From model to supermodel and even television personality, Tyra Banks, 41, is a name that is well known around Hollywood. Starting her modeling career at age 15, Tyra got noticed real quickly for her mesmerizing eyes and luscious curves. But it wasn’t always like that for Tyra. When she was only 11 years old she was considered ugly and she lost 30 pounds in three months.

The beginning

Tyra Banks as Victoria's secret angelAs soon as she got to Milan at age 16 she booked 25 shows at the Paris Fashion Week in 1991. Tyra was the only African American woman on the cover of GQ magazine and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and in 1997 she was again the first African American on the cover of Victoria’s Secret catalog, winning the award for “Supermodel of the Year” by VH1.

About her time at Victoria’s Secret, Tyra said “I made my living being 20 or 30 pounds heavier than the average model.


The model-turned-business-woman has her own trademark: “Smize” which means “smiling with your eyes”. Her runways rival was supermodel Naomi Campbell that was reported to convince Karl Lagerfeld to ban Tyra from Chanel’s catwalk.

She has been romantically linked to singer Seal and actor Will Smith and from 2001 to 2004 to basketball player Chris Webber.

TV appearances

Tyra Banks on runawayShe also made several appearances on TV series such as “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “The Price is Right” and movies like “Coyote Ugly” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie”.

She appeared in music videos like “Black or White” by Michael Jackson, “Too Funky” by George Michael and in Tina Turner’s “Love Thing”. Tyra was the host to “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Tyra Banks Show” and released a best seller novel entitled “Modelland”.

Inspiration for every model

As her own quote says: “A smart model is a good model”, Tyra accomplished to show us the exact meaning of her words.

Succeeding in any field she puts her mind to, the gorgeous and talented supermodel is an inspiration for every model that is at their beginning. And if you don’t believe us, watch a couple of seasons of “America’s Next Top Model” and see for yourself.

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