Body Image: Bigger Can Be Beautiful

Tyra Banks' swimsuit comeback shows you don't have to be thin to be a knockout.

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Do you have to be thin to be gorgeous? Not at all. Just take a look at supermodel and TV talk show host Tyra Banks, who recently showed off a healthy body and a healthy body image.

Banks has gained some weight over the years (she is thought to be 30 pounds heavier than when she posed for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in 1997). And after some tabloid criticism and a paparazzi photo of Banks wearing a swimsuit, she returned fire -- by proudly posing in a swimsuit for People magazine. And on her popular talk show, wearing nothing but high heels and the swimsuit in question, she gave a powerful speech targeting people who have hurtful things to say about women's bodies.

Her message seems to be that she still feels hot, thank you very much, and she's thankful for her great support system and ample self-esteem. If she didn't have this, she said on the air, she would probably be starving herself right now. The most impressive thing about all of this is that Tyra seemed to be fighting back not just for herself, but for all women.

What has her weight gain gotten Tyra, besides some fabulous curves? Well, let's see ... her talk show is very popular and entering its second season. And the most recent season of her other television show, America's Top Model, has brought home its strongest ratings thus far. You go, girlfriend!