The era of supermodels is back, but a legend and champion of the industry is speaking out about the ugly truth behind the pressures put on women today. In a lengthy Instagram post this week, Tyra Banks said that models have more pressure to be "skinnier than skinny" than ever before. Accompanying a #TBT (or #throwbackTyTy as she calls it) photo taken during her early modeling days, Banks wrote what can only be called a model manifesto to help empower those who are following her footsteps on the fashion runway.
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. 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. And they have to do selfies that make them look relatable, but not TOO relatable, because then people may comment that they don't understand, "Why the heck is THAT girl a friggin' model??!!!!"
The newly pixie-cut haired supermodel also used her modeling photo to send a visual message that even though the models of her time were careful about their weight, she was able to land jobs as a size 6 and never felt pressured to go down to a size 0. She also shared that even an iconic designer like Yves Saint Laurent only "expected excellence" on the runway — which Banks said she delivered every time — and nothing more. But even while she criticized the state of modeling expectations today, Banks remained supportive of all the models and ended her social media rant on a positive note.
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.
Wanna be on top? Take Tyra's advice.