Tyra Says It: She 'Wants Power'

Host of 2 TV shows produces a third to 'instill self-esteem in young girls'
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2008 7:25 PM CDT
Tyra Banks, 34, began modeling at 15 in Los Anegeles and was soon whisked off to Paris.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
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(Newser) – The supermodel who hosts two TV shows and sits front-row center at fashion galas insists she is frugal and unhip, but ambitious. "I want power,” 34-year-old Tyra Banks says in a New York Times profile. “The power to make change.” Savvy and outrageous, the follower of Martha Stewart now has young girls listening—and watching.

Her two TV vehicles—a talk-show and America’s Next Top Model—are consistent money-makers that offer what she calls “attainable fantasy.” “I was put on this earth to instill self-esteem in young girls,” says Banks, who is producing a third show. She already earns $18 million a year—top dollar for a woman who says she just wanted “to be the black girl next door.”