She started modelling on the runways of Paris at age 12. In 1989, by age 14, she had made her first million and became the first black woman to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. In 1993, at age 18, People magazine named her one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. She appeared on hundreds of magazine covers. All the top fashion designers wanted her.
But then suddenly it all came to end.
Where Naomi and Tyra had wanted to be models since they were little girls, she did not. She said she wanted to be a plumber. So she was not willing to play the game. And when she got pregnant at 18 she had the baby against all advice: they said it would mess up her looks, that she would never work again. Even her mother would not to speak to her (at first). She did not care. The baby was more important.
After she had the baby she came back to modelling, but she failed to make a comeback. In 1997 she went into acting, but with small success.
She is one of the most beautiful black supermodels of all time, but because she rose and fell before the rise of the Web, there are not many pictures of her on the Internet, and what you see are not even her best.
She grew up in suburban Los Angeles but went to the school where her mother worked in South Central.
At 11 her mother made her take an etiquette course to learn “how not to be klutzy”. She learned to walk with grace. That and her long legs helped her to win modelling contests and before she knew it she was on the runways in Paris.
At her height she spent money so freely people called her C-Note. She had a three-floor apartment in New York. Because money came so easily to her so young, she had no idea of money management. She also started doing drugs. She was far from home and growing up too fast. After she had the baby, it was all over.
Ten years later, in 2005, she found a lost credit card in a supermarket and used it to buy a washer, dryer, refrigerator and other stuff for her house. It went to court and in 2006 the judge sentenced her to three years’ probation, 300 hours of community service and, of course, she had to pay back everything – and something else to American Express for their troubles.
In 2006 she went on the “Tyra Banks Show” to warn women of the dark side of modelling.
Peele first ran into Tyra Banks years before in Venice. Tyra at the time was 17 and broke in a foreign country. Peele helped her out.
Peele is six feet tall (1.83 metres). In 1989 her measurements were 33.5-22-33 (85-56-84 cm). That gives her a waist-to-hip (WHR) ratio of 0.67, which is on the low side for a fashion model.