Plastic surgery is absolutely fantastic: Tyra Banks

Yahoo! Singapore catches up with supermodel-turned-super mogul Tyra Banks. (Yahoo! photo/ Fann Sim)Yahoo! Singapore catches up with supermodel-turned-super mogul Tyra Banks. (Yahoo! photo/ Fann Sim)

Not one to mince her words, former supermodel and celebrity TV host Tyra Banks says she is all for plastic surgery.

In fact, the creator and host of hit reality show "America's Next Top Model"  (ANTM) thinks that it's "absolutely fantastic".

Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore after a media conference at Resorts World Sentosa on Sunday afternoon, the leggy 1.78-metre beauty said, "I hate when models say 'Oh, plastic surgery is just a wrong thing.'"

"What're you talking about? You won the genetic lottery," she went on. "You look like this specimen that's making people everywhere feel insecure and you're going to ridicule someone for getting plastic surgery?"

But Banks pointed out that it should be a choice.

"I feel that certain people are born in certain ways," the former Victoria's Secret angel explained.

"And sometimes it's not fair that certain people are born with certain things… I think it's fine."

Does that mean that the still-radiant 38-year-old has plans to go under the knife in future?

"Sure!" the advocate of "smizing" — smiling with your eyes — said with a big laugh, although she said she's still unsure where and when she'll actually do it.

"I'm very lucky," Banks admitted. "Black people and Asian people have similar (strong) skin… But if one day I have wrinkles and I don't like it, I don't know if I'll cut myself but maybe… a little botox, fillers?

Not always admired for her looks

In Singapore for the first time to promote the Asian spin-off of her hit TV show, Banks looked every bit like a life-sized Barbie doll from H2T (as Tyra calls 'head-to-toe').

Sexy, beautiful and warm, the supermodel is a picture of perfection. (Yahoo! photo/ Fann Sim)Sexy, beautiful and warm, the supermodel is a picture of perfection. (Yahoo! photo/ Fann Sim)

Looking resplendent in a printed wrap dress and towering platform heels, it's easy to see why the larger-than-life beauty forged a hugely successful career first as a model, and now as a television star and mentor to aspiring young models.

One would never have imagined that Banks, who started modeling when she was just 15, used to be teased for her looks.

"I was very much teased as a kid for my forehead, and even on the internet," Banks shared.

Surprisingly, it was the cut-throat fashion industry that eventually convinced her to feel good about it.

"My modeling agency told me that if I had a smaller forehead, I would be too commercial," she said. "And they said the big forehead made me look more like an alien? So it made me look more high fashion, and I think hearing that made me feel good."

'Weight has been an issue my entire life'

Having been on both sides of the weight battle, Banks said she could identify with all types of women but one — young girls who starve themselves just to look like models.

"It's just very unhealthy," she said. "Because even the models, a lot of them are not naturally thin and are starving themselves to look like the body that they have in magazines."

Banks, who expressed her dislike for the term "plus-sized models", preferring instead to say they're "fiercely real", is now trying to expand the definition of beauty. Part of this means having curvier girls on her Next Top Model franchise.

The queen of self-esteem and body image spreading her model know-how. (Yahoo! photo/ Fann Sim)The queen of self-esteem and body image spreading her model know-how. (Yahoo! photo/ Fann Sim)

When asked about her thoughts on the rise of Asian models, the fashion mogul said it shouldn't be seen as a "fad" but a "staple" in the industry instead.

"Like black models, Asian models have a certain something on the runway," she added. "It's like a mystery, a strength that you can't get necessarily with a Caucasian model".

"I think it's in the bone structure, the piercing eyes… there's definitely something extra special in an Asian model," Banks affirmed.

And the self-proclaimed lover of all-things-audacious wants others to see it too.

"I think by having Asia's Next Top Model and also by having the internet, the world can see the different types of Asian beauty," she said, explaining that the models in the Asian spin-off would feature beauties from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

"And because there're some small-minded people in America (who) don't understand all the different types of Asian looks, this is really important," she added.

An all-male Next Top Model… why not?

Next up on her plate? An all-male version of ANTM.

Banks said, "I've been wanting to do it for quite some time and yes I'm the boss. But I have a boss and I have to convince him that a male version will do really well."

Yahoo! Exclusive with Tyra BanksYahoo! Singapore caught up with former supermodel and celebrity TV host Tyra Banks, also the creator of hit reality show "America’s Next Top Model", after a media conference at Resorts World Sentosa, 12 August 2012.

"I haven't done a good enough job of convincing my boss, but I'm not giving up. Hopefully a male version will be sooner than later!"

For more information about Asia's Next Top Model, visit asiasnexttopmodel.tv.

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