I became a victim of mean girls. I became the victim of myself.
A size 16 can be the best shape for you, and you can be healthy.
When I was a model, they called me ‘Tyra;’ now it’s ‘Ms. Banks.’
I think the rise of Asian models is an absolutely beautiful thing.
You don’t have to have a ring on your finger to say, ‘I love you.’
I’m obsessed with the theme parks and themed restaurants, I love it!
I think I’m too young to be a mogul. I think I’m too young for that.
The creation of my cosmetics experience has been years in the making.
I don’t wake up with naturally sculpted cheekbones – I paint them on!
Don’t save bold lashes and red lips for nighttime – do it in the day!
I think every woman would want to do something about their cellulite!
I’m competitive with myself. I always try to push past my own borders.
When I was not connected with someone, I didn’t get asked out that often.
I think of dystopian as ‘Mad Max,’ as ‘Book of Eli,’ as the world is ending.
My most difficult class at Harvard Business School would have to be finance.
The runway symbolizes something in society that’s very intimidating to women.
When I’m coming offstage after my show, I’m thinking about what’s on my TiVo.
Screw being a singer! I wanna be the voice of my generation with my talk show.
I talked about adopting a baby when I was 20 years old, before it became ‘hip.’
I’ve made millions of dollars with the body I have, so where’s the pain in that?
I’ve wanted to adopt since I was eight, nine years old. I really do think I will.
My fingers used to hurt really bad when I played guitar. I stopped because of it.
I just think, as a model, it’s taught me to be a master of deception and illusion.
It’s so important to understand your good attendance ups your chances of graduating
I’m not sure exactly how gossiping about my life with my audience really helps them.
I think we should be unapologetic that we excel – and look beautiful while doing it.
I really want to leave something behind that means something when I’m no longer here.
Working women, moms, students, they don’t have a lot of time to spend on their faces.
What I don’t like to see is when models of different races come in and out of fashion.
The fire to inspire women and help them to blaze new paths fiercely burns inside of me.
You can’t model for the rest of your life, so it is important to diversify your career.
Sephora is fantastic. I go in there. I get lost. There are so many great things in there.
You’ve got to learn to accept the fool in you as well as the part that’s got it goin’ on.
One of the big, most underlying messages for me is celebrating beauty that is not typical.
I enjoy doing fashion shows and transforming myself into different looks for photo shoots.
I’m obsessed with making women look and feel more beautiful than they ever thought possible.
Moms, you are the first and most influential role model in your girl’s life. Use that power.
My mom never taught me to be waiting for some prince on a white horse to swipe me off my feet.
I know the pain of somebody who’s too thin and the pain of somebody that people say is too big.
I don’t have the best self esteem; mine wavers month to month, but I know how to pick myself up.
There’s always going to be dreams and goals I have, but I never really tell people what they are.
Black women don’t have the same body image problems as white women. They are proud of their bodies.
Being first lady is not just about being the wife but really taking command and having true vision.
If I tried to start modeling right now, I wouldn’t be a supermodel because it’s all about celebrity.
I made my living being 20 or 30 pounds heavier than the average model. And that’s where I got famous.
Designers are very fickle. I never wanted to be a victim of that. You’re in one minute, out the next.
I haven’t seen the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre. I haven’t seen anything. I don’t really care.
I gave myself a year to be a supermodel. And I said, ‘If it doesn’t happen, I’m going back to school.’
I don’t like expensive things… I just can’t help looking in a magazine for the splurge and the save.
Blue and green eyes will be so common that dark brown will become the rare and newly desired eye color.
If you can think psychographically and not demographically, you can really target a lot more audiences.
Sometimes I’ll use four or five different photo apps on one photo just to get it where I want it to be.
I love all kinds of bread. Whenever I crave junk food, I want salty things like peanuts or potato chips.
I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s okay if there are flaws here and there.
I look up to Martha Stewart, and I love that she has product lines that are true extensions of her brand.
‘America’s Next Top Model’ is not a bunch of Barbies – it’s a lot of girls that are atypically beautiful.
I think one of the biggest things that affects young women is when they hear their mothers using fat talk.
I volunteer a lot of my time with an organization in New York called The Center for Children and Families.
I love food and feel that it is something that should be enjoyed. I eat whatever I want. I just don’t overeat.
Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.
Even when I was a teen model, I didn’t think it was fair that I had to enter the acting world to get insurance.
