Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tyra Banks Biography News Profile Relationships Pictures Wallpaper Online Video.


Supermodel. Born December 4, 1973 in Inglewood, California. Tyra Banks' father, Don Banks, was a computer consultant and her mother, Carolyn, was a medical photographer. Banks' parents divorced when she was only 6 years old, but she says that she was too young for the divorce to have much impact on her. "As far as I could see I had it made," Banks remembers. "I stayed with Mommy on the weekdays and Daddy on the weekends. I had two birthday parties, two Christmases. Double the presents, double the love."

Banks says that she developed a love for food—and not always healthy food—from a very young age, devouring fried chicken, candied yams and pork chops at family gatherings. "I was taught to enjoy food, not to fear it," Banks recalls.

She developed healthier habits, too, and began working out with her mother's exercise group at the age of 6. After her grandmother passed away from lung cancer, Banks also vowed never to smoke.

Banks confesses that she was somewhat of a "mean girl" in middle school. "I was popular, gossipy," she recalls, "and if I didn't want one of the other girls to be in the clique anymore, for whatever tiny little reason, I voted her out." When Banks attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, however, she found herself on the other end of the social food chain. A sudden growth spurt left her tall and gawky, and her classmates gave her the cruel nickname "Giraffe." "I went from being the popular girl who looked normal, to being considered a freak," Banks remembers. Nevertheless, Banks says that the teasing and abuse taught her the importance of kindness. "It turned out that the best things [to happen to me] in my life were to be made fun of, and to have no friends, and to feel miserable every single day."

By 1989, at the age of 17, Banks had outgrown her awkward phase and begun to resemble the tall, curvy, caramel-skinned and green-eyed beauty who would light up runways and magazine covers for years to come. However, her first attempts to find a modeling agency were met with rejection and discrimination. Banks remembers that one agency said she looked "too ethnic" and another said that it "already had a black woman and didn't want another." Then in 1990, while still in high school, Banks landed a contract with Elite Model Management, the largest modeling agency in the world. Later that year, she shot her first print piece for Seventeen magazine. After graduating high school in 1991, Banks enrolled at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, but decided to forego college when Elite offered to send her to Paris for high-fashion runway modeling.

Banks rose swiftly through the ranks of fashion modeling to become one of the world's top supermodels. She booked 25 runway shows while in Paris in 1991, an unprecedented feat for a newcomer to the industry. But by the mid-1990s, Banks began to gain weight, a forbidden sin in the world of rail-thin clothing models. Unwilling to starve herself to achieve the desired physique for high-fashion models,
 
Banks decided to return to the United States and switch to swimwear and lingerie modeling, where curvier models are more welcome. "I made my living being 20 or 30 pounds heavier than the average model," Banks says. "And that's where I got famous. Victoria's Secret said I sold more bras and panties than anybody else, and I was traipsing down that runway with 30 pounds more booty than the other girls."

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