Tyra Banks On Modeling: “I Was Told Because I Was Black, I Couldn’t Get Jobs.”

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks Was Told She Couldn’t Get Modeling Jobs Because She Was Black

From supermodel to super mogul, Tyra Banks has redefined what it means to be a mother first and a businesswoman second. After years of kicking down the doors of the world’s most rigorous modeling agencies, handing girls their dream modeling contracts, cultivating and developing her own television talk show, to becoming a new mother; even after all these accolades, and 12 years, Banks decided to take a break, as a host, from the hit series, America’s Next Top Model (ANTM), and focus on different challenges behind the camera.

But even after one season, the super boss, could not stay away. Banks announced her return as a host and fans are ecstatic! With VH1 being ANTM’s new home, Banks discusses why the switch, what’s to come for the new season, being a mom, dating, and the obstacles she faced early on in her career. Peep the excerpts below.

What made her take a step back from ANTM:

I would love to say it was my son, but its not. For me, it was about sustainability; about being a business woman, and a boss. Then, looking at my brand and saying, ‘Okay, I’ve been doing this a long time. What can I infuse – new – to keep it going for 24 more cycles?’ So, it was more of a business decision as to why I left, and why I came back.

Why she moved ANTM to VH1:

Well we said goodbye to ANTM – we [her and Ken] shut it down. My partner and I were like ‘we’re good.’ I thought we were going to stop at 8 [cycles]. Once we ended it [22 cycles], all these other networks called us and said they wanted it. Then there was a little bidding war or whatever, and VH1 won.

Her thoughts on the backlash she received for leaving ANTM:

I got bullied back! In the best of ways, though. It was like that hate love. It wasn’t just like ‘I hate you!’ it was like, ‘I hate you, for leaving!’

On what made her come back:

My partner, Ken Mok, called me more than one time, and we had knock-down-dragged out arguments over there phone where I’m yelling, ‘I’m not coming back!’ And he is unapologetic and doesn’t have problem with confrontation. Then I finally hung up the phone and said, ‘Fine!’

On what’s next after the new season of ANTM:

I used to be, ‘Oh! I’m going to do this next, then this, then this’ but now, I’m going to see what this season brings, and see how the world responds to that, and then iterate from that.

What fans can expect from the new season:

This season is about #NLF: Next Level Fierce. About taking it to the next level. I’ve taken that age limit off.

On the most requested from Top Model franchise:

The number one thing I get requested about is if I could do a top model kids. I get baby pictures flooding all my socials. I’m just not really down with having a show with kid models.

On why she is opposed to the idea:

Even before I was a mama, I just feel like the industry is unapologetic. It’s really tearing down your physical. It gives you insecurities that you didn’t even know you had. I didn’t know I had a long waist, and that my thighs were not in proportion to my calves.

The difference in standards between ANTM and the real modeling world:

Mine are looser. The reason why is because I’m not hiring anybody. I’m coaching. So, if it was the real world, they wouldn’t necessarily get passed the first episode. Whereas, we’re taking this raw talent, and we are grooming them.

What took a toll on her the most when modeling:

The weight thing took a toll on me. And being told that I was black and couldn’t get jobs, and be on the cover of this magazine. That’s the stuff that hurt, which is why I created [America’s Next] Top Model.

How she reacted to negative feedback when she was younger:

When I was in my early 20s, I heard I was too big, and wasn’t going to get hired for fashion shows anymore. I called my mom boo-hooing. And my mom gave me the talk of life, and snapped me out of it.

On the biggest thing she has learned from relationships:

If someone tells who they are, believe them. If this man is cheating on you, and cheating on you, that’s just who he is, and will forever be that.

On some requirements when looking for a man:

Somebody that’s been through it already; they have had serious relationships, they’ve had kids before. I think that experience helps.

On the limit on how many kids she wants her man to have:


On her relationship with her son:

I’m that mom if he were in here right now, he is eating a cracker, it falls on the floor, he picks it up, I’m not tripping. But if he is, trying to balance Cirque de Soleil on the back of the couch, I’m going to make sure he doesn’t bust his head open.

On what’s next for her:

America’s Got Talent. I’ll be hosting that again. [The movie] Life Size 2, we are hopefully shooting that this summer for a holiday movie at the end of the year.


Authored by: TJB Writer