She first became famous as a model, appearing twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and working for Victoria's Secret as one of their original Angels. Banks is one of four African Americans and seven women to have repeatedly ranked among the world's most influential people by Time magazine. She has a brother, Devin, who is five years older. In , when Banks was 6 years old, her parents divorced.
As a child Tyra Banks suffered from what she calls an "Ugly duckling" period in her life; when Banks was eleven years old she grew three inches and lost thirty pounds in three months. Banks was romantically linked to musician Seal, film director John Singleton and actor Will Smith in the s. She dated basketball player Chris Webber from to She is known for being outspoken on abusive relationships, having been a victim herself.
In , when asked about her relationship history, she stated, 'I won't be using a lot of names [on the show], but a specific relationship had not just cheating but emotional abuse. It was really bad, but that made me strong. The episode was dedicated to dating violence in response to the assault of Rihanna caused by Chris Brown. Banks is in a relationship with Erik Asla.
The couple have one child, York Banks Asla born in January , via gestational surrogacy. She was rejected by six modeling agencies before she was signed by L. Models and then switched to Elite Model Management at age When she got the opportunity to model in Europe, she put college on hold and moved to Milan.
In her first runway season, she was booked in 25 shows at the Paris Fashion Week. She would later appear on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Teen Vogue and Vogue. She walked the runways for Chanel, Valentino, Fendi and others. In the mids, Banks returned to America to do more commercial modeling.
In , she received the VH1 award for, "Supermodel of the Year. She was a Victoria's Secret Angel from to She has since started focusing on her film career and hosting her own TV show. She made seven appearances in the series. She also appeared as a guest in the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast in an episode entitled "Chinatown. In addition, she hosted The Tyra Banks Show, a daytime talk show aimed at younger women, which premiered on September 12, , and ran until May 28, In , Banks won the Daytime Emmy Award for her work and production on The Tyra Banks Show, and won for the second time in a row for outstanding, informative talk show in In , Oprah Winfrey congratulated Tyra Banks for a good job done on her talk show for inspiring and mentoring young women.
In late-January , Banks got the go-ahead from The CW Television Network to start work on a new reality television series based on fashion magazines called Modelitha. The show premiered on October 22, Banks's first big screen role came in , when she co-starred in the drama Higher Learning.
She then co-starred with Lindsay Lohan in the Disney film Life-Size, playing a doll named Eve who comes to life and has to learn how to live in the real world. She and Miley Cyrus poke fun at the excesses of the Hollywood lifestyle with a battle over a pair of shoes in Hannah Montana: The Movie in Banks appeared in the fourth episode of the third season of Gossip Girl playing Ursula Nyquist, a larger-than-life actress in Burke, their shy school librarian, for two epsiodes between and In , she recorded her first single, "Shake Ya Body," which had a music video featuring the final six contestants on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 2.
The video world-premiered on UPN. Published September ,[dated info] it is the first of a planned three-part series. On an interview with Good Morning America, Banks stated that Modelland is the story of four girls who are accepted into an "exclusive" modelling school in the world of Modelland. Website In March , Banks launched her fashion and beauty website called "typeF.
Admission to the program, as described on HBS's website, "is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential. Tyra has come under intense criticism for implying she was a Harvard "graduate. Moon in front of select audience at HBS. More than students and faculty were invited to attend the event and hear Banks speak about her business and the reasons behind her decision to attend the program.
She has also established the Tyra Banks Scholarship, a fund aimed at providing African-American girls the opportunity to attend her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School.