America’s Next Top Model is my favorite guilty pleasure, and as such I harbor a secret love for Tyra Banks. Although I am not legally allowed to go into details about how I personally know her (confidentiality agreements apparently include blogs, darn it), I will say that she is a smart, grounded individual who is serious about her career, and loves to play up the drama mama on both of her television shows. I will also say that she is very tall, slender, and lovely in person (despite needing to reconsider her weave). So when I hear her being bashed in every media outlet as “fat,” I do take umbrage. Today, she addressed this issue , stating that she is a very healthy 161 pounds. On her 5’10” frame, that is a respectable weight, though certainly a lot more than she sported in her modeling days. She addresses the media’s nastiness, saying:
“I’ve made millions of dollars with the body I have, so where’s the pain in that?” she says. “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.”
In this era of too-skinny starlets suing newspapers for exposing their eating disorders (seriously, Keira Knightley, who do you think you’re fooling?), it seems like a glaring hypocrisy to have to do the same to defend a healthy body. I applaud Tyra for appearing on her show in a bikini today, and hope that this small measure will help usher in a new age of body-confident role models.