
  • kduchen 2012/05/19 14:45:55
    By the standards of the industry, unfortunetly..not by mine.
  • mk, Smartass Oracle 2012/05/19 14:36:39
  • ♥wreckl... mk, Sma... 2012/05/19 18:35:49
  • mk, Sma... ♥wreckl... 2012/05/19 18:40:39
  • ♥wreckl... mk, Sma... 2012/05/19 18:43:15
    No, but look at her now. Does that look "too overweight" now?
  • mk, Sma... ♥wreckl... 2012/05/19 19:32:21
  • ♥wreckl... mk, Sma... 2012/05/19 19:56:30
    It's not a joke..
  • mk, Sma... ♥wreckl... 2012/05/19 20:04:25
  • ♥wreckl... mk, Sma... 2012/05/19 20:12:02
  • mk, Sma... ♥wreckl... 2012/05/20 16:58:40
  • wes 2012/05/19 13:56:06
    Not for plus size though, so I guess I should've said 'No'......
  • pottersgirl 2012/05/19 13:46:50
    tyra banks is really beautiful

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2016/02/07 15:03:56

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