Tyra Banks: "I Don’t Believe in Diets"

The TV star and model gets real about unrealistic beauty standards.

Posted: 08/09/2013 11:40 AM EDT

(Photo: FayesVision/WENN.com)

When it comes to Hollywood's pressure to stay thin through extreme measures, supermodel Tyra Banks has learned not to give in.

"I don't believe in diets," the America's Next Top Model host told Us Weekly at a screening for the show's new season on Aug. 7.

"To me, it's like, I lost weight a couple of years ago and that just changed the way I ate, it changed the way I thought. I actually got too thin because I have tunnel vision," she said. "So when they said this is what you have to do, I was too strict, and I realized I needed to cheat way more because it didn't look good. I didn't realize I was too thin until I started seeing pictures and I thought, 'Oh, I don't like that. That doesn't look good.' I need some a**."

When it comes to mentoring the aspiring models on her hit show, the 39-year-old beauty keeps the same approach in mind. "I don't do a good job of helping [my girls] lose weight, even if they might need to," she said. "We stock the house really bad, and then they complain, like, 'We're eating all this crap!' For me, I don't want them to feel all crazy like models in my day felt. I don't care — gain some weight, whatever. I know how to choose a shot that's the most flattering," the supermodel said.

But like many women, Banks admits, she does have body insecurities that get her down from time to time. "I have too much cellulite right now," Banks noted. "The shape is fine, but, honey, I have on stockings! I can't do short skirts without stockings anymore, so I don't like that."

While the star has faced criticism for her weight in the past, she refuses to let her career be defined by the size of her waistline.

"I was at the height of my success when I was at my biggest. So then I go, 'Why am I shedding weight for press when, like, I told the world to kiss my fat a** and had Emmys and Top Model was at its peak and I was on Time magazine's top influential people two times in a row — all with a big a**!"

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