Breakthrough of Banks
"Black women have always been these vixens, these animalistic erotic women. Why can't we just be the sexy American girl next door?" Tyra Banks on being a sex symbol.
Awarded in People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful" twice, Tyra's name can be linked to celebrities like John Singleton, Seal, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Mark Messier. Though she has tried in the past to cover rumors by reverting back to her high school sweetheart, gossip continues to flow. Even the sport of basketball has linked her with LA Lakers Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox, and WNBA's New York player Teresa Weatherspoon.
In 1994, Tyra Banks set up The Tyra Banks Scholarship which
helps African-American girls enroll in her alma mater, the Immaculate Heart High
School, and in an all-girls private school in Los Angeles, California. Banks
also established T-Zone, a summer camp held yearly for teenage girls to develop
sovereignty and confidence. Tyra promotes greeting cards for children and
families with an association that supports abused and abandoned children and
works in bringing world awareness to issues surrounding Costa Rica's ecosystem.
Moving back to America, Tyra's name and fame had skyrocketed. In addition to magazine layouts Tyra tried her hand at acting. Her cameo role was in the British racy film titled Inferno. Tyra appeared on the TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, playing Jackie Ames, Will Smith's girlfriend, and also was seen in the series Felicity. Tyra received her first movie role in John Singleton's Higher Learning (1995), portraying Omar Epps' girlfriend, Deja.
Tyra's work on film brought her to the silver screen in Love Stinks (1999, French Stewart and Bill Bellamy) and also brought a significant role in Jerry Bruckheimer's hit Coyote Ugly (2000).
Tyra appeared in the 2000 independent film Love and Basketball and in the Disney TV movie Life-Size where she played the character of a living doll. Recently Tyra appeared in New York Undercover and will soon play a lead role in a movie she is producing, Disney's Honey Thunder Dunk. Tyra also is the executive producer and creator of UPN's America's Next Top Model.
With private assets equaling 8.8 million dollars, Tyra is one of the planet's wealthiest models. Tyra also wrote the book, Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out, which was published in 1998 by Harper Collins and founded her own company TYInc.
Not bad for a supermodel who loves to eat barbecued ribs, fried chicken wings and ice cream.
"A smart model is a good model." Tyra Banks Looks like Tyra proves her point.
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