A Message From The Creator

A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.
Tony Robbins


Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Tyra Lynn Banks (born December 4, 1973). is an American modelmedia personality, actress, occasional singer, author and businesswoman. She first became famous as a model, appearing twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and working for Victoria’s Secret as one of their original Angels. Banks is the creator and host of the UPN/The CW reality television show America’s Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and host of her own talk showThe Tyra Banks Show.

Tyra Banks was born in Inglewood, California. She is the daughter of Caroline (née London; now London-Johnson), a medical photographer, and Donald Banks, a computer consultant. She has a brother, Devin, who is five years older. In 1980, when Banks was 6 years old, her parentsdivorced. Banks attended John Burroughs Middle School and graduated in 1991 from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. Tyra Banks is one of four African Americans and seven women to have repeatedly ranked among the world’s most influential people by Time magazine.

When Banks was 15 years old, she started modeling while attending school in Los Angeles. She was rejected by four modeling agencies before she was signed by Elite Model Management at age 16. When she got the opportunity to model in Europe, she put college on hold and moved to Milan. In her first runway season, she was booked a record 25 shows at the 1991 Paris fashion week. She would later grace the covers of ELLE and Vogue Spain. She walked the runways for ChanelIsaac MizrahiAnna SuiSonia RykielTodd OldhamChristian LacroixChristian DiorKarl LagerfeldCalvin KleinBadgley Mischka, Marina Spadafora, Michael KorsPerry Ellis, Gemma Kahng, ValentinoTracy ReeseNicole Miller andFendi as well as appearing in ad campaigns for Dolce & GabbanaYves Saint LaurentRalph Lauren and others. In the mid-1990’s, Banks returned to America to do more commercial modeling.

Banks was the first African American woman on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 1997, she received the VH1 award for, “Supermodel of the Year.”That same year, she became the first-ever African American chosen for the cover of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. She is one of the original Victoria’s Secret Angels.

In 2010, Banks re-signed with her former modeling agency IMG Models.  Banks is now a contributor of the Vogue Italia website.

Banks’s television career began on the fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, in which she played lead character Will Smith‘s old friend Jackie Ames. She made seven appearances in the series. Other TV credits include FelicityAll ThatMADtvNick Cannon‘s Wild ‘n Out (in which she was featured as a special guest host and team captain) and The Price Is Right (guest-starring as a “Barker’s Beauty“).  She also appeared as a guest in the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast in an episode entitled “Chinatown.”

Tyra Banks started her own production company, Bankable Productions (previously named, “Ty Ty Baby Productions”; she did not rename it till the second cycle of America’s Next Top Model), which produced The Tyra Banks ShowAmerica’s Next Top Model and the 2008 movie The Clique.

Banks is the hostess, judge and executive producer of The CW Television Network show America’s Next Top Model. In addition, she hosted The Tyra Banks Show, a daytime talk show aimed at younger women, which premiered on September 12, 2005, and ran until May 28, 2010.

In 2008, Banks won the Daytime Emmy Award for her work and production on The Tyra Banks Show., and won for the second time in a row for outstanding, informative talkshow. In 2010, Oprah Winfrey congratulated Tyra Banks for a good job done on her talk-show for inspiring and mentoring young women.

In late-January 2008, Banks got the go-ahead from The CW Television Network to start work on a new reality television series based on fashion magazines called Modelitha. The show premiered on October 22, 2008.

Banks’s first big screen role came in 1994, when she co-starred in the drama Higher Learning.  She then co-starred with Lindsay Lohan in the Disney film Life-Size, playing a doll named Eve who comes to life and has to learn how to live in the real world. Other notable roles include Love Stinks (1999),Love & Basketball (2000), Coyote Ugly (2000) and Halloween: Resurrection (2002). She and Miley Cyrus poke fun at the excesses of the Hollywood lifestyle with a battle over a pair of shoes in Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009).

Banks appeared in the fourth episode of the third season of Gossip Girl playing Ursula Nyquist, a larger-than-life actress who works with Serena.

Banks has appeared in several music videos, including Michael Jackson‘s “Black or White“, Tina Turner‘s “Love Thing“, Mobb Deep‘s “Trife Life”, George Michael‘s “Too Funky” (with supermodelsLinda EvangelistaEstelle LefebureEmma Sjoberg and Nadja Auermann ) and Lionel Richie‘s “Don’t Wanna Lose You”. In 2004, she recorded her first single, “Shake Ya Body,” which had a music video featuring the final six contestants on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 2. The video was world-premiered on UPN, but the single turned out to be a failure.

Banks released a single with NBA player Kobe Bryant, entitled “K.O.B.E.,” which was performed on NBA TV. She also has a single on the soundtrack to Disney Channel’s Original Movie Life-Size called “Be A Star.”

Banks announced in May 2010 that she would be writing a novel, titled Modelland, loosely based on her own modelling experience. Published September 2011, it is the first of a planned three-part series. On an interview with Good Morning America, Banks stated that Modelland is the story of four girls who are accepted into an “exclusive” modelling school in the world of Modelland. Her first novel, Modelland, hit the New York Times best seller list in October 2011.

In 1998, Banks authored a book entitled Tyra’s Beauty, Inside and Out.

In March 2011, Banks launched her fashion and beauty website called “typeF.com”, which she co-created with Demand Media.

