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Tyra Banks insecure as a teenager

1 of 1 Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks

America's Next Top Model host Tyra Banks admits she was very insecure as a teenager.

The 40-year-old former model admits she wants to encourage women to love themselves for who they are through her her own charity, the TZONE Foundation,

Speaking to People magazine, Banks said: ''Part of my desire to help these girls is because of my own insecurities at that age. The summer I was 11 years old, I lost 30 lbs in three months. It was the 1980s, during the Ethiopian famine, and I got a lot of comments.

''My school thought I was ill. It was a very painful time.''

She added: ''Who would have thought that the girl who was once forced to go to hospital because she was too skinny would one day be called too fat?

''I lived both of those.''

Tyra further explained that the media shouldn't put pressure on women to be thin, adding: ''The skinnier a lot of actresses are, or singers are, or celebrities are, they tend to get a lot of coverage. A lot of, 'Oh, she's such a fashion darling, look at her, let's take her picture as she goes shopping, let's put her on the cover of our magazine.'

''The fashion industry has a very narrow definition of what beauty is - specifically now, it's a size 0 [or] 00.''

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