It’s been more than 10 years since Tyra Banks stood on the stage of her self-titled talk show in a swimsuit and told fat-shamers that they could kiss her where the sun don’t shine. Back in 2006, she put on the swimsuit she was photographed unflatteringly wearing by paparazzi while at the beach to make a statement that she was confident in her body at any size. It was a moment that resonated with so many women.
“I’m strong enough and I have a good support system. I love my mama, she has helped me to be a strong woman so I can overcome these kinds of attacks,” she told the audience. “But if I had lower self-esteem, I would probably be starving myself right now. That’s exactly what’s happening to other women all over this country. So I have something to say to all of you that have something nasty to say about me or other women that are built like me. Women that sometimes or all of the time look like this, 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: Kiss my fat a–!”
When a fan shared the old clip of that message on Twitter, reminding people that it was an “iconic, empowering moment,” it actually caught Banks’ attention. She told the woman that she still stands by her words all of these years later.
“I stand by this even more today,” she wrote. “Anyone out there who is STILL doing this to me, or YOU, or someone you know, or someone you don’t know they can still… KISS. MY. FAT. A–!!
What you may not know about that TV moment was that after she taped that episode, she initially wanted to redo her message.
“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,” she told Entertainment Tonight earlier this year. But after seeing the response the moment received, she was glad she kept it the way it is. And she’s definitely glad she chose to talk about this issue in a public way.
“I felt like I had a responsibility, you know?” she said. “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.”
Banks added, “I had all these women I felt on my shoulders and I needed to support them.”