In an open letter to models featured in the Daily Beast, Tyra Banks speaks out on today’s modeling industry saying, “The truth is that 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.”
News of these unhealthy requirements shouldn’t come as a surprise to the general public since there has been a lot of backlash towards the industry about too-skinny models and eating disorders. All of this bad press has paid off apparently as the standards for models are changing, though perhaps slowly.
Proof of this improvement was shown when earlier this May, 19 international editors of Vogue magazine pledged to abstain from featuring models who are under 16 years of ageor appear to have an eating disorder.
Banks, 38, describes her beginning years in the industry, “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.”
The model states that the the support of her mom, Caroline, was what made the biggest difference saying, “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 eat pizza.’ We sat in a tiny pizzeria in Milan and strategized about how to turn my curves into a curveball.”
This is the kind of attitude toward their health that women and girls everywhere should take up! Tyra writes of how this has impacted her life, ”In a way, it was my decision not to starve myself that turned me into a supermodel, and later on, a businesswoman.”
She also created a new term that helps women and girls embrace their beauty,
“It’s you + your flaws + awesome = ‘flawsome’ . . .
Never forget that you are fabulous,
you are fierce, you are flawsome.”