Tyra Banks: Models Have Pressure to Be “Skinnier Than Skinny,” “I Was Size 6” Back in the Day

Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks wrote a lengthy post on Thursday, June 25, about models having to be "skinnier than skinny" to land jobs today, while she was a size 6 as a model Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Tyra Banks is not pleased. Not, like, yelling at Tiffany in Season 4 of America's Next Top Model mad, but angry enough. The star wrote a lengthy post via Instagram about the expectations models endure in this day and age on Thursday, June 25.

"Models have so much pressure today. They have to look good on AND off the set. They have to arrive backstage at fashion shows looking and dressed as if they are already ON a runway. They have to be slimmer than slim. Skinnier than skinny," Banks, 41, wrote. "They have to compete with actresses, recording artists and reality stars for magazine covers and ad campaigns. They have to have tons of followers on social media to book top notch jobs."

Banks started modeling at just 15 years old while going to school in L.A. A lot in the industry has changed since then — especially with social media. The actress-author, who made a point to share a no-makeup photo last week, also noted that even taking selfies can cause problems for models.

"And they have to do selfies that make them look relatable, but not TOO relatable," she continued, "because then people may comment that they don't understand, 'Why the heck is THAT girl a friggin' model??!!!!'"

Before Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Behati Prinsloo stormed the catwalk, Banks was modeling around the world with other famous faces such as Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum. Banks acknowledged that she had to think about her weight back then, but it's nothing like it is today. She explained this by sharing a behind-the-scenes shot from one of her old-school shoots.

"I think I was size 6, not a size 0. And backstage at fashion shows, I looked like this photo you're looking at. Yep, that's teenaged me right before a YSL show was about to start in sneakers, plaid flannel and bad jeans. Mr. Yves Saint Laurent could care how I looked when I arrived to his show," she said. "But when I hit his stage, he expected excellence. And I made sure I delivered that every time I was chosen to walk his amazing runway."

She added: "I'm sending love and hugs to all working, aspiring and super models worldwide. You all have lots to live up to. And I'm here cheering for you every single day. Stay strong girls. #throwbackthursday #throwbackTyTy."

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