The one thing I like about being a celebrity more than anything is being able to get into any restaurant I want.
I have a big forehead, and I got made fun of all time. When I was a little girl, they used to call me ‘five-head.’
I have a lot of success and make a good living, but after while, you start going ‘Why? Why are you doing all this?’
I have a poverty demon. I’ll ask my accountant if I can afford something, and he’ll say, ‘What are you talking about?’
I’m not led by money, because if that’s the case, I can throw my name on everything and have a million-dollar company.
There have been top supermodels in the past that weren’t as tall as the industry demands, like fashion icon Kate Moss.
I have scars on the backs of my arms from dressers in Paris scraping me with pins as I was taking a shirt or gown off.
In high school I definitely had a clique of friends. And what I loved about it was that we were healthy and good girls.
I am protective of my own personal life, but I must confess that I enjoy watching people that don’t mind telling it all.
Dab – don’t rub – cream formulas onto your skin. Rubbing washes out the color, so do that only if you’ve put on too much.
The future is in photos for social media. More and more people are not reading, so I try to attach a photo to most Tweets.
Journalists told me that a talk show wouldn’t work. Some told me I was going to get canceled before my first season was up.
‘Vogue’ has the power to make and break – whether it’s fashion trends, designers, models, and yes, even industry practices.
Paris is one of the most beautiful places in all the world. Unfortunately, I was so homesick I couldn’t appreciate its beauty.
I was backstage in Paris and saw Cindy Crawford doing House Of Style. I thought, I would love to to be in control of my career.
My freshman year, I ran for student class president and lost. The next year, I ran for student class vice president, and I won.
Black women have always been these vixens, these animalistic erotic women. Why can’t we just be the sexy American girl next door?
I want to be like the athletes who seem stuck in time. When you see them at 50, you say they probably can still run like a champ.
I had had an extroverted personality with a lot of friends, but when I lost the weight and grew so tall, I withdrew within myself.
Who would have thought that the girl who was forced to go to the hospital because she’s so skinny would one day be called too fat?
I don’t have that ‘OMG, I gotta get married’ thing! If it happens, it happens, but it’s never been like, ‘Oooo, I need to do that!’
I feel more comfortable when I’m lighter – I sleep better, I snore less, I have more endurance when I work out, my arms look better.
With the whole supermodel thing, even when you’re not really modeling anymore, people still call me that. And I’m like ‘… retired.’
I look at myself and pick out the things I don’t like. No matter how much I work out, I never get muscle tone in my butt and hip area.
My aunt used to call me light bulb head because my head is small at the bottom and bigger at the top. But it was a term of endearment.
Whenever someone says I’m the next Oprah, I always respond, ‘Child, there’s only one Mahogany, and only one Oprah.’ There are no others.
I used to really panic about finals. I didn’t understand the concept of how you could have one test that encompasses the entire semester.
I am intimidated by that eyeliner in a pot. You have to take a brush and wet it and then dip it in and get it straight. It’s just a mess.
Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!
People always ask me if I’m going to stop modeling because I have started an acting career. I hope to continue to model for years to come.
I’m not afraid of wanting money at all. Money will give me more power to do things that are truer to my spirit than what I’m already doing.
I’ve made mistakes before of doing different projects just based on my dreams, my hopes, my thing, and not really thinking about my customers.
I get so much mail from young women saying that they are so insecure when they look at me, but they don’t realize all of the flaws that I have.
I don’t go to the cool, trendy restaurants. I go to either the holes in the wall or the super-fancy restaurants where there are no cool people.
It’s kind of embarrassing, but in my early 20s, I used to want to be a princess. But I didn’t want to have to marry somebody in order to do it!
I went through an obsession with eyebrows. I used to paint my eyebrows really, really strong. I look back now, and some were a little bit strong.
I’m very comfortable speaking to millions of people, but not comfortable in a small, intimate social setting. Like cocktail hour. I get very panicky.
It was hard to get guys to notice me, period, because I was so skinny and all my friends were curvy. Plus, I used to be very nervous in front of guys.
I used to say in interviews that I don’t necessarily want to be the first black woman or first model to do certain things; I just want to see it done.
Now I know that I should take better care of myself when I’m under an intense deadline, or else my body is gonna act in certain ways that are not good.
I’m frugal. I’ve always been this way. When I was young, my mom would give me my allowance, and I’d peel off a little each week and have some to spare.
