Tyra Banks Pens Open Letter to Models About Body Image

The model also announced the new additions to the America's Next Top Model staff.

Posted: 05/21/2012 12:21 PM EDT
Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks might have a body the rest of us dream we possessed, but the supermodel recently said that she was banned by several designers once she started developing her curves and that if she'd tried to start her career today, she'd be deemed too fat for fashion. Banks penned an open letter to other models and women with body issues criticizing the industry's obsession with "too thin" looks.

"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," Tyra wrote on The Daily Beast.

She recalls working with girls who have suffered from this struggle for perfection and are malnourished in order to fit into tiny sizes. But the letter wasn't full of criticisms as Banks also praised Vogue's latest move to not work with models under the age of 16 or any who appear to have an eating disorder.

"This calls for a toast over some barbecue and burgers!" Tyra writes. "Vogue is stepping up, doing the right thing, and protecting that girl. Perhaps that girl is you!"

Banks is such an influential name in the market so it's great to hear her stand up for herself and models of all shapes, shades and sizes around the world. She recently fired her America's Next Top Model staff to take the show in a different direction and will bring on Rob Evans, an international male model, to join Kelly Cutrone and Banks on the judge's panel while celeb stylist Johnny Wujek will serve as the new creative consultant. This time around, viewers will have a say on which models should win the 19th season of the competition.


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