Before you ever again step on the bathroom scale, Mia Tyler suggests you put your foot down. "People need to stop weighing themselves," says the plus size model and actress. "Throw out those scales! Go to the doctors once a year for a checkup and get your weight then. Don't do it every day."
A daughter of Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler and half sister of actress Liv Tyler, Mia advocates healthy eating and exercise, but she is fed up with the nations obsession with weighty matters. At 5 feet 7 inches and 145 pounds (a size 10/12), she says she is happy with her body. The average American women wears a size 12 or larger, so there is a growing demand for plus size beauties such as Tyler, 20, who models for clothier Lane Bryant. "I'm the real deal," she says. "People respect that."
Q: Do you feel like a role model for larger girls?
A: When I was a kid, there weren't plump models. I didn't think, "Why aren't there women in magazines who look like me?" But some people need role models and I understand that.
Q: At age 13 you went to camp for overweight kids. Did you lose weight?
A: Yeah, 30 pounds in six weeks. They worked the kids so hard there. It was like a school day. Each hour was another sport. They fed you the smallest portions and you couldn't get seconds. When I got out, I craved candy bars, peanut butter. I gained back all the weight I lost, plus 10 pounds. I wouldn't recommend that.
Q: Your mother Cyrinda Foxe, was a model. Has she given you any modeling tips?
A: She told me, "Keep your chin up, wear nude underwear and work your eyes." Everyone tells me I have great eyes, so I should work them. What's that mean? Work them how? I don't get it. So I just open my eyes a little more.
Q: What's one plus side to being plus-size?
A: All my guy friends, they love plumper women. They all say, "You've got to hook me up with your (plus-size) model friends." A lot of guys like healthy girls with a little meat on there bones. (Tyler is currently unattached.)
Q: So is your dad, who's now 50 years old, still wild as all the stories we've heard?
A: He's a different man now. He's got two little kids. He's a family man. Then he puts on his tights and makeup and goes on stage. He's totally cute, like a little boy in an old man's skin. I can see him rocking out when he's 80, with scarves tied around his walker. I hope that's what I'll be like when I'm older.