Tyra Banks: Too Fat To Be A Young Model Now, She Says

    May 16, 2012
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

In the wake of Vogue Magazine’s recent announcement that they would no longer allow models who appear to have an eating disorder to grace their pages, Tyra Banks has written an open letter to The Daily Beast, urging women–especially mothers–to love their bodies and not to let social pressures dictate what they choose to look like.

She also says that if she was her younger self starting out in today’s modeling world, she wouldn’t have made it.

“…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,” she wrote.

She reveals that when she was starting out in the fashion world, she saw a lot of concerning behavior among her peers, girls who would starve themselves to conform to the industry’s standard “sample size”, which is usually a 0 or a 2. The issue facing young girls today is that they are inundated with negative messages about what their bodies should be, and the images facing them from magazine covers are that of airbrushed perfection, which is far from reality. Young girls need to be taught at an early age to love their bodies, and to be kind to themselves.

Actress Ashley Judd recently penned an open letter to The Daily Beast as well, for a similar cause. It started when backlash ensued after she appeared in public looking “puffy” because of medication she was taking. The media had a field day with it, even going so far as to speak to a plastic surgeon (who had no ties to Judd) for an opinion on what sort of surgery she may have had done to cause the puffiness.

“When I have gained weight, going from my usual size two/four to a six/eight after a lazy six months of not exercising, and that weight gain shows in my face and arms, I am a “cow” and a “pig” and I “better watch out” because my husband “is looking for his second wife.” (Did you catch how this one engenders competition and fear between women? How it also suggests that my husband values me based only on my physical appearance? Classic sexism. We won’t even address how extraordinary it is that a size eight would be heckled as “fat.”),” she wrote.

Banks has famously spoken out about society’s obsession with size, and for that reason she is a role model to many young women. While the issue is far from being solved, it’s an awesomely powerful thing that Vogue has taken this step against featuring waif-like models in their pages.

  • aris

    tell it like it is!

    • lizzie du.

      r u stupid

  • Jill King

    If Tyra says that young girls should “love their body”, why the hell did she say that when the time came that she WOULD get plastic surgery?????? Sounds like a major hypocrite to me!!!

    • carlus

      Dude she is talking about eating disorders , not cosmetic surgery . And yes both can be an addiction …

  • Brent

    I think the whole idea of needing to be a size zero is crazy, girls look good 4 6 8 10, but you cant say the the obese youth its ok to be overweight.

    • elliette

      you all dont know what youre talking about

  • elliette

    no comment



  • http://tyrabanks kathleen

    Let’s let people be who they are…good idea? I think so

  • Paul

    love your body..but if you want money/fame/your own tv show when you retire/any man you want…skinny is IN!! lol

  • Diva

    Whatever! Societies’ view of what is right when it comes to weight is solely based upon an individuals opinion. With that being said, I believe that this is a form of bullying and with ALL of the hype and light brought these days to that such crime, well you would have to somewhat agree. Fortunately, I have not experienced being over weight or even told that I was regardless to the fact that I have been and still am a good size. I commend Tyra for her efforts and all others who have taken a stand against this type of bullying. Being healthy does not equate to being thin. Personally, I think that a size “0” is ridiculous! If that isn’t what your metabolism has required, then YOU ARE UNHEALTHY at that size. Thank GOD I was taught to be confident in myself and not conform to what others think I should look like.

  • annoyed

    this is crazy. women need to have busts and curves. that’s SEXY. and another thing, if tyra is “too fat” i don’t know what the fuck i am then. -_-

  • Tyty

    Huh, she wasn’t too fat, she was just too FINE.(healthy/Thick)

  • Robert

    When Tyra Banks says “kiss my fat ass!”; I’m thinking, well, I might actually consider that proposition, however, prior to diving into such an endeavor I have to carefully consider the reasonable question “can she effectively clean such a large thing?” especially before I commit to such a poignantly, intimate engagement. I mean, she’s really nice to look at, butt….

    • http://webpronews.com Tina Goodson


      • Tina

        That So Gross!!

