Tyra Aims to Reach a 'New Generation of Women'
August 16, 2005

From supermodel to role model, Tyra Banks is gearing up for the September 12 launch of her talk show, "The Tyra Banks Show." And in a candid TV special, Banks revealed that behind the glamorous image, she's just a real girl with real problems like everyone else.

"I love to eat," Banks said. "I'm a single girl. I'm an insomniac. I've had my heart broken one too many times."

There's no greater heartbreak for Tyra than her parents' divorce when she was just 6 years old. And the painful memories came flooding back when Banks returned to her childhood home in Inglewood, Calif.

After her parents' divorce, home for Tyra became a one bedroom apartment where her mom, Carolyn, slept on the couch. "I went from what I thought was a mansion to a one bedroom apartment," Banks said.

But that childhood trauma made Tyra tough. She hit the big time in the modeling world at just 17 and went on to become the first African American woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated's famed swimsuit issue.

And along the way, the supermodel has made it her mission to give back, creating a camp for teenage girls called T-Zone. "T-Zone is a self esteem building camp for young girls between the ages of 13 to 15," Banks explained.

One of the activities at T-Zone includes meeting in what generally becomes tear-filled group therapy sessions where Tyra teaches these vulnerable young girls how to shine. "I was trained by crisis counselors to do this," Banks said. "We call it lemon squeezing. We try to get all of the emotion out of these girls."

And now, with her new talk show set for a September 12 launch, Banks is hoping to take on all the issues facing a whole new generation of young women.

The Tyra Banks Show
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