Tyra Banks was born and raised in Inglewood, California.

Banks graduated from an all-girls Catholic high school1 and she seems to still think highly of it to this day. Banks provides scholarships for African American girls to attend her old school.2

But Banks isn’t the type to get all spiritual in public. And it causes one to wonder if she’s non-religious or just private about it.

If you watch her show, Tyra, you get the feeling she’s a bit of a religious egalitarian. Banks provides a soap box to all sorts of religious people, from gay-hating Baptists3 to persecuted American Muslims.4 She wasn’t very understanding toward the gay-hating Baptists, though, commenting that their faces lit up and they became softer and more human when they were talking about their interests outside of religion.5

It’s simply impossible to get a line on Banks’ real religious beliefs. For example, after a particularly messy breakup, Banks went on a “spiritual” journey to Indonesia6 –which is a Muslim country, so… Muslim? Seems doubtful somehow. I think Occam’s Razor would say: lapsed Catholic.

America’s Next Top… Dog

Banks is a Democrat, first and foremost. Her $6,500 in political contributions all went to Democrats.7 She’s a giant Obama fan. When he got the Democratic nomination in 2008, she said:

I just started bawling. I started calling all these people, and everybody was talking to me like I was crazy. They’re like, ‘Well, he hasn’t won yet,’ but I’m like, ‘Yes, he has because he’s gotten this far.’8

She even used her show as a platform to interview the would-be president and outwardly promote his campaign.9

Banks is a staunch supporter of the gay community, having people come on her show to rant against Prop 810 and saying “I love the gays and the gays love me.”11 Plus, she was pretty happy about Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, tweeting:

A fierce day for my gays and prez Barack Obama – way 2 stand up 4 luv for ALL!12

In at least one way, Banks is a political oxymoron. As an entertainer who’s made literally millions off of society’s narrow conception of female beauty from her modeling career and through her show, America’s Next Top Model, she’s often come out to speak against that exact conception, condemning models who are too skinny13 and telling women to just be happy with their bodies.14

Of course, this could be the result of her own high-pressure, damaging experience in the modeling industry. What do you all think?

  1. Tyra Banks Biography. People. []
  2. Tyra Banks Gives Back. Buddy TV. []
  3. Crazy Baptist Lady On Tyra Banks Show. YouTube. []
  4. Tyra Banks – Our Race. YouTube. []
  5. Crazy Baptist Lady On Tyra Banks Show. YouTube. []
  6. Tyra Banks Goes On A Spiritual Retreat To Bali After Breaking Up With Her Boyfriend Of Three Years. Bossip. []
  7. Tyra Banks’s Federal Campaign Contribution Report. Newsmeat. []
  8. Tyra Banks – Biography. IMDb. []
  9. Tyra Banks: 18 years old should go vote hope Barack Obama 08. YouTube. []
  10. Proposition 8 and Civil Rights. Tyra Banks Show with Sam Harris. YouTube. []
  11. Tyra Banks Talks Homosexuality With Mike Huckabee. The Huffington Post. []
  12. Lady Gaga, Alec Baldwin, Tyra Banks, Josh Groban Cheer Obama’s Gay Marriage Support. On Top Magazine. []
  13. Tyra Banks Asks Models: ‘What is Too Thin?‘ ABC. []
  14. Tyra Banks and Her “So What!” Campaign. Full Living. []