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Tyra Banks Interview
with Bonnie Siegler

Model Citizen: An Interview With Tyra Banks By Bonnie Siegler...

Tyra Banks was a hot modeling ticket even before she graduated from high school at age 17, leaving Los Angeles for Paris runways. And somehow, at 25 and 5'10" tall, this supermodel is getting even hotter thanks to her Victoria Secret campaign, the cover of 1997's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (she's the first black woman ever to be featured on the cover), a best-selling beauty book, and her occasional forays into acting (New York Undercover, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air). Sure, great genetics and luck play a big role in most modeling success stories, but Banks has proven she has great beauty both inside and out. Counting her mom as her best friend and role model, Tyra's diverse talents have come together, enabling her to create an ever-expanding, multifaceted career. Her big secret? "Eight or more hours of sleep each night," she reveals. "Also, I don't hang out and I don't party much." She pauses, then adds, "Modeling has been great to me. It beats working at a yogurt stand." drDrew.com sat down with the beautiful Banks to talk about the importance of dating and using condiments.

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When you wake up in the morning, what do you see looking back at you in the mirror?

Even though I'm a model and guys fall in love with that image, I still look at myself as any other woman. I look at myself and pick out the things I don't like. No matter how much I work out, I never get muscle tone in my butt and hip area. That tone will never come to those areas. I can get a six-pack on my abs if I work out hard enough but those hips and thighs are real stubborn.

You've said you were a geeky adolescent - braces, tall and really skinny. Did you have a self-image problem then?

I had a very strong self-image problem. People thought I was ill, I was so tall and geeky. At school, the kids thought I was sick and they would tease me saying they thought I was going to pass out. I went through a stage of losing weight really fast - I guess my body was preparing itself to be thinner and taller. I'd go home crying all the time. As a matter of fact, I don't have pictures of me during that time at all.

Ironically, you've become one of the more curvaceous, voluptuous models of today.

Well that's one of the weirdest things. I was a miserable little girl because I thought I'd never have breasts or hips and here I am at 34-27-39. Depending on how I'm eating or working out, I can be 34-25-36.

What's your ideal meal?

I just love food. My ideal meal could start with some fried zucchini or shrimp with sauce - cocktail, ranch - any sauce. My friends call me the condiment queen because the waitress will bring out every sauce on the menu. Then I'd have some mashed potatoes with butter and cream, macaroni and cheese followed by fried chicken. Then I'd follow that up with creme brule or Haagen Daazs ice cream - Cappucino Commotion - except that I don't like the chocolate so I spit the chocolate pieces out of it. It's best to eat that when I'm walking down the street so I can just spit them out as I walk.

It must be difficult eating that ice cream on a date.

Lord knows I've had my share of love woes. My buddies try to hook me up with someone whenever I don't have a steady. A lot of times I'll just say I'm not interested right now, but every once in a while I'll cave in. They haven't all been great experiences, but they have all been useful because they've helped me to figure out what I do and don't like in men.

Do you have goals set up for yourself?

I have so many goals. I definitely want to have a family someday - not necessarily a husband, but I see having children. And if a guy fits in there some way, that's fine too. My mom never taught me to be waiting for some prince on a white horse to swipe me off my feet.

This interview is taken from drDrew.com, January 2000

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