NEW YORK – Tyra Banks, who has gained weight since her days strutting the catwalk, says she was upset when unflattering photos showing her in a one-piece bathing suit were mocked on the Internet.
"It was such a strange meanness and rejoicing that people had when thinking that was what my body looked like. It was really hurtful to me," the 33-year-old talk-show host says in an interview in the Feb. 5 issue of People magazine.
The photos show Banks on a beach during a recent trip to Sydney, Australia. They had popped up earlier this month on a celebrity gossip Web site with the not-so-nice headline: "Tyra Banks is Fat."
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Banks, who hosts the syndicated "The Tyra Banks Show" and the CW network's "America's Next Top Model," tells the magazine she weighs 161 pounds and has fluctuated from 148 pounds to 162 pounds, depending on how well she's taking care of herself, since retiring from modeling in 2005.
"I don't want to sit in front of you and be soap-boxy and fake and say, 'I love myself, I'm beautiful, it's great,"' says Banks, who is 5 feet 10 inches tall. "I still feel hot, but every day is different. It's when I put on the jeans that used to fit a year ago and don't fit now and give me the muffin top, that's when I say, 'Damn!"'
In other words, yes, she has put on weight, though not nearly as much as recent tabloid stories have suggested.
Banks says "I'm not the healthiest eater" and isn't required to "live up to that model standard anymore."
"I've made millions of dollars with the body I have, so where's the pain in that?" she says. "If I was in pain, I would have dieted. The pain is not there — the pain is someone printing a picture of me and saying those (horrible) things."
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