In 2011, Banks enrolled in the nine-week-long Owner/President Manager Program (OPM) at Harvard Business School‘s open-enrollment extension school. Banks passed the Executive Education Training Program in February 2012.

n 1999, Tyra Banks established the TZONE program, which aimed at leadership and life skills development.  Banks acts as the patron for TZONE. She has also established the Tyra Banks Scholarship, a fund aimed at providing African-American girls the opportunity to attend her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School. In 2005, TZONE transformed from a camp into a public charity, the Tyra Banks TZONE Foundation.

Women In The News

HealthDay – Fri, May 25, 2012

Fitness May Boost Survival for Women With Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) — Women with advanced breast cancer who have higher levels of fitness during treatment tend to live longer than women with lower levels of fitness during treatment, new research finds.

Treatments for breast cancer can weaken women’s heart and lung function, according to the study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center, and the impairments can linger for years after treatment has ended.

Among those with advanced breast cancer, women whose fitness level was high during treatment were more likely to survive. Median survival was 36 months among women with high levels of fitness, compared to 16 months among low-fitness patients.

What researchers don’t know, however, is if helping women to improve fitness while undergoing breast cancer treatment will boost their survival. They only found an association, not a cause-and-effect link, between the two.

Exercise tolerance tests, which measure heart and lung function, are good predictors of health and longevity in people who do not have cancer, but to what extent those same tests apply to cancer patients is less understood, study author Lee Jones, an associate professor at Duke University Medical Center, said in a Duke news release.

Breast cancer treatments have reduced death rates from the disease by roughly 2.2 percent a year since 1990, but the regimens often take a toll on women’s lungs, heart, blood and skeletal muscle. Compounding the problem is that during treatment and after, women are often less active and gain weight, which can also affect their heart and lung function.

In the study, researchers tested heart and lung capacity at rest and during exercise of nearly 250 women at several points during breast cancer treatment.

Overall, women with breast cancer had much worse heart and lung function than healthy women of the same age, even those who were sedentary. For some cancer patients, the decline in fitness level was severe. One-third of the women studied had a fitness level so low that it may prevent them from doing household tasks, walking up stairs or walking a half-mile.

Some breast cancer survivors’ heart and lung function remained impaired for years after treatment ended, which may indicate they will never get back their pre-chemo level of fitness, researchers said.

“Fitness level may be an important biomarker of survival among cancer patients,” Jones said. “But the beautiful thing about fitness is that we can improve it with exercise training. Although we currently do not know if improving fitness in cancer patients is associated with longer survival, our data provides initial evidence to pursue this question.”

The study was published online May 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

More information

The American Cancer Society provides more information on breast cancer survival rates.

Inspiration Of A Breast Cancer Survivor

Joanne Jackson

by Martin Shaw, Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Images of breast cancer survivor Joanne Jackson banned from Facebook.

THEY are pictures of amazing courage and strength from a woman who has beaten breast cancer.

But they are images that the social networking site Facebook has branded akin to “pornography.”

Mum-of-two Joanne Jackson, 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer last June and had a mastectomy.

Rather than feel sorry for herself Joanne fought back and, in her words, “kicked cancer in the ass.”

To celebrate her return to health – and to give inspiration to other women with breast cancer – Joanne had some professional photographs taken.

The 11 images – some topless and showing her operation scar – were then posted on Facebook.

But now the pictures have been reported for being offensive.

Some posts have been deleted and Joanne has been warned that further breaches will result in her account being shut down.

Facebook claimed the images broke its rules because they contained “nudity, pornography or graphic sexual content.”

Joanne, a Slimming World consultant from Thornhill, near Dewsbury, said she was shocked and angry.

“There is nothing pornographic or explicit about these pictures. That was not the idea at all,” said Joanne, a former Kirklees Council youth worker.

“I took breast cancer and the mastectomy in my stride and decided it wasn’t going to stop me living my life. It wasn’t going to define who I was, and it didn’t make me any less attractive as a woman.

“My attitude was to just get on with it. I knew I could kick cancer’s ass and I did.”

Joanne was approached by a friend whose husband was a professional photographer, and she jumped at the chance to pose for pictures.

“I am not one who is shy but these pictures weren’t as much about me as about other women who had maybe just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It doesn’t have to be a death sentence and there is life after mastectomy.

“The images aren’t fluffy, they are real and I am very proud of them.”

Joanne, who is married to Andrew and has two sons Connah, 19, and Evan, five, posted the images in her own Facebook album and on pages for various cancer organisations.

She has no idea who reported them but the warning came out of the blue.

The message said: “Content you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

“Shares that contain nudity, pornography and graphic sexual content are not permitted on Facebook.

“This serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account.”

The message added that Joanne should “refrain from posting abusive material in the future.”

Joanne’s Facebook friends have also taken up the fight and the images have been re-posted as far afield as Australia, the USA, Canada and Spain.

“It’s censorship, pure and simple,” said Joanne. “And I’m not backing down so Facebook can do their worst.”

Photographer Paul Hodgson, of Huddersfield-based Box of Frogs, said the pictures were “inspirational, not salacious or erotic” and added: “This is about showing that a cancer diagnosis does not mean your life has ended.

“These pictures show that you can beat cancer and still be you.”

Joanne, who didn’t need chemotherapy or radiotherapy, is now having breast reconstruction.

A Facebook spokesman confirmed that “several” images had been removed between October and February because they breached terms and conditions.

He said Facebook “welcomed” mastectomy pictures but said that some images may breach regulations on nudity.

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