Tyra Banks - Biography

I haven't seen the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre. I haven't seen anything. I don't really care.
Tyra Banks

Born as Tyra Lynne Banks on December 4 1973, Tyra Banks' earliest years were spent in Los Angeles, California. She grew up alongside her older brother of five years Devin. As for Banks' parents, they were Thomas Banks, a computer consultant, and Carolyn London, a medical photographer. When Banks was six years old, her parents divorced though they both made sure to spend arranged time with her whether through visitations or holidays. As a child, Banks was noticeably tall and thin for her age which would result in causing both her classmates and her brother to tease her for it.

However, when Tyra Banks reached adolescence, her height, metabolism, and time spent in her mother's exercise group gave her a model's figure. Banks assembled a modeling portfolio at fifteen with her mother's help but there were obstacles at getting recognition. The biggest was prejudice towards Banks' race despite her striking looks. Banks persisted and in 1990 while in high school, she attracted interest from Elite Agency and CoverGirl. Though Banks had to later stop attending university, her success led her to appear on foreign designer runways and be the first black model on both Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated covers.

As a model, Tyra Banks' curves bucked the trend of the skinny model along with being black and she became the most famous model of the 1990s. That fame only heightened when Banks went into television to mirror her idol Cindy Crawford. After starting her own company to manage her ventures, Banks first appeared in multiple music videos. They included ones for Michael Jackson's "Black or White," Tina Turner's "Love Thing" and George Michael's "Too Funky." Banks' television presence extended to a role on the show "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and even her own television production "Bankable Productions."

Inevitably then, Tyra Banks' career in television shows progressed to debuting into one for the movies as well. Banks' first movie role was in the drama film "Higher Learning" in 1995 which showcased her acting ability and earned her the praise of critics. Other films that followed were roles in 2000's "Love and Basketball" and "Coyote Ugly" respectively. Banks also appeared in films for television like in 2000's "Life-Size." All the while, Banks' modeling career remained strong as she entered supermodel status through her association with CoverGirl and being named afterwards in People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" for 1996.

Reaching her goals of careers within the film and television industries on top of modeling proved not enough for Tyra Banks' ambition. The next field she wanted to enter was cosmetics. Nonetheless, unlike Banks' hit 2003 show "America's Top Model," her reality show "True Beauty" for cosmetics only lasted from 2009 to 2010. Banks tried another approach in 2011 and released the website "Type F" for advice on cosmetics and fashion but it was likewise unsuccessful. 2014 and 2015 saw Banks open a line of makeup and a second website to sell her makeup and again post cosmetic advice respectively.

During her later years, Tyra Banks' priorities have grown reflective. Upon Banks' retirement from modeling in 2005, she released her talk show "The Tyra Banks Show." While the show discussed makeup and fashion, it was part reality show where Banks displayed her struggles on self-esteem and romance as expressed earlier in her 1998 autobiography "Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out." Because of those factors, "The Tyra Banks Show" won an Emmy Award for outstanding talk show in 2008 and 2009. Banks expressed her concerns over the world too through founding the Tyra Banks Scholarship in 1994 and visiting Costa Rica's rain-forest.

Being a celebrity, it was inevitable that Tyra Banks would have her share of lovers. Amid speculation, Banks is known for past romances with Rob Evans, John Utendahl, Mark Messier, Giancarlo Marcaccini, Chris Webber, Seal, and John Singleton. Coupled with disappointment from unstable dating, Banks mentioned suffering abuse during at least one of her failed relationships. Therefore just two of those attempts at love resulted in brief marriages for Banks. However, Banks' most recent partner Norwegian photographer Erik Asla might be the most serious yet for this year, she had her first child with him, a son York Banks Asla.