Dr Oz: Tyra Banks Body Image & How To Deal With Bullying


Dr Oz: Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks has made a name for herself as a fashion icon and media mogul. But even someone as successful as she has been the victim of bullying. That’s what she joined Dr Oz to discuss. What do bully a supermodel about? Her looks, her weight, and her height, for starters. Tyra joined Dr Oz to discuss how bullying has affected her life, and what she hopes to accomplish by speaking out for others. Remember the Tyra Banks body image episode of her talk show? See what she says about bullying now.

Dr Oz: Tyra Banks Bullied

A few years ago, Tyra Banks had a popular talk show, and in one episode she confronted paparazzi who criticized her looks. “Kiss my fat ass!” was her emphatic retort as she wound up a speech about body image. Tyra has a lot to be proud of, as the first Sports Illustrated cover model who was African American.


But she was gangly growing up, and she admits she was once a bully herself before finding herself as a target for others due to a growth spurt. Children and adults bullied her so much that she went through mild depression, she said.

Tyra Banks Body Image & Bullying: Dr Oz

Dr Oz talked about Tyra Banks body image and bullying experiences. The model offered advice to help others cope. (s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

Through it all, Tyra Banks said her mother stood by her side. When a list of designers said they wouldn’t like to work with Tyra due to her full hips and large bust, her mother took her out for pizza as a subtle way of reinforcing positive body image for Tyra.


How To Deal With Bullying

Tyra Banks suggested that anyone who is being bullied should take the time to find one thing they like about themselves. After about a month, look for something else you can add to the list.

She believes that bullying is the result of people feeling bad about themselves and deriving power from targeting vulnerable people. Tyra said she has had to end friendships because of the negative influence some people brought to her life.

Dr Oz: Tyra Banks Body Image

Prior to the taping, audience members wrote down one-word answers of things they don’t like about themselves. One woman, Kim, wrote “insecure” as her answer. She explained that she felt worse about her body since giving birth. She listed stretch marks, arms and stomach as areas she’d like to improve.

Tyra said that professional models struggle with the same insecurities. She even flashed her Spanx on the show to prove the point. Kim struggled to name a part of her body that she liked, so Tyra suggested she play up her cleavage.

Another woman in the audience wrote “ugly.” She explained that she always felt belittled by her friend (whom she brought with her to the show), because the friend often criticized her fashion and appearance. The friend tried to save face, apologizing and promising to be more supportive in the future. (I wonder if they are still friends after that. Why do people always call out their companions on Dr Oz?)

Dr Oz: Marriage Bullying

Dr Oz could do a whole show about people who are bullied into getting married. But for now, he focused on a couple who said that bullying is a problem in their relationship. Sara was 115 pounds when she met her husband, David. Today, she is 180 pounds and struggles with his put-downs and nagging. She wants to lose weight, but David is unsupportive and blames her for giving up on diet plans.

David admitted that he picks on Sara almost every day, nagging her about what she is eating and whether she is going to the gym. He believed his comments were motivating, but Sara admitted he was having the opposite effect.

He pointed out that she’s said she needs help to achieve her goal. Tyra wondered why Sara’s weight mattered so much to David. He said that he felt she would be more confident and open to trying new things. Tyra said she assumed he was concerned about his wife’s health, and David tried to backpedal to say that he was of course concerned about that too. (Are you buying it?)

Dr Oz: Relationship Bullying & Body Image

Dr Oz asked Sara if she has tried changing her behavior to get different reactions from David. She said she feels that she is too sensitive when it comes to her body. Tyra told Sara that it’s important to be honest and expressive in your relationship.

Sara confronted her husband about how he made her feel. She said it hurt when he criticized her outfits or told her to go to the gym. Tyra suggested that David rely on Sara for cues about when she needs support or encouragement.

After 10 years together, Dr Oz said the couple might need to reinvent their relationship. Tyra pointed out that David’s body has changed since they got married, so it’s reasonable to expect that Sara’s would as well.


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