Tyra Banks has spoken for the first time about her struggle to have a child with boyfriend Erik Asla, a Norwegian photographer she met while shooting Norway’s Next Top Model and has been seeing for the past two years. The 41-year-old entrepreneur spoke to People about her attempts to become a mother through IVF and said, “I’ve had some not happy moments with that, very traumatic moments.” Tyra’s honesty about the emotional toll of IVF is to be applauded. In a media landscape obsessed with ‘bump watching’ and claiming a celebrity if pregnant if she so much as eats a burger/touches her stomach/posts an enigmatic Instagram, it’s refreshing to see a woman speaking about how pregnancy for some women isn’t a straightforward narrative.
Tyra said that when she turned 40 she decided to try and become a mother after decades of working in the fashion industry. She says of that milestone birthday that “the one thing I was not happy about is that I did not have kids.” Having children late in life wasn’t part of the plan, she admits, “Since I was 24, I used to say every year, ‘I will have kids in three years. I kept saying it over and over again. Because my business is very entrepreneurial. I’m not for hire, so I have to do everything. I kept trying to find that time for that to happen… then it’s not so easy as you get older.”
Tyra then went on to say she has undergone IVF in a bid to conceive with Asla, but that the couple has not been successful, yet. The former model says she’s hoping that one of these days it works, as she doesn’t “just want one child. I want a litter! And I want to be the kind of mom where my child can come to me for anything.”
Her comments are particularly timely as her new chat and lifestyle show FABLife will release an interview next week with Chrissy Teigen, who is going on the record about her trouble conceiving. Teigen, who is married to John Legend, says she’s constantly asked about when she is starting a family. The model and cookbook author said, “So, anytime somebody asks me if I’m going to have kids, I’m like, ‘One day, you’re going to ask that to the wrong girl who is really struggling, and it’s going to be really hurtful to them.’ And I hate that. So, I hate it. Stop asking me.”