TV Guide: Can you give us any hints about the season finale of America's Next Top Model (airing Wednesday at 8 pm/ET, on the CW)?
Tyra Banks: For the fashion show, we decided to do "the evolution of woman." She starts off as slightly primitive, then she evolves into this kickass, power woman. The Sydney Opera House is the backdrop.
TV Guide: This season Cassandra got frostbite on a shoot, and Natasha was badly burned by a curling iron. Do you have any modeling injuries?
Banks: I have scars on the backs of my arms from dressers in Paris scraping me with pins as I was taking a shirt or gown off. They pin you to death [to make it fit], and then pull it off really fast to get to the next outfit. I've also been burned on my eyelid and forehead by a curling iron.
TV Guide: Ouch! Did you ever experience the emotional pain that the girls go through in the Top Model house?
Banks: I used to live in a model's apartment in New York City. A girl woke me up in the middle of the night because she thought I stole her alarm clock. I was very insulted. I'm like, "I can afford a hotel — I stay here for the camaraderie." So what they do on TV, I've been a victim of that stuff.
TV Guide: You're rich, famous and gorgeous. Who are your friends?
Banks: I tend to hang out with my friends in Los Angeles from high school. We know each other from back in the day. They still see me as just dumb Tyra. We have a strong bond.
TV Guide: What do you talk about when you get together?
Banks: They give me dating advice. I don't know how to be sexy on a date. Put up a camera and a wind machine and I'll give you sexy. Put me at a dinner table with some candlelight and the moon shining in and, oh, I will give you dork.
TV Guide: What kind of guy asks you out?
Banks: Twenty-three-year-old celebrities who come on my show ask me out! One guy even went for, like, my muffin top [aka midsection fat]. I was like, "You're 10 years younger than me. You need to date Hilary Duff. Don't date me. I have a roll around my middle." I make a good living, so men my age get a little intimidated.
TV Guide: You've said you want kids, and you're 33 now, so...?
Banks: I always say "in three years," and I've been saying that for about 10 years [Laughs], so... two years. I'm very interested in adoption, even before it was hot. Ever since I was a kid, I've thought that was important.
TV Guide: What do you hope to accomplish by being so open about your weight gain?
Banks: By no means am I trying to change the modeling industry. With ANTM, some of my girls are shorter, fuller-figured, a nice mix of ethnicity — things that the industry doesn't necessarily represent. Fashion magazines are going to be here. Retouched pictures are going to be here. It's important to not obsess about that. Look in the mirror and find your true beauty, inner and outer. And if you don't live up to all this other crap out there, so what? It's OK.
TV Guide: What do people not know about you that you wish they did?
Banks: At the beginning of my modeling career, it was all about me: How many covers can I get? How many runways can I walk? How many contracts can I get? How many times can I break down barriers? And now this second part of my career is about me turning it around and empowering other people.
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