Tyra Banks will be the first to admit that she doesn’t owe her modeling career to her natural beauty. The 44-year-old model and businesswoman recently opened up about how she used makeup and plastic surgery to advance her modeling career, and why she’s perfectly fine with not being a “natural beauty.”
In an interview with People, the “America’s Next Top Model” host revealed that she had a nose job and other cosmetic surgeries to make it in the modeling industry. Though she could breathe fine through her nose, Banks underwent a rhinoplasty for vanity purposes and so that her face could feel more comfortable. “I had bones in my nose that were growing and itching,” she said. “I could breathe fine, but I added cosmetic surgery. I admit it! Fake hair, and I did my nose. I feel I have a responsibility to tell the truth.”
Though Banks is no stranger to the no-makeup selfie, she admitted that she wasn’t known as a naturally beautiful, bare-faced model like her peer Gisele Bündchen. “As a model, I needed makeup. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” Banks said. “It leveled my playing field. Gisele, you don’t need it? I do! And we’re both modeling for Victoria’s Secret.”
However, Banks isn’t saying that beauty lies in makeup and plastic surgery. Instead, she wants to encourage people who have insecurities to not feel ashamed to fix them, whether temporarily with makeup or permanently with surgery. “If you like your natural self, don’t worry about it,” Banks said. “But if you feel insecure about something … I have a magic bag of beauty tricks to make you who you want to be. Permanent or temporary, I do not judge that.”
She continued, “Fix it or flaunt it—I think women should be able to do both. There is a boundary line, either you’re super natural or you live at the plastic surgeon. It’s okay to hop back and forth over that line. You want a hair weave? Fine. You want permanent eyebrows? Fine. We as women need to stop judging.”
Essentially, Banks wants to end the shaming culture associated with plastic surgery. “Natural beauty is unfair,” Banks said. “I get really uncomfortable when women who are these natural beauties judge anybody who does anything to themselves.”
Banks’s comments are certainly bold and controversial. But she has a point. Though beauty is not defined by makeup or plastic surgery, one should feel free to do what they want with their bodies to look however they want—free of shame. We can always rely on Tyra to keep it real.