Tyra on how to lead a FUll and Fierce Life

This article, was on Women's Health Magazine under Life and Features. Im not sure if it is in this months Women's Health Magazine or not, I'll check on that the next time I go to a drugstore. Im going to throw some pics into the article to spice it up a bit! Hope you enjoy!

There’s a slight circus atmosphere surrounding Tyra Banks. Not that Banks got the memo – she’s nothing but calm, collected and charming as she settles into a comfy couch to talk to WH, nonplussed by the cameras, security guards and group of fans outside.

The 36-year-old creator of reality TV series America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) – which she’s also hosted, executive produced and judged on since it launched seven years ago – is used to this kind of chaos. She’s been in the spotlight since the age of 17, when she gave up spots at two US universities to pursue the catwalks of the world. Well, they pursued her, as did big fashion names, like Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent and H&M. Banks was also the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in 1997.

Away from modelling, Banks has hosted guests as prestigious as President Barack Obama on her popular daytime talk show, The Tyra Show, and made legions of fans with her no-nonsense attitude and attention-grabbing stunts. Such as donning a fat suit

to go undercover as a 160kg woman and “experience” obesity. Or having a sonogram live on her show to prove her breasts are real. In fact, there’s not much she hasn’t done.

Today, Banks is an astute businesswoman and CEO of her own production company, Bankable Productions, and it’s estimated that she earns around US$20 million a year. Add to that her latest work on the global B.I.O campaign, Beauty Inside & Out, an initiative that she hopes will encourage women worldwide to broaden their definitions of beauty. “Beauty doesn’t come in one package: one size, one skin colour, one type of hair,” says Banks. “I want to break the mould and empower women to feel confident and beautiful. True beauty extends far beyond the surface.”

It may sound like a strange philosophy coming from a former Victoria’s Secret runway queen, but Banks is serious – you could even say “fierce”, a word Banks seems to like to use – about her latest mission. Recently announcing the end of The Tyra Show (which airs on Foxtel and Austar’s Arena TV), she says she’s also keen to pursue film production projects, “which will allow me to reach more women and young girls to help us all feel as ‘fierce’ as we truly are”. We asked her to share the beliefs and motivations that have helped her rise to the top – and stay there.

“I think my passion comes from being a black model. I was constantly being told ‘You’re not going to do this because you’re black,’ but I never let that get me down.

I was also nine kilos heavier than the average model. I view the world totally differently now. It’s made me a champion for things that aren’t like the stereotype.

I have this thing where I go in and out of caring what people say about me. Actually, most of the time I don’t give a damn. There are moments where I think there will be people making fun of me and saying, ‘look at your fat ass in a swimsuit’, but I don’t care. I’m a little bit rebellious in terms of saying what I mean, but I just want to make sure I’m reaching the person I want to reach.”

“I actually liked being able to retire [from the fashion industry] when I was on top (Banks retired from catwalk modelling in 2005). That was an accomplishment for me, as opposed to holding on forever to it. I took my cue from athletes – I love to see athletes who win a championship and then go, ‘I’m gone’. It’s over and they mentor the younger ones. I’m proud and happy and grateful that I’ve been able to transition [from modelling] and do what I’m passionate about.”

“In the early days of ANTM, I would get stomach aches because I was so hands-on; so attached to every creative aspect of the show – from casting the girls, to the budgets, to what the set’s looking like. Now [on season 14] I’m learning that to be a true executive and to grow my company, I have to trust my team. It’s hard, but somebody told me if it’s not hard, it’s not delegating.”

“I didn’t used to have a private life. I used to just work all the time, but with my schedule I had no choice. Now, I’ve built in some contractual things to make sure that I can have a life, because I won’t be able to come up with interesting things and talk about my life on my show, if my life is just work.”

“My choices are a combination of research and finding out if something is a viable dream, decision or plan. But when I don’t listen to my gut, that’s when something might not be a success. I might just be going off something somebody else wants, rather than doing something that feels organic.”

“I used to work out all the time, but I was always having stomach problems. I have a very, very sensitive stomach and about every three months I would get a debilitating attack that would last for 24 to 48 hours. Recently I went on a challenge with my friends to see who could get the healthiest in three months, and I won. I’ve maintained it now. My body is fitter, but I’ve still got my curves – I wouldn’t be me without this booty!”

“I still indulge. My Twitter followers make fun of me because they say I talk about food all the time, but it’s something that gives me joy. I just know how to balance it to make sure I don’t get sick now.”

“I look up to my mum, for her strength, her integrity and her kindness. I look up to other amazing women who are also changing the notions of beauty – like US first lady Michelle Obama. I’ve had role models in every stage of my career – as a supermodel, Beverly Johnson; as talk-show host, and in the development of my own brand, Oprah and Martha [Stewart]. I’m dying to meet Richard Branson, he’s definitely a role model for me at this point in my career.”

“Find one thing about you that you can celebrate – it could be your hair, your eyebrows, your feet. Look in a mirror and find that one thing, then find another one. It’s about feeling good and being healthy.”

The star tells it like it is to WH.

On growing up
"I had a wonderful childhood. But when it came to fitting in, I certainly felt like an outsider more often than not – I definitely had my awkward stage.”

On style

“I love finding great deals, so my favourite style tip is to spend less. I think everyone is looking to save a bit more these days, myself included.”

On beauty

“Everyone deserves to be loved – not just the ones who look like Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry.”