The next episode of Uncensored, TV One’s original, edgy autobiographical docuseries that airs on the cable network Sundays nights at 9 p.m. ET, will feature Tyra Banks, one of the world’s most iconic faces and influential people. Banks, who first gained notoriety as an American supermodel, has not only changed the landscapes of fashion, beauty and entertainment, but she also continues to break barriers for women of color by using her platform to push for global change.
Banks’ journey began in Inglewood, California, where she was raised in a single-parent household. Her mother showered her and her brother with love and unwavering support, and it was that supportthat gave the future supermodel and entrepreneur the courage and guidance to pursue an unexpected runway career.
Her professional introduction to modeling at age 16 was far from traditional, and her willingness to educate herself on the business taught her a valuable lesson in self-discipline. Despite the industry’s lack of inclusion and diversity, her international appeal captivated designers, which was not only career-defining for her but also groundbreaking for Black models.
On the Uncensored episode, Banks details being let go from a Victoria’s Secret catalog shoot early in her career because of an issue that plagues the entertainment industry to this day: “The hairdresser didn’t what to do with my hair,” she says, adding,”My hair was a hot mess! I saw the client’s face, and I knew that this was not good. And they sent me home.” But the model was determined; she almost “demanded” her agent get her back on the coveted lingerie catalog set, and a year later–after having her own mane man, Oscar James, do her hair and going to the shoot with her strands covered by a scarf–she walked back onto the Victoria’s Secret set and ultimately earned a 10-year contract with the brand. Banks also discusses an abusive relationship and the price of success.
For many, Banks’ journey is the ultimate story of endurance. With a successful career that spans decades, Banks, a two-time Daytime Emmy Award Winner, is a trailblazing media mogul, producer, style and pop culture icon. She created the Next Top Model franchise—which has more than 30 versions produced internationally — to tackle a lack of diversity in fashion and entertainment and continues to innovate and make an impact on society. Her goals know no limits.
Watch the Uncensored episode spotlighting Banks on Sunday, October 13, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.