'When I started out, I didn't know a size zero even existed': Tyra Banks says her 17-year-old size four frame would be considered too heavy for runways today
17:52 GMT, 15 May 2012
Women's empowerment guru, Tyra Banks, has spoken out in support of Vogue's decision to ban rail thin models from its pages.
The 38-year-old media mogul and former supermodel praised the fashion glossy's 19 editors today for banding together to put a stop to 'thinspirational' editorial and called for a toast 'over some barbecue and burgers'.
Talking about the fashion world and its influence on the modelling industry she highlighted the way standards have changed over the years and said that as a size four, she never would have made it onto today's catwalks.
You go girl: Tyra has written a letter in support of Vogue's ban on rail thin models in which she says that at 17 she would have been too heavy by today's standards
In a letter addressed to 'models around the world' recited to The Daily Beast, the Harvard Graduate lamented: 'Today you are expected to be a size zero. When I started out, I didn’t know such a size even existed.'
Trya also called on other women not to point the finger at the models themselves but at the industry that forces them to maintain unrealistic and unhealthy bodies.
Understanding the fact that models need to work like everyone else, she told how she regularly mentors young hopefuls who struggle to meet the expectations of designers and magazines.
She went on to express her hope, that thanks to Vogue, her phone might stop ringing so frequently with late night calls of desperation and sobs stories.
Speaking out: The over-achieving television host and former supermodel pointed the finger at the industry for putting pressure on girls to stay unhealthily thin
'I don't think there will be as much of:
“I'm hungry, Tyra, and I'm tired. But I still want to do runway and
high-fashion work. I want to stay on top,”' she said, adding: 'With
Vogue’s new mandates, things, I hope, will now change for the better.'
Tyra has long been advocate for
female empowerment and famously appeared on TV with a ball-busting
message for the people who had made fun of her after holiday photographs
showed her looking heavier than normal.
Wearing the same swim suit for which she was derided, she told the haters to 'kiss my fat a**.'
In her letter today, the voluptuous beauty also called upon mothers to take responsibility for their daughters' healthy attitude towards body image and recalled how her own mother had taught her to be strong.
'In a way, it was my decision not to starve myself that turned me into a supermodel, and later on, a businesswoman'
Remembering the day she was told she was too curvy to work for certain designers she said: '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 go eat pizza.”
'We sat in a tiny pizzeria in Milan and strategized about how to turn my curves into a curveball.
'In a way, it was my decision not to starve myself that turned me into a supermodel, and later on, a businesswoman.'
Tyra expanded further explaining how she even managed to turn her generous forehead, for which she had been repeatedly bullied at school, into her trademark feature.
'I've been using the word “flawsome” a lot. It’s you + your flaws + awesome = Flawsome,' she said.
The chat show host's academic smarts shined through as she talked about the need for union protection within the modelling industry.
But her sign off brought her story full circle as she once again saluted Vogue's decision.
'Vogue has the power to make and break – whether it’s fashion trends, designers, models, and yes, even industry practices. Their bold stance means that others will follow.'