Rooting For Tyra Banks On Her 47th BirthdayDec 04, 2020 08:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland
On December 4, 1973, Tyra Lynne Banks was born in Inglewood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. She was born to Carolyn, a medical photographer and Donald, a computer consultant. When Tyra was six her parents divorced. Tyra maintains that she had a happy childhood, enjoying two of all the major holidays.
Banks developed a somewhat unhealthy relationship with food at a very young age, but also started to workout with her mother and her exercise group by the age of six. As she got older, she lost thirty pounds and shot up three inches. In high school she was made fun of for her 5’11” and 125lbs stature, although she was still popular and in the running for prom queen. Later in her career, she would struggle with her weight, which affected her career as a supermodel.
With the assistance of her mother, Tyra created a portfolio of pictures, and at the age of 15, she was signed to L.A. Models after being rejected by 6 other agencies for having an “ethnic look” and a “big forehead.” After a year at L.A. Models, Tyra transitioned to Elite Model Management.
She was featured in Seventeen Magazine before she graduated high school. Upon graduation, Banks made plans to attend Loyola Marymount University, but when Tyra was offered the chance to model in Europe, she took it, and moved to Milan.
Tyra Banks set a record by walking in 25 shows during her very first season. She even graced the cover of the Spanish edition of Vogue. Shortly after, people nicknamed her the “new Naomi Campbell.”
Over the next few years, Tyra created her own management company in order to take charge of her career. She intended to follow in the footsteps of her idol and fellow model, Cindy Crawford. Tyra ventured into music videos, TV shows, and photography all on her own. She even became the new face of Covergirl and was listed as one of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
Tyra Banks started to gain weight in the late 1990s and became somewhat curvier. Soon she shifted her focus from high fashion runways to lingerie and swimwear. She became the first African-American woman to be featured on the cover of GQ, Sports Illustrated, and the Victoria’s Secret Catalog.
In 2003, Tyra Banks signed on as producer and host for America’s Next Top Model, which became one of the highest rated TV shows on its network. The show ran for 24 seasons, and even made it several other countries. Tyra also had her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, which ran for 5 seasons. Now, she hosts another popular TV show, America’s Got Talent.