When I went to Paris after graduating high school, I saw a model who was 12 years old without any supervision. That wouldn’t happen in the acting world.
I don’t want to use the term ‘plus-size,’ because, to me, what the hell is that? It just doesn’t have a positive connotation to it. I tend to not use it.
I grew up wearing a uniform to school, and now I have my stylist come to my apartment and create outfits for me to wear. Otherwise, I’d never get dressed.
I don’t think me walking away from modeling was scary for me. In hindsight, I think it was very risky, when you talk about risk. Because it paid the bills.
I don’t have to have a child come from my womb to have a connection. Children that are already born are beautiful to me. I can definitely be a mother to them.
I don’t think cellulite is great – that’s not a flaw that I want in a photo by any means! I retouch that crap out. But I tell women that I’m retouching it out.
What keeps me up at night? Sometimes it’s day-to-day work stuff. And a lot of the times, it’s, ‘Am I making the wrong decisions in terms of reaching young women?’
From offstage until the moment I walk onstage, I constantly tweak my talk show and ‘Top Model’, but at the same time, I often leave my private life by the wayside.
I have a long list of different smiles that you can do, and every model should be equipped. Everybody can’t handle the long list… That’s for, you know, advanced.
I did an episode on my talk show on cellulite, and I brought seven women into a dressing room at Nordstrom’s in L.A., and we all sat and talked about our cellulite.
With ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ I’ve always cast girls who the industry might call ‘plus size’ but I like to call ‘fiercely real.’ That was always important to me.
I love being able to go to a store, let’s say… a store like Topshop or Zara or maybe even Macy’s, depends on what department, and not have to look at the price tag.
I went to school for me – I didn’t do it to make any sort of statement. So the very first year I was in school, I wasn’t there under my own name. It was very incognito.
I tend to hang out with my friends in Los Angeles from high school. We know each other from back in the day. They still see me as just dumb Tyra. We have a strong bond.
I would not recommend a teen getting into modeling if they’re not solid when it comes to their grades and school. That comes first. My mother always told me that came first.
My mom was a medical photographer, but on the side, she did a before-and-after glam photography business in the house. She would do makeup and hair – and I was her assistant.
‘Modelland’ has always been a part of my mind and my heart. I’m excited that you’ll be able to read about this magical world that’s been living in my dreams for so many years.
Models now need to promote themselves, think like businesswomen and diversify their careers by doing other things. Chances are very slim that a mere model will become a household name today.
Don’t contour with blush – that’s so eighties. It was an amazing trend then, but it’s not hot now. Instead, go for a neutral contour color that’s one or two shades deeper than your skin tone.
I loved planning ‘The Tyra Show’ more than actually having to do it. I loved coming up with show ideas, honing each program and crafting it. I’m more excited being in a meeting than being on TV.
Because beauty will be so readily accessible, and skin color and features will be similar, prejudices based on physical features will be nearly eradicated. Prejudice will be socioeconomically based.
It is important for women to feel beautiful when she looks in the mirror, and I tell women, ‘If you don’t feel beautiful, find one thing that you can look in that mirror and say, ‘That is beautiful.’
I don’t know how to be sexy on a date. Put up a camera and a wind machine, and I’ll give you sexy. Put me at a dinner table with some candlelight and the moon shining in and, oh, I will give you dork.
I wish I was harder; I wish I didn’t care so much about being the nice girl all the time because a lot of the time people can take kindness for weakness, so I wish I had a little bit more ‘oomph’ in me.
Rihanna told me her parents used to argue so intensely, she used to get these headaches, these migraines that were almost not even treatable with medicine. The moment her parents separated, her migraines went away.
The president of Victoria’s Secret promised me a lifetime supply of Victoria’s Secret products, even after I decided to leave the company. But once I left, he only let me have it for a year. So I have a bone to pick.
We are often told we can’t have brains and beauty, and I really hope that my message is that you can put on that red lip and curl your hair and put on that power dress – you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
On ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ I mentor girls on television. When that TV goes off, I actually mentor other girls in the modeling industry – girls that have not been on ‘Top Model,’ but who appear in ‘Vogue’ worldwide.
As I look into the future, I see radical changes in both how people ‘attain beauty,’ and how the world perceives beauty. In general, I believe traditional beauty will be less valuable – and more uniqueness will be heralded.
