Classic Model Tyra Banks

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Name: Tyra Banks
Born: December 4, 1973
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Current Home: Los Angeles
Marital Status: Single
Height: 5 ft 11.5 ins
Weight: 7.5 st
Vital Stats: 35C-23-35
Shoe Size: 9
Dress Size: 8
Eye Color: Greenish-brown
Occupation: Supermodel/Actress
Agency: Img
Endorsements: Nike, Swatch & Cover Girl

Tyra Banks is one of the most sought after models of the 90’s. At 17, she was planning to attend Loyola Marymount College in L.A. when she was signed by the modeling Agency Elite. She then moved to Paris for a year where she had assignments from Ralph Lauren, Yves St. Laurant, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and many other top designers.

Since then, Tyra has graced the cover of just about every model and fashion magazine there is, including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition for two straight years. First on the 96 issue, she appeared standing back to back with Valeria Mazza, and on the 97 issue she appeared on the cover solo (The first time ever for an African American). She was also the first black woman and model to be on the Cover of “GQ” magazine and the first African American woman to be featured on a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. She was also the third African American woman to sign with a major cosmetic agency (Cover Girl).

Tyra is very prominant in the media. She has done adverisements for Nike with Lil’Penny, as well as Cover Girl and Victoria’s Secret. She has also found time to do the occasional video appearance for Michael Jackson. Her television career includes such shows as “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” where she made the occasional appearance as Jackie Ames, and the Fox television show, “New York Undercover”. Her film exploits include “Inferno”, a British sexploitation film, “Love Changes” and “Higher Learning”. Presently, it seems that Tyra is keen to develop her movie career. She has recently finished working on “Love Stinks” and also has some other movie projects on the horizon, including a Disney film.

Tyra has also promoted a line of greeting cards for children and families, an organization dedicated to helping abused and neglected kids. It has been known that Tyra also has a great love for the environment, and she showed this by journeying to the Costa Rican Rainforest to bring the plight of that endangered ecosystem to the worlds attention.


Want to know about Tyra’s trailblazing modelling career, her humanitarian heart, and her laid back and natural style?

Read on to find out about Tyra’s triumphs, childhood tales and makeup tips, and see some of the many shots from her Cover Girl shoots!

Before the Big Time

Tyra grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by a supportive group of family and friends. Even though Tyra’s parents divorced when she was six, she remembers thinking that she had “double the presents, double the love.” The only worry she had back then was how to escape the “sheer torture” her older brother, Devin, dished out. They’re best friends now, but Tyra laughingly recalls how he used to steal food from her, make fun of her clumsiness, and generally make life stressful. Hey, that’s what big brothers are for, right?

Growing Pains

When Tyra was 11 years old, she lost nearly 20 pounds in a three-month time span and grew three inches. She was so skinny she says even her teachers were worried. Those days are over! Tyra’s toned body has earned her accolades the world over.

Never Give Up

Picture this: Four modeling agencies turned Tyra down before the fifth signed her to do only runway shows because they didn’t feel that the camera liked her face. Hard to believe, huh? Tyra, discouraged but determined, decided to stick it out. “I truly believe the secret to my longevity has been not giving in to the words ‘no’ or ‘can’t’,” she writes in her book, Tyra’s Beauty Inside and Out.

Tyra the Trailblazer

Tyra’s career has been marked by many historical accomplishments:

The first African-American woman and the first model to be featured on the cover of GQ magazine (1996)
Winner of the 1997 “Supermodel of the Year ” Michael Award
The first African-American model to score the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue (1997)
She has twice been named one of People magazines “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”
The first African-American model to sign an exclusive contract with Victoria’s Secret (1998)
Her 1997 Tyra Banks calendar became an instant top seller
Made People magazine’s “10 Best Dressed List” of 1998
The third African-American model with a major cosmetic contract when she signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Cover Girl (1993)

True Humanitarian

In 1992, she established the Tyra Banks Scholarship for young African-American girls to attend her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She’s also the spokesperson for a New York City-based program, The Center for Children and Families. In 1997, Tyra received the Children’s Friendship Award for her work with the Starlight Children’s Foundation. There’s no doubt: This woman is golden, inside and out!

