I know NOTHING about Tyra Banks. I’ve never seen her show, never heard her interviewed (before tonight), and never watched America’s Top Model. I never had a very high opinion of her, although I’m not sure why. Because she’s a supermodel, I guess (which isn’t a good reason.) Anyway, after the tabloids splattered photos of her that read “161 pounds!” all over the supermarkets, she went on Larry King tonight (at least I heard it tonight, on CNN radio.) And here’s what she said: that she has not gained 30 pounds, that she was 150 before the holidays and that she gained 10 pounds since then, that the only time she was thirty pounds lighter (130) was 15 years ago when she was doing high fashion modeling in Paris, and that, as a VS model, she was always in the 140s. Tyra Banks is 5’10”.
This made me happy because when I was a high fashion model in Paris, I was told to lose weight when I was 125 pounds. (And at 5’11” and 122 pounds, they were happy with me.) And when I got older – 27 – and grew to a hefty 129 pounds, I lost all my modeling jobs because I was overweight. The difference, apparently, is that I wasn’t Tyra Banks, ie, a supermodel. Only a supermodel could get away with modeling with a weight in the 140s.
Now I weigh 138 and constantly feel like that I am “not thin enough.” It’s all in my head, I know, I know, but now that I see that Tyra Banks weighed more than I do for most of her modeling career (and she’s one inch shorter than I am, although her boobs are HUGE and that must account for a few extra pounds), I am beginning to feel better about my weight. I know you all out there think I’m nuts, but you have to understand that when your career ends because you’re 129 pounds and you spend the rest of your life paying off debt you thought you were going to pay off in a few months making $2000 a day, it grates on you.
So I like Tyra Banks. She’s creating awareness among young girls about how fucked up our perception of what is beautiful is, how thin-obsessed we are as a culture, and how unhealthy it is. And who better to hear it from than an ex-supermodel?