  • Ray

    Yeah, I think the whole anorexic thing is overplayed. But the far, far larger and worse problem is the other eating disorder: obesity. For every “size zero” adult woman there are about 100 obese ones from what I see.

    Sure, everyone wants to jump onboard and express their “shock” about these models (’cause, afterall, it makes them feel better about their own weight issues), but how common is that really? Tell ya what, next time you’re at the mall, count how many women are “too” thin, and compare them to the obese folks. No comparison.

    • http://webpronews.com Tina Goodson

      We r walking a fine line, huh? I think either extreme just unhealthy. Eating too little or eating too much. It is a matter of listening to your body. If you are eating to live instead of living to eat, you will be healthy and your appearance will reflect that.

    • Alexa

      They both play off of eachother. Societies unnrealistic image for women put women under huge emmotional stress to fullfill that image and eventual distress when they fail. They learn to ignore these feelings (because they dont know how to get rid of them otherwise) by distractions such as eating. This even applies to people who are anorexic, but they handle it by using their means of not eating as a control factor.

      My point is, if societys message was just to be okay with YOU NOW, people would not be the same today as they are.

  • http://yahoo jill

    I have gone through anorexia before and it was not maijor ( hospitalisation ect.) And sometimes i do cry because i think I’m fat and this is a serious issue and I’m glad so many people are taking a step to end this. Also all people are beauitful simply because God made us in his image AND God doesn’t make junk! Soceity shouldn’t create the idea perfect woman. ( curvy.) ALso all people are made differently and its not fair to tell someone they need to gain weight or loose weight everyone’s body is different. Sometimes people say i need to eat more and that I’m way to skinny and that its gross. You know what I say? EVERYONE’S BODY TYPE IS DIFFERENT AND I DO EAT FYI! so yah just know what is right for you and if you know you eat correctly that’s all that matters.IF you are overweight that’s not okay and could cause serious health issues same with too skinny!

  • jessica

    bones are for dog and meat are for men

    • Cindy G

      Not even a dog wants a bone. Have you ever noticed them bury one w/meat on it?
      A dog does not want a bone, that’s why they bury them. Just trying to lighten things up a bit.
      When I was young I was tall (6ft) and very thin. Had to endure being taunted by not only the school kids, but also my father.
      I wanted so much to look like the shorter girls w/the big legs and round rear ends. However, once I became an adult, left the South, began working on Wall Street, Madison Ave., I could not walk down the Street without someone appraoaching me to either Model or enter Beauty Pageants. Unfortunately I was not an exhibitionist by nature, so I would politely decline the many offers. Even today in my 60s I still attract attention without trying. Yes it is positive and flattering. But the one thing that gives me the greatest pleasure is when I do go home to NC for a visit, everyone recognizes me, but many of the girls whom I wished to to look like in my youth are very much overweight, tired looking and many of them look more like my parents than my peers or former classmates……… I guess there is some justice, but I dare not gloat too much, for I may wake up tomorrow weighing 500 pounds.I say to Tyra,keep up the good work…..its a battle far from being over.
      I know how it feels to be taunted, overlooked and omitted. Although my adult years have been wonderful, Some of the scars of my youth are still there in my psyche.
      I say love, value and cherish yourself. Your true beauty will shine, shine , shine!

  • http://vogue Tralenee

    Great going Vogue you have been serving the communities for years with Heavenly Father’s beautiful creation’s pictures!!! We love to see them and look around in your entertainment magazines!. The girls don’t need to starve themselves!!! God bless you!!!!

  • Heather Dazzle

    I am by no means a size zero, but I am friends with two very small girls who are about a foot shorter than me, and they wear size zeros naturally, without starving themselves – my point is that some skinny/small girls can’t always control how skinny/small they are, and we shouldn’t hate them, because they have just as many body image issues as a woman who wears a size ten. Comments like “you have to have curves to be sexy,” can be just as damaging as “you have to be underweight to look appealing” to our less buxom lady friends

  • Rob

    Americans are only now waking up to the fact that Miss Thunderthighs is a little overweight !