Off the Runway

“When I’m not working, my style is extremely relaxed. I wear very natural makeup and sport my uniform of jeans, T-shirt and flip flops.”

Tyra’s Top Shots

Cover Girl Tyra Banks has appeared on hundreds and hundreds of fashion magazine covers. And for good reason. Her natural appeal and beautiful allure have made her one of the world’s top models. And the camera just adores her! Some of her Cover Girl shots are on view right here.

Tyra’s Makeup Must-Haves

Tyra never leaves the house without blush, mascara, and tons of lip gloss. “Cover Girl LipSlicks lip gloss in A Lot Of Shine, Hint Of Pink, or Hint Of Bronze is my favorite. Professional Advanced Mascara is also one of the staple items in my makeup bag.” Her beauty secret? “A smidgen of Vaseline on cheekbones gives you great glow!”

Tyra’s Favorite Tips from the Pros

Makeup artists have taught her to think of makeup in terms of situation and mood. Now she adjusts her look so that it is appropriate for the time of day and season, or how she feels at the moment.
Tyra’s learned “the importance of fine-tuning. That is, paying a little more attention to make sure makeup is perfect, which makes a difference between an OK face and a great face.”
Makeup does not have to always be about beauty, but can and should sometimes be fun and creative, incorporating texture and color to create various looks.”

Close to Her Heart

With the publication of her new book, Tyra’s Beauty Inside and Out, she not only writes about beauty, fashion, health and fitness, but also gives her readers important insights into life by sharing personal stories. Speaking very frankly about her experiences with modeling, sex, relationships and self-esteem, this ambitious role model is able to speak directly to young girls, and she hopes, positively affect their lives.

Tyra Banks Covers Sex

Tyra Banks, who became the first black model to appear solo on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue this year, is making another erotic magazine appearance. Tyra has been chosen to grace the cover of Details magazine’s annual “Sex” issue. So, does Banks mind being an object of men’s desires? Not one bit. “I’m very happy to be a sex symbol. In the modeling industry there have been very few black commercial sex symbols, so I’m glad to break ground,” she tells Details. Tyra believes that black women have been portrayed in a sexually negative light for quite a while. “Black women have always been these vixens, these animalistic erotic women. Why can’t we just be the sexy American girl next door?”

The $3 Million Bra!

The photographers and video crews started gathering at 8:00 A.M. at the Victoria’s Secret on New York’s Fifth Ave. Although the temperature was below freezing, the press wanted to get the best spot to see the official “unveiling” of the Victoria’s Secret Three Million Dollar Bra created by Harry Winston. Rumor had it that Tyra was going to arrive by armored car with armed guards in tow at 9:00 A.M. With that in mind, the press was able to think warm thoughts of Tyra in a spectacular bodice encrusted with diamonds.

At exactly 9:00 A.M. the heavy duty armored car came to a halt in front of the now; more than 60 members of the press from affiliations around the world jockeying for position to capture the best footage of Tyra’s arrival.

Three very large men, obviously guards; jumped out of the armored car and took positions near the back of the car, careful not to let the precious cargo be exposed too soon. Then to everyone’s delight; Tyra came out wearing an all black outfit. Looking as good as ever, she posed for the media, then to the surprise of all, she began to disrobe.

You could see the tension in the faces of the security guards, as she exposed the white heavily encrusted diamond bra, right on Fifth Ave.!! There it was, in living color, on one of the hottest models in the world; the most expensive bra ever made. This spectacular bra is adorned with 100 pear shaped diamonds weighing a total of 93 carats. Trimming the bustier are 99 diamonds ranging in color from D-F (colorless) with a clarity grading of VS1 (very slightly included). Dangling from the décolletage is a 42 carat gem D color pear shaped diamond.

As Tyra made her way into the Victoria’s Secret Store she posed for the photographers, allowing the media to get great coverage of the bra. Once inside the store the press was let in for another unveiling and a brief question and answer session with Tyra. The most memorable question asked was whether or not she would get to keep the bra, to which Tyra replied “I wish”.

In all, the press was very impressed with the Three Million Dollar Bra. The craftsmanship seemed unparalleled, plus with Tyra wearing it; we definitely know that added to the value.