Tyra Banks Says At 17 & A Size 4 She Would Have Been 'Too Heavy' To Model In 2012

Tue, May 15, 2012 4:37pm EST by 5 Comments
Tyra Banks Too Fat To Model

The major model sheds light on how the industry has changed since when she started out, saying in her time she didn’t even know today’s size 0 standard ‘even existed’ in her time. She applauds ‘Vogue’ magazine’s new initiative to ban models with eating disorders and shares her personal struggles.

Tyra Banks is a household name that achieved supermodel super-stardom before becoming the powerful business woman she is today — but she points out how her career would have been nonexistent had she started out today with the shocking standards set by the demanding industry. “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,” Tyra wrote in an open letter to The Daily Beast.

Tyra’s tale is proof that the industry has spiraled out of control, and she applauds Vogue‘s new Health Initiative, while also offering up more steps that still need to be taken to protect the well-being of models. She even shares her own personal struggles as a young girl dealing with rejection — but instead of conforming to unhealthy standards, the star embraced her curves and carved out the career that led to where she is today.

“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.”

We think it’s fantastic that someone with such a successful career is speaking out so vocally, shedding light on how the industry has changed in such a short amount of time. Rather than point a finger at these super-skinny girls, it’s time more people start demanding changes from the industry. Tyra continues to be such a positive inspiration — and her personal story is so empowering!

Tyra says the Health Initiative should be celebrated with a ‘toast over some barbecue and burgers!’ — and we couldn’t agree with her more!

Katrina Mitzeliotis