Tyra Banks talks body image, hair on ‘Larry King Live’

Tyra Banks shows off her real hair during an appearance on
Tyra Banks has gone from supermodel to super businesswoman.

With her successful TV talk show, “The Tyra Show,” as well as her duties as host/creator and executive producer of “America’s Next Top Model, it would seem that Banks has scant room left on her plate. But she recently launched an online magazine called “TYRA: Beauty Inside and Out.” Banks talked to CNN’s Larry King about her career aspirations, the “F” word and the story behind her “real hair.” The following is an edited version of the interview, which is set to air at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday on CNN. Larry King: Are you looking to be Oprah Is that it Tyra Banks: Am I looking to be Oprah Oh, Lord, if I tried, I would fail. King: But you’re approaching it — magazines, shows, specials. … Banks: She is like the — the Godmama, you know There will never be another. There never has been and never will be another.

‘Larry King Live’

Ex-model and media tycoon Tyra Banks talks to CNN’s Larry King.
Tonight, 9 ET

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But looking to be her — no. I mean, I — I started as a model, so there’s a path that’s quite different. King: The last time you were on you were dealing with the “F” word, meaning fat. You were fighting back. There [was] a nonflattering tabloid photo of you — remember In the swimsuit Banks: Yes. King: You lost weight since then. Banks: Yes. King: Do you still feel an image pressure Do you think — you think like a fat person Banks: I don’t actually. You know, when I — when I told the world to kiss my fat — I can say “ass” right King: Yes, you can. Banks: Yes. When I told the world to kiss my fat ass, I remained that size for two years. I maintained it with my ice cream and my salad with ranch and dressing and croutons and bacon bits. Like I — I didn’t look at myself even on television and think that I was too big or — I don’t know. I didn’t — it didn’t connect. But since I have lost a lot of weight, and it started with the — a weight loss challenge, actually at the top of this year. So I’m two years after “kiss my fat ass.” King: When you look in the mirror, are you happy with the way you look Banks: I’ve — OK, I might be doing a little TMI — do you know what TMI is Too much information Watch Banks discuss her body image King: Well, give it to me anyway. Banks: I always feel great when I don’t have clothes on. So at home, by myself, walking past … King: Oh, we’re glad you mean that now. Banks: Just too much information. But I always feel good that way. King: So you don’t look at yourself nude and say, “Oh, I don’t like this.” You like it Banks: No, unless the lighting is bad in the dressing room. But, no. I always feel good. But sometimes certain clothes, when I put them on and they don’t fit the way that I would like them to, that’s when I tend to get self-conscious. King: All right. You kicked off season five of your talk show by revealing your real hair. Banks: Let’s talk about my hair right now. I know it’s been a big mystery. And I was like it was an unsolved mystery, and I felt like I needed to solve this mystery. Like I’ve worn weaves and wigs and pieces and clip-ons and clip-outs and clip-downs and around since I was 17, 18, and I wanted to show the real me. I wanted to show the raw me, and I just got out of the shower — beat the face first of course, you all — and then came out of here — on this stage, and this is me, you all. This is me. King: How did that feel Banks: Oh my God, it felt so liberating. It felt so liberating. I have worn fake hair since I was 17 years old. King: This — is this real Banks: Yes. This is me. You want to feel my scalp King: Yes. Banks: Yes It’s a little kinky in the scalp. That’s like real black girl hair. But — go — go in there. Yes. That’s — yes. It’s kinky. Exactly. My natural hair texture is very kinky. You felt my real hair texture. This is straightened. This part is straightened. This part is not, inside.

But, I mean, hair for black women, we spend $9 billion a year on hair products — black women do. So growing up as a young girl and seeing images in the media where they’re saying that a certain type of hair is beautiful and yours isn’t is very difficult for a black woman — for black women and it’s a — it’s a long, political thing that we can do a whole show about. But I felt it was my responsibility to show as much of my real hair as possible.