Since Vogue announced its ban of models under the age of 16, as well as any who appear to have an eating disorder, from all 19 of its magazine editions, the public has responded with a resounding “yes!,” but actual models have been slow to speak up, until now. Though she hasn’t hit the runway for some time, media mogul Tyra Banks has stepped up and endorsed Vogue’s bold move to protect young women in the industry and she also shared stories from her own experiences as a young model in an open letter on The Daily Beast. She wrote:
“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.”
Tyra said she knows if she were 17 in today’s world she would be too heavy to start a modeling career, with the average girl now expected to be a size zero, as opposed to a 4 or 6, as was the case when she started out. And as always, she credited her mother’s support of her career as a huge part of her success and said hopes other mothers will be as much of a positive example for their daughters.
“To moms everywhere, we need to educate our girls not to fall prey to thinspirational images of beauty. So where do we start? By being very careful about how we talk about our own bodies in front of our daughters. We can show our daughters diverse images of beautiful women: curvy, tall, short, and everything in-between. Moms, you are the first and most influential role model in your girl’s life. Use that power. Teach her to love herself and everything that makes her unique.”
Working a new Tyraism, the savvy media personality didn’t hesitate to point out the “flaw” she’s constantly been taunted about for years—her fore-, or five-head as she called it, and she encouraged other girls to celebrate being flawsome as well—which is basically you, plus your flaws, plus your awesomeness.
“To young girls everywhere, it’s sad that our bodies go in and out of style, just like fashion trends. One season we’re supposed to be a zero, and the next you’re supposed to be a six. Then you’re supposed to have a six-pack, but wait, now you’re supposed to be juicy … with a booty! It makes us feel crazy. Many of you are saying, ‘What the heck am I supposed to be?’ Exactly who you are right now: that’s who you need to be.”
Gotta love her positive example!