On ‘America’s Top Model,’ I’ve always told my girls to smile with their eyes. We call it ‘smizing.’ Over the years, it’s actually become part of pop culture. I would be walking down the street, and girls would say, ‘Smize!’
I’m trying to build a strong business. I want to create new stars, new shows and new products for my audience and create a legacy that outlives me. There are so many other ways I want to reach women besides doing a talk show.
I went from being very popular and the head of the clique in the sixth grade to having, like, kid depression in the seventh grade. Not leaving the house. Not looking people in the eye… My body made me feel bad at everything.
When I think about moguls, I think like Donald Trump who… owns NYC practically. That’s a mogul. I feel like I’m on my way to a lot more, but mogul is a really serious thing. I think it’s a word that gets thrown around easily.
I didn’t have a job because nobody would hire me. My friends were getting hired, and I couldn’t even get a job interview. That really rocked my self-esteem because I didn’t understand what I did wrong on those job applications.
When I was a young girl, I lost a lot of weight over one summer – involuntarily – and was just really depressed and sad. There was nothing I could do to gain weight. I would look in the mirror and call myself disgusting every day.
It’s not like I want to hop on a bandwagon, because I said it 15 years ago – bringing a child into your life who is not genetically yours is one of the most beautiful things you can do. But I’m also interested in having my own baby, too.
One thing my mom used to tell me was to look to the other side, and know that my present is not going to be everything. So if I’m having a bad day, she goes, ‘Just imagine tomorrow. This is going to be over. This is going to be done with.’
When modeling agencies were saying that I was too big and gaining weight, my mom said, ‘OK, we’re going to discuss what they’re saying over pizza, and we’re going to plan the future of your career which doesn’t involve you having to be skinny.’
Global warming will threaten our crops, so natural food will be scarce. Hourglass, curvy bodies will be the aspirational beauty standard, representing that those women have access to bounties of fulfilling yet healthy food, which means they are affluent.
Smiles come naturally to me, but I started thinking of them as an art form at my command. I studied all the time. I looked at magazines, I’d practice in front of the mirror and I’d ask photographers about the best angles. I can now pull out a smile at will.
I created ‘America’s Next Top Model’ one-hundred percent. I was in my kitchen making tea one morning, and I looked out the window, and the idea popped into my head. I wanted it to be ‘American Idol’ meets ‘Ford Supermodel of the Year’ meets ‘The Real World.’
Just because you don’t know if other people are experiencing the same thing as you are, it doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. Everybody doesn’t necessarily share everything. Just know that what you’re going through, other people are going through it, too.
I was always a good student. I wasn’t the A-plus student, but I studied really hard, and I probably had a 3.2. I always wished that I had the capacity to get straight A’s, but I didn’t. I didn’t beat myself up about it, but I really studied hard for my grades.
I was embarrassed when a businessman friend asked, ‘What’s the yearly budget of your talk show? What’s the per-episode budget?’ And I looked at him with these blank, typical-model eyes and said, ‘I don’t know.’ I call myself a businesswoman, and I don’t know that?
Years ago, when I first started wearing hair extensions, I would get mail from young girls, or young girls would come up to me and they would say, ‘Tyra you have the most beautiful hair, like I could never grow hair like that!’ And I would say ‘Child, this is a weave!’
I’ve been singing for six years. I’ve been in and out of the studios with top producers, but it wasn’t something I was ready to express to the public or to the press. I wasn’t ready to come out. I wanted to perfect my voice and be 100 percent positive that I could come out right.
Tyra the businesswoman is very close to – and I hate third person, but you said it, oh, chiiild, you said it – but me the businessperson and me the person: very similar. I can be in a business meeting and be all ‘Wooo!’ and ‘Oh, child!’ and still be talking revenues and profits and cash flows.
A while ago I said that, ‘You know, I like a guy – he doesn’t have to be all rich and famous – he can be normal.’ And I remember I was walking in the mall, and this guy was like, ‘Tyra, I’m normal. I live with my mama. I ain’t got a car and I ain’t got a job! I’m real normal.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s not normal – that’s a loser!’
I’ve helped some of my classmates on how to strategize to get to the next level of their businesses. And it’s interesting, because here I am sitting there from the entertainment industry and the fashion industry, and I’m giving a billionaire that has a business that’s been in his family for 300 years – I’m giving him advice about strategy!
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