The model turned 42 years old on Dec. 3. Time flies. It feels like it was just yesterday when the TV host was owning that Victoria’s Secret catwalk.
As a former model, Tyra Banks has been open about the pressures of the industry. From conforming to the standards of the industry to being her own boss, Tyra Banks has gone through it all. We first laid our eyes on the model and actress when we saw her on the covers of GQ magazine and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and on the runways of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. She is one of the original angels of the fashion brand. Tyra owned the modeling industry by being the first African American model to grace the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, not once but twice. She was also the first African American to be featured on the cover for the Victoria’s Secret catalog.
Personally, Tyra has always been open about her ups and downs with her body image. Today, she talks to young women and tries to empower them by communicating her past struggles and views on the topic. With her former television shows, America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show, Tyra got to do just that.
Her shows, which she produced and starred in, ultimately led her to two Daytime Emmy Awards in a row for outstanding, informative talk show in 2009.
Obviously, Tyra Banks has been a go-getter from the start and has achieved so much throughout her career, including so many hot looks! Being a model, there is pressure to look on point everyday and Tyra hasn’t been shy to shut down tabloids bringing her down for being “overweight” or for just not being up to par in general.
Here is The Top 10 Hottest Tyra Banks Pictures.
10. Got Milk
Tyra Banks looking ridiculously hot in this orange bathing suit top and bottom for a Got Milk ad. She was obviously in shape and at a great time in her career. No wonder she is owning this advertisement. The milk mustache brings a little fun to the eyes while we enjoy the rest of the image. Although she looks perfectly healthy here, the model and TV host admitted that not only had she felt the pressure of losing weight but also the opposite; gaining weight to be a professional model. “The summer I turned 11 years old, I lost 30 lbs. and I had a growth spurt,” Banks told PEOPLE in 2014. “And it wasn’t even supermodel thin. It was more than that. Some people thought I had an eating disorder.” Banks was determined to clear those eating disorder rumors.
9. Boss Lady
Tyra and her mother, Carolyn London, launched a program, the TZONE Foundation, back in 1999 to promote health and wellness for young girls growing up with insecurities. Banks would share her experiences on being an insecure, young girl while growing up with dreams of making it as a supermodel. If anyone was the perfect role model to mentor young girls on insecurities with body image, it was Tyra Banks. She experienced it all from being called too skinny to later in her career being called out for being too fat. “Who would have thought that the girl who was forced to go to the hospital because she’s so skinny would one day be called too fat?” Banks said. “I know the pain of somebody who’s too thin and the pain of somebody that people say is too big.”
8. No Shame In My Game
The supermodel is seen here owning her curves in this leather jump suit at the Teen Choice Awards in 2011. Tyra was determined to shut down the tabloids back in 2007 when blunt headlines about her weight surfaced on the Internet. She spoke to PEOPLE exclusively about the hurtful headlines admitting that she did gain a few extra pounds and struggled with her weight since retiring from modeling. “I still feel hot, but every day is different,” she explained. “It’s when I put on the jeans that used to fit a year ago and don’t fit now and give me the muffin top, that’s when I say, ‘Damn!’” The TV personality is not ashamed in putting it all out there for the press to read, considering her ultimate motivation; expressing the importance of body confidence to young girls.
7. Swimsuit Silver
Although she is not afraid of speaking her mind and owning her weight, Tyra does agree that being at a lighter weight is most comfortable and when she is at her best. She explains she can sleep better without the extra snoring and when she heads out for a workout, she has much better endurance. The ANTM star did admit her weight goes up and down so she has to deal with the different struggles it brings. She mentions her biggest struggle when carrying a few extra pounds? Her chest area. “I would love for them to be a size and a half smaller,” she admitted.
6. Video Vixen
Besides dealing with the stress the industry puts on body image, Tyra was also doing her thing for her career. When you look that flawless or “flawsome” as Tyra likes to put it, you’re going to be wanted in a few projects such as music videos. The model and businesswoman appeared in a few music videos including Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” Tina Turner’s “Love Thing,” and Lionel Richie’s “Don’t Wanna Lose You.” She also starred in a couple of TV shows. Her first appearance television was Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air which we all remember her as Jackie Ames, Will Smith’s friend.
5. Money Maker
The supermodel is definitely fine to look at. There is no doubt she is nice to the eyes whether she’s thick and curvy or slim and thin. One of the reasons why she looks good no matter what is because she owns every look she has. With good looks and confidence, also comes success. The talk show host was honest about how her appearance and looks brought her this far. “I’ve made millions of dollars with the body I have, so where’s the pain in that?” she said. “If I was in pain, I would have dieted. The pain is not there – the pain is someone printing a picture of me and saying those (horrible) things.”
4. Hot And Booksmart
Obviously her looks have been good to her. However, just because she had the looks to go far in her career, that didn’t stop her from accomplishing other fields that didn’t have to do with the way you looked. In 2011, Tyra decided to enroll in classes at Harvard Business School. She took classes at their nine-week Owner/President Management program. The TV executive producer stated on her talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, she wanted to become the next Walt Disney. She finished the program in 2012 and received her certificate for completion. Although she was admired for continuing her education, there was criticism over her implying she was a Harvard grad. The model was seen pretty proud though of her academic accomplishments despite being under fire for not being a “real grad” from Harvard.
3. Victoria’s Secret Angel
With over 25 years of experience in the modeling industry, including on the runway and as a mentor, Tyra has the credited knowledge that allows her to speak her mind on any relatable topic. Earlier this year, Banks decided to put up an Instagram “throwback Thursday” post with a caption that pointed out today’s modeling pressures with the likes of “it models” such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. “Models have so much pressure today,” Tyra captioned the photo of her backstage at a YSL show. She then continued, “They have to have tons of followers on social media to book top notch jobs. And they have to do selfies that make them look relatable, but not too relatable, because then people may comment that they don’t understand, ‘Why the heck is THAT girl a friggin’ model??!!!!'” She explained how back then in her experience as a professional model, she did have to watch her body image carefully but not to a point where you have to be a “size 0.”
2. The Throwback Look
Tyra Banks realized the unfortunate conditions of being a model today in the industry before she noticed the popularity of today’s “it models.” In 2012, she wrote an open letter to young models on The Daily Beast, where she talks about her experience and today’s unrealistic standards for an aspiring model. “The truth is that if I was just starting to model at age 17 in 2012, I could not have had the career that I did,” Tyra said. “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.” In comparison to the present industry where millions of snapshots of model personalities like Kendall Jenner go on the Internet every day, it’s no doubt that back then, there was a lot less pressure to looking a certain way and Banks was right about that.
1. Bikini Babe
Personally, Tyra Banks had to go through a bunch of falling outs but we watched her conquer in almost everything she set her heart to. From the modeling and fashion world to television and entertainment to the business and education side of industry, Banks has proved you can do it all even with all the criticism. She explained in the same open letter on how she didn’t let the pressures get the best of her and yet, still made it. “My agency gave my mom a list of designers that didn’t want to book me in their fashion shows anymore. In order to continue working, I would’ve had to fight Mother Nature and get used to depriving myself of nutrition,” 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.” It obviously all worked out in the end as she continues to pursue other ventures in her career as a television personality and mentor for young girls.