Tyra Banks on Type F Site and ‘Fiercely Real’ Models

Photo: Getty Images
Tyra has launched a fashion and beauty site.

She’s a Harvard Business School student, reality television star, burgeoning novelist (really!)—oh, and a supermodel. But now, Tyra Banks (er, make that Tyrashe recently dropped her last name) is branching out into a brand-new world: editorial.

Type F is a just-launched fashion and beauty site dedicated to expanding the definition of beauty.

“I’ve been on both sides of the body spectrum,” the onetime Victoria’s Secret Angel said in a teleconference with reporters on March 15, adding that at different times in her life she was considered “too big, too small … You don’t have to be a cookie cutter to become beautiful.”

Type F is all about personalized style tips: Visitors can register and give details such as hair type, eye shape, body type, face shape, and skin tone, then corresponding content is directed their way. “When she comes back to Type F, we greet her by name,” Tyra said of her readers.

The former talk-show host holds the fashion industry partially responsible for the current standard of beauty, though she doesn’t regret her modeling past. “I really am grateful [for the industry],” she said. “I can’t say I’m not grateful. But at times it can make one feel very insecure. ‘You must look this way, you must dress this way.’ If a woman doesn’t fit into that type, she’s not good enough.”

“One of the great things,” she said of the industry, “is they tend to celebrate uniqueness. They told me that my forehead was large—but had it not been big, I wouldn’t have been a successful high fashion model.”

“At the same time, there’s another section of the fashion industry that celebrates a beauty that’s hard to live up to,” she said, adding that the part that touts “unique, quirky beauty” is still the minority.

“My mission is to push that individuality,” Tyra said.

One way she’s making the push is with an issue that’s close to her heart: She doesn’t like the term “plus-size model.”

Her preferred term? “Fiercely real model.”

That’s our Tyra.