Tyra Banks: I was 'too heavy' at 17 to model today
Tyra Banks has encouraged a ban of anorexic images and said that she would have been considered "too heavy" if she had started modeling at age 17 in 2012.
The supermodel turned mogul praised Vogue magazine's health initiative to "not knowingly work with models who appear to have an eating disorder" in any of their 19 international editions. Banks wrote an open letter to models, published on the Daily Beast about the troublesome state of modeling.
"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."
Banks said that when her body started changing in her early 20's, a lot of designers refused to book her for fashion shows and her mother took her out to pizza to figure out how to diversify her career instead of having to "fight Mother Nature."
"To moms everywhere, we need to educate our girls not to fall prey to thinspirational images of beauty," Banks continued. "So where do we start? By being very careful about how we talk about our own bodies in front of our daughters. We can show our daughters diverse images of beautiful women: curvy, tall, short, and everything in-between. Moms, you are the first and most influential role model in your girl's life. Use that power. Teach her to love herself and everything that makes her unique."
On top of encouraging mothers to protect their daughters, Banks said there should be industry wide protection and a guild for models. She also encouraged young girls to embrace their flaws, creating a new word, "flawsome."
Banks is known for her work as a supermodel, talk show host and co-creator of the reality show "America's Next Top Model." Banks also helms her own production company Bankable Productions.
In February, Banks completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School.
It was announced in April that Banks' "America's Next Top Model" team, including J. Alexander, Jay Manuel and Nigel Barker had been fired from the reality modeling competition. The long-running series suffered from the lowest ratings yet during the current 18th cycle, dubbed the "British Invasion," which premiered in February. It is unclear who will replace the group in future cycles of "ANTM."
Watch Tyra Banks' appearance on "Good Morning America" below.