Tyra Banks almost nixed her infamous, emotional "Kiss my fat a**" clapback at body-shamers.
In an exclusive interview, the 44-year-old supermodel tells ET's Nischelle Turner that she nearly had her producers re-do that 2007 segment on The Tyra Banks Show, over worries about at how vulnerable that moment came across as she addressed critics trying to shame her about her weight.
"I felt like I had a responsibility, you know? I wasn't just thinking ratings. I was thinking, like I have a responsibility to be strong, to be noble and to say, 'Kiss my fat a**' like this," she told ET. "And I thought any emotion, any breaking, any tears, was weak and that I had all these women I felt on my shoulders and I needed to support them."
The 44-year-old model is touring the nation with her mother, Carolyn London, to promote their book, Perfect Is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, and Being a Boss. The book details Banks' rise from wannabe to supermodel and TV personality and, as the book's subtitle suggests, sparing few details along the way, whether it be about sex, discrimination or fat-shaming and body image problems.
Banks has been outspoken about the pressures of being a model, the size 0 expectations and the 24/7 nature of media and social media.
Her 2007 onscreen rant on The Tyra Banks Show stands as one of the most epic takedowns on screen and was even named the 60th greatest talk show moment in TV history by TV Guide. In the segment, Banks claps back at critics who mocked her weight in a photo taken of her in a bikini.
She starts by talking about expectations people have of her body image, given her career as a model, but quickly gets emotional.
"I love my momma. She has helped me to be a strong woman so I can overcome these kinds of attacks. But if I had lower self-esteem, I would probably be starving myself right now," Banks begins, building up steam. "That is exactly what is happening to other women all over this country."
Her voice breaks as she lets loose.
"So I have something to say to all of you that have something nasty to say to say about me, or other women that are built like me, women that sometimes or all the times look like this [sticks out stomach], women whose names you know, women whose names you don't, women who've been picked on, women whose husbands put them down, women at work or girls in school, I have one thing to say to you," she says. "Kiss my fat a**!"
Despite the standing ovation and cheers she received on set, Banks tells ET she immediately regretted the segment.
"And I ran into that booth with my director, Brian, and I was like, 'I gotta do it over again, I gotta -- through tears and a swimsuit -- I gotta do it over again, I gotta do it over.' And he turned off all those monitors and he said, 'Go home.' He said, 'That was real, and you will see what this will do," Banks said. "And I was freaking out for weeks because it took a couple of weeks for it to air and I just was feeling like it was a mistake until it aired and I just saw it all over the news and everywhere and I was like, wow. It was a big lesson for me about vulnerability."
Perfect Is Boring released today nationwide in hardcover.
For more from Banks on modeling and body image, see the video below.
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