Born December 4, 1973, Tyra Banks has gone from ugly duckling as a child to a supermodel on top of the world today. The Los Angeles born nymph has been a breakthru model for the African American community. Tyra was the first black female to appear solo on the cover of Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue. Tyra hadn't always had dreams of becoming a supermodel, as a child Tyra was made fun of by her schoolmates and as she says in a recent interview "They knew I was sensitive and they'd tease me all the time. I'd go home crying to my mom. But I got the last laugh. Now I say, 'Is that really me?' " The issue of being 'really me' also is being brought into question with Tyra. Several have said Banks has had a nose job and breast implants, and if true one could hardly argue with the results. Tyra recently discussed her childhood trauma's and current beauty problems in her book Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out, where she talks about her stretch marks, cellulite, mustache, and warts (errr... hardly a book we'd be interested in buying given the sounds of it!). Whatever the case, those flaws must not have been very noticeable when Elite modeling agency spotted the beautiful woman in Paris just after she had graduated. They signed her up, preventing her intended college plans at Loyola Marymount. She had become only the third African American woman to sign an exclusive contract with a cosmetics company. Then her curvy figure was featured prominently in several Victoria's Secret ads and magazines (to which they still are to this day).
Tyra Banks is has had a successful career in modeling. Born in California she was chosen by People magazine as one of the world's most beautiful people in 1996. Recently, she has been moving into acting, with roles in the movie Higher Learning and the television show "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." She is also in the popular Nike ads featuring "little Penny."
Other credits include:
Higher Learning (1995